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Softshell Jackets

Montane Lite-Speed Jacket | Review

Montane build on the foundations of this modern classic with new and improved fabric developments

Why We Chose The Montane Lite-Speed Jacket: Increased breathability and stretch, lightweight, versatile feature set.

Montane have a 25-year history of pushing the windproof jacket game – starting from the get-go for the company. The British brand first turned heads following the creation of the Extreme Smock which, at the time, offered unrivalled protection from the wind and all-round hardiness. Tested by mountain rescue teams across the country, it’s still a favourite to this day.

That Extreme Smock served its purpose as a heavyweight softshell jacket that offered the highest level of protection and warmth – but this meant that it unsurprisingly came in at a equally heavy weight of 1120g.

“Wind Barrier Dynamic is said to add vast improvements in stretch over Pertex Quantum.”

On the other end of the windproof spectrum was the development of the Featherlite jacket. Also developed 25 years ago, that item also became a classic in Montane’s range, offering a super lightweight (94g) and packable windproof smock for emergency protection.

The reason we’ve introduced those two jackets is because this brand new Lite-Speed takes the minimal construction of the Featherweight yet also borrows some of the burly genes of the Extreme range to offer improved protection along with a versatile feature set. Updated with a new, stretchier and more breathable fabric for 2019, it offers the light weight of just 175g.

The Wind Barrier Dynamic used in the Lite-Speed Jacket is said to add vast improvements in stretch over that of Pertex Quantum. Photo: Chris Johnson
Two way front zippers make for easy harness access. Photo: Chris Johnson
A toggled hood with a slight peak. Photo: Chris Johnson

Previous iterations of the Lite-Speed jacket have made use of Pertex Quantum. However, this new and updated version instead carries Montane’s own Wind Barrier Dynamic windshell fabric, treated with a DWR finish in order to keep off light showers.

There’s a little bit more stretch to this fabric than there is to Pertex Quantum, and this aspect, combined with well-articulated arms, makes the Lite-Speed much better-suited to climbing, mountaineering and running, in comparison to the previous generations.

With climbing and mountaineering in mind, the Lite-Speed also hosts a helmet compatible hood and two-way front zip to allow for harness use. We’re thinking fast and light alpine ascents where keeping the weight to an absolute minimum comes before full-weather protection.

Handily, the whole thing will bundle away into the chest pocket, making for a neat package about the size of a fist that will fit perfectly into one of the side pockets of your backpack.

All-in-all, an impressive update and a useful item for multi-activity use.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“I’ve found this perfect for those trail runs where I know I’m going to face a bit of wind and rain but not enough to justify carrying a heavy or sweaty waterproof jacket. It’s been useful for hiking as well; it’s that option you wear all-day-long, providing decent protection from the chill of the wind but never causing you too overheat and sweat – not even on steep climbs.

“I’ve liked the fit, it’s quite athletic but there’s still a bit of room for a light insulating midlayer underneath.”

One to use for running, hiking, climbing and scrambling. Photo: Chris Johnson
Drawcord adjustment on the hem. Photo: Chris Johnson
The jacket is able to pack into its own chest pocket. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Wim Stevenson – Montane Marketing Staff

”A classic Montane Windshell, redesigned with input from our Team Montane Athletes, the Lite-Speed’s feature set is intrinsically versatile, yet designed for very specific use. Updated with a more breathable and stretchy Wind Barrier Dynamic fabric for an improved fit and increased dexterity. It also now incorporates an abrasion-resistant print on high-wear areas to increase durability whilst maintaining the fabric’s inherent breathability. Ideal for scrambling or climbing at high intensity over technical terrain.”

Montane Lite-Speed Jacket

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