Mountain Equipment Frostline Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Down and Insulated Jackets

Mountain Equipment Frostline Jacket | Review

Here's an interesting down insulated option from Mountain Equipment – the Frostline

When you’re picking an insulated jacket for big days out or multi-day hikes it’s worth considering warmth-to-weight ratios. You don’t want to be carrying a warm jacket that weighs a ridiculous amount when you’re putting in the miles, and conversely you don’t want something that weighs nothing but provides little warmth. You want something that sits halfway. And with its 350g (Size L) weight and 700 fill power down, that’s the Mountain Equipment Frostline

This is a down jacket that will have your back all-year-round. In winter, its medium-sized baffles allow it to fit comfortably underneath an outer layer like a hardshell, while it also should fit over any thick baselayers at the same time. Then in warmer months it’s that ideal option to pull out of your pack when the wind picks up or when you’re sat on a summit having your lunch.

There are lighter jackets with higher fill powers, but these usually come with a hefty price tag, and at the relatively fair price of £179.99, the Frostline is a decent compromise.

One of the drawbacks of down fill is the deterioration of its insulating performance when it gets wet. Once the feathers absorb water, they lose their loft and therefore the ability to trap warm air. These days however, brands are finding ways to get around this problem.

“A down jacket that will have your back all-year-round”

In the case of the Frostline Jacket, Mountain Equipment have used a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment that gives the down hydrophobic properties – a second defence behind the water resistant DriLite Loft outer fabric. Now, this doesn’t make the jacket waterproof but it does make it able to stand up to any light rain, wet branches or a tent floor that’s covered in condensation. And this is all without the use of the environmentally hazardous chemicals that are sometimes found in DWR coatings.

Featuring responsibly sourced, traceable down. Photo: Chris Johnson.
A comfortably-fitting hood with an elasticated cuff. Photo: Chris Johnson.
Comfortable zipped handwarmer pockets. Photo: Chris Johnson.

We should also give Mountain Equipment some kudos for the ethical standards they uphold with their down sourcing. Under their Down Codex scheme, they only use down that’s a by-product of the food and meat industry and never any that’s been live plucked. And the fill is all 100% traceable, you can even check out the provider yourself by entering a unique code found on the jacket’s tag onto the Down Codex website.

There aren’t that many technical design features to talk about with the Frostline, it’s just a simple, does-the-job jacket.

The cuffs are elasticated, it has an adjustable hem, an interior baffle flap along the zip, and two handwarmer pockets – one of which doubles as a stuff sack with karabiner loops. All stuff you’d expect to find on most other down jackets.

If you fancy the Mountain Equipment Frostline then Ellis Brigham is the place to go as they’ve got exclusivity on it for now.

Tester’s Verdict

“I’ve worn this for winter hiking in Norway, during a day out on Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons and more recently over a week in the Cairngorms, and I’ve been impressed. It’s not the warmest of jackets – the down has a modest 700 fill power after all – but it works very well as part of a layering system. As I’ve found with all of Mountain Equipment’s jackets, it’s nicely cut, providing a fit that doesn’t hinder your movements.” – Will Renwick, OM Editor

Price: £180

Weight: 350g

More info:

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