Montane's New 2015 PrimaLoft Kit
Most of the kit on display at the recent OutDoor trade show in Germany arrives in spring 2016 - see our highlights round-up - but an exception were two new Montane jackets using interesting PrimaLoft insulation technologies which are both due out this autumn, 2015.
Black Ice Jacket 2.0
The first new arrival is the Black Ice Jacket 2.0, which is an update of the original down-filled jacket of the same name, but with a crucial difference. It now uses 250g of PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend insulation (70% water-resistant goose down/30% PrimaLoft) rather than the original's zoned mix of goose down with PrimaLoft insulation in the shoulders, forearms and hood.
Down Blend is a hybrid insulation which mixes PrimaLoft synthetic fibres with down treated with fluorocarbon-free hydrophobic treatment. The idea is that you get down-like warmth to weight performance, but with superior performance in damp conditions to even hydrophobic down.
It maintains, says PrimaLoft 95% of its warmth even when wet and dries four times faster than untreated down when it does get wet. The Gold level version being used here is claimed to be equivalent to 750+ fill power down and is, says PrimaLoft, very water resistant and retains most of that resistance even after ten wash cycles.
The jacket itself uses zoned box wall panels in the body and lighter stitch-through construction in the sleeves - something we've also seen from Jottnar - uses a YKK Vislon zip and weighs in at a claimed, erm, 678.6 grammes it says here.
It's aimed at winter and alpine mountaineers and walkers particularly in damp, cold conditions and is set to retail for £190 - incidentally that's around £70 less than the original, mostly down-filled Black Ice.
Montane Fireball Verso Pull-On
Also new this autumn is the Montane Fireball Verso Pull-On, a lightweight, fast-moving insulated smock which uses a new PrimaLoft insulation called Silver Insulation Active. In a nutshell, the fibres are designed not to migrate, which means they can be use with more breathable fabrics. It's also reckoned to be the most breathable of the PrimaLoft fills and is Bluesign approved.
What's particularly neat about the Fireball Verso is that it's reversible with one Pertex Quantum outer fabric being completely windproof and the other more breathable, so you can adjust it to suit your needs. Use the windproof side outwards for more protection or the air-permeable Hypervent one to shed heat more easily or when using it as a mid-layer maybe.
It's aimed primarily at trail runners and mountain marathon competitors in cool conditions, but we reckon it would also work for fast and light hikers and backpackers. Design is pretty minimal with elasticated cuffs and hem, concealed chest pocket and a half-zip front.
Claimed weight is 244.4g - yes, right - and price £100. It'll make sense to anyone who's used the Berghaus Hypertherm, which uses similar principles to excellent effect.