Why We Chose It: Good features, solid performance, recycled fabric
A lot of lightweight waterproof shells are intentionally minimalist. But while they might do the job for ‘fast and light’ gram-counters, other outdoorsy types – particularly those who spend a lot of time in UK hills and mountains – might want a few more features. Like a fully adjustable hood, plenty of practical pockets and pit zips to help you dump heat. The new Montane Pac Plus XT is a cracking example of a light and packable jacket that doesn’t skimp on these useful extras, whilst still tipping the scales at an impressive 375g (in a men’s size medium).
What Is The Pac Plus XT Best Suited To?
Since it stuffs away into its own pocket, it’s the ideal ‘just in case’ jacket for spring, summer and autumn hillwalking, but would also work well for climbing, scrambling and technical mountain trekking. However, the Gore-Tex Paclite Plus membrane is extremely waterproof and reasonably breathable, so it’s also protective enough to keep you dry even in sustained downpours. That means it’s a viable option even if you’re out in dreich weather and are forced to wear a rain shell all day.
The Pac Plus XT Jacket uses a Gore-Tex Paclite Plus fabric with a 40-denier nylon face, which is completely recycled. For its weight, nylon is a stronger and more durable fibre than its main synthetic rival, polyester – which is why it tends to be selected over the latter in high-performance shells. When it comes to recycling these fabrics however, polyester is far cheaper and easier to recycle than nylon. As such, it’s good to see a huge brand like Gore investing in recycled nylon.