Montane Alpine Pro Jacket | Review
Montane's first Gore-Tex technical mountaineering shell is a near faultless mix of fabric, design and build quality.
'The Montane Alpine Pro is right up there with the best in its class with cracking mix of great cut, top build quality and ace details - lightweight mobile fortress stuff.'
Outdoors Magic: Tough, light, Gore-Tex Pro fabric, excellent cut, great hood, top build quality, neat detailing.
Outdoors Tragic: Fabric is a little noisy, no reinforcement on high wear areas.
Outdoors Grabbit? Montane's first ever Gore-Tex mountaineering jacket is a cracker. The combination of proven Gore-Tex Pro fabric, a neat, athletic cut and good build quality and detailing plus an effective hood makes for a great lightweight all-rounder. An impressive new arrival from the north-eastern brand.
Lightweight mountaineering jacket / 40D Gore-Tex Pro fabric throughout / 12 – 13 stitch count per inch / 3mm seam allowance / adjustable climbing helmet compatible hood / man-sized A-line hand-warmer pockets / single chest pocket / internal right hand side stretch mesh pocket / YKK AquaGuard® VISLON® front zip with internal storm-flap / beardguard lined with brushed fine microfleece / underarm and side chest ‘pit zips’ / gusseted adjustable cuffs / adjustable hem
Full Review Below
Montane Alpine Pro - The Tech
This is the first year Montane has used Gore-Tex, in this case lightweight 40D Pro throughout, but one thing that has remained the same is the brand's meticulous construction. Stitch count is - it says here - '12 – 13 per inch on all seams versus a typical industry average of 8'.
The idea is that this creates a stronger, smoother seam and increases the overall strength of the jacket in the process. There's also a 3mm seam allowance, overlap basically, on all seams, which reduces bulk under the seam-sealing micro-tape and gives a smoother seam.
Call For Reinforcements
One point to be aware of is that the jacket is 40-denier lightweight fabric throughout with no reinforcement on wear areas like shoulders, hips or forearms. In contrast, the Mountain Equipment Janak Jacket uses 80-denier Pro and the ME Lhotse mixes 40D with 80D reinforcements.
That's not necessarily a problem as Gore-Tex Pro is a tough fabric for its weight, but if you're really going to hammer the jacket, you might want something more robust, Montane's own Endurance Pro maybe.
Otherwise the Alpine Pro's pretty much state of the art. Vislon main-zip, neat cord-grips and full adjustability everywhere.
Montane Alpine Pro - Performance
In a nut-shell, hard to fault. The fabric's a known quantity, light, tough and breathable with a reassuring solidity to it. The only downside is that it's a little noisy, particularly with the hood up.
Just as significantly for a new Gore-Tex brand aiming to make a mark, the cut is excellent in our book. It's athletic and fitted but unrestrictive at the same time and has just enough space to allow for additional winter insulation, though that's going to depend a little on your individual build. There's no sleeve lift, bagginess or restriction.
Also impressive is the helmet hood. It sits neatly on a bare head and gives protection to the lower face too. And with it down, the high collar sits neatly over the chin giving reassuring extra protection even without the hood.
It's good with a helmet too. Again moving with the head and not restricting movement. Wired peak keeps dive-bombing raindrops out of your eyes too. Just a very good hood.
The attention to detail extends to touches like the hem-adjusters, which are flat and super-easy to use, plus any hem-cord excess is tethered away from harm.
And then there's the angled pit-zips which work well for a bit of additional cooling, though the latest Pro fabric breathes decently well anyway and we found you had to be pushing on quite hard to need extra cooling.
Finally, despite the 'alpine' name tag, we reckon it's every bit at home with UK mountain walking and mountaineering as it is in the Alps. It's happily taken everything the UK weather's thrown at it and come back for more.
Montane Alpine Pro - Verdict
Now Montane is 'just another Gore-Tex brand' it was imperative for them to come up with something special to mark their new territory, and we reckon they've done just that with the Alpine Pro.
It's beautifully cut, solidly made and hits the bulls-eye by combining a proper, solid, protective feel with reasonably light weight and bulk making it packable as well as wearable.
Everything on the jacket works with minimal hassle and just about the only quibble we have is whether the relatively light 40-denier fabric would cope with real sustained abuse. That aside, we reckon it's an excellent all-round mountain jacket for anything from walking and scrambling through to full-on mountaineering.