Montane - New For Spring 2015 Gear
Arguably the star turn on the Montane stand at this year's OutDoor trade show was a pastry come croissant so intimidating that no-one was prepared to tackle it, but alongside that monstrosity, the NE-based brand had a whole bunch of new kit due out in spring 2015.
Highlights included new women's-specific packs, an expanded 'Via' trail series of fast and light kit designed for all off-road running and NOT just for trail running plus a couple of neat new shell jackets including an ultra-lightweight design aimed specifically at backpackers and named to match the Grand Tour pack.
Via Trail Series
Montane's running kit - NOT just trail running - has been tweaked for this year. There are bright new colours but also some rather nice new shells, with Montane's wind shirt range in particular being updated.
Exhibit A to the right is the new Featherlite Trail Jacket, which uses a fabric called Wind Barrier Dynamic, a lightweight, stretch Nylon. It feels nice against skin and bare arms in particular and is essentially a simple sort of chap with some minimal venting for the under-arms, a full-length zip and a claimed weight of 107g. Should make a good biking and running all-rounder we reckon and will sell for £70.
Those sleeves cost a tenner, which we know because the Featherlite Trail Vest also exists and will sell for £60. Same fabric with carefully zoned elastic around the arm holes to give a nice fit and a solid rather than mesh back. It weighs in at a claimed 88g.
Also on the windproof front, the Lite-Speed jacket gets a makeover too and is now made from Pertex Quantum, has a three-point adjustable hood, two pockets and just looks a bit more contemporary than the current version.
New Featherlite Shell Jacket
One of the lightest eVent waterproof jackets we've seen, the new Featherlite Shell uses a 7 micron laminate three-layer version of the fabric called DV Storm. Montane reckons its around 20-30% more breathable, so should be detectably more comfortable when things get hot and sweaty.
If you're lab stat minded, the MVTR figure is claimed at around 30,000 thingummees. It's the blue jacket up at the top of the page and features two big chest pockets, pit-zips, fully-adjustable hood and all. It's properly light too at a claimed 297 grammes. Oh, it also has red seam tape, which is a bit different. Tape nerds unite. Price is going to be £230.
The jacket's an alpine / mountain piece by the way complete with articulated sleeves and a fully adjustable helmet hood.
New Minimus Grand Tour Jacket
Also brand, spanking new for next spring is a shell designed specifically for backpacking and named to match Montane's Grand Tour pack. It's the latest edition to the feathery light Minimus series and uses the same lightweight Pertex Shield + main fabric as the existing Minimus jacket, Smock and Mountain.
The big differences are that the new jacket is cut slightly longer and features just a single chest-pocket carefully positioned so as not to interfere with a pack-belt or chest strap, which is a nice idea. It also has Montane's Trail hood, rather than a full-on helmet one, because backpackers don't wear helmets, right.
It's also reinforced in key areas like shoulders and hips where the pack is likely to rub, using Pertex Shield Lite for a but of additional durability. Our notes say it has 'micro trim' which we think means small zip-pulls and so on. At any rate, it'll weigh just 216g making it a super light backpacking choice.
New Rapide Jacket
Finally on the clothing front, the Rapide Jacket is a non-taped soft shell made from a PU-based fabric that's actually pretty much waterproof. It'll leak from the seams eventually but it should be pretty water resistant in normal use.
It's stretchy too as you can see from the Spider Man shenanigans and has a fold-out hood, see the images down below for pudding proof. Eat my hood. It'll cost you £100 once it launches over the fold in the calendar page in spring 2015. Looks dead good in the fabric flesh as well. There's also a women's version.
Two Women's-specific Packs
Last but not least, it's good to see that at long last Montane has two women's packs based on the men's Medusa and Cobra designs. The Yarara is the 32-litre Medusa equivalent - it's a snake name too if you were wondering, which we were.
Meanwhile the Habu is the women's version of the Cobra 25 - yes, it's a snake too. Both packs are proportioned to fit the female form, with a shorter back-length, boob-friendly straps and a more womanly hip-belt. Otherwise they're pretty much the same as the blokes' versions, though the Yarara loses the gear loop on the belt in favour of an additional pocket and also have slightly different lid pocket configurations.
Outwardly they're coloured to match Montane's women's clothing range, have a small women's-specific symbol to make them easy to pick out and use a fabric with a more pleasant texture, at least that's what our notes say.
All the gear above is available from spring 2015 and should be in the shops around February time. For the current Montane range see: www.montane.co.uk.