Here's the final look at what's new from Mountain Equipment

for this autumn 2008

- we've already shown you the new Kongur

MRT mountain rescue jacket and the

revamped glove

range. Here's the rest.

Hard Shell jackets

Hard

shell only really exists as a term because of 'soft shell', so really

we're talking conventional waterproof jackets.  We've already

told you about the Kongur MRT with its serious outbreak of reflective

strips, and the rest of the well-proven range remains pretty much the

same.

One welcome change though, is that the Mountain Equipment Tupilak

jacket - below - has a revised cut for this winter. When it was

introduced a year ago, it looked highly promising - it was a first for

ME, cut slimmer than their usual fit and at a genuine 430 grammes for a

medium, a very light Gore-Tex Pro Shell top.

Unfortunately, something went wrong at the manufacturing stage and the

jacket was disproportionately tight across the chest with the armholes

cut too high making the jacket restrictive and rendering the pit-zips

unuseable. Those issues have been fixed, says ME, which should make it

an excellent lightweight jacket. Confirmation once we've tried the

latest version.

New Pants

It seems unlikely, but ME has been pantless

for a while with their hardshell legwear dominated by salopettes /

bibs. They're great for climbers and mountaineers, less conventient for

walks, so for this autumn, there are new Gore-Tex and DriLite hardshell

mountain pants for serious hill and mountain walkers.

The new Kongur Pant

- below left - is made from three-ply Gore-Tex Pro Shell, has

three-quarter length water-resistant side zips, articulated knees, a

semi-elasticated waist and comes complete with braces. Claimed weight

is a very reasonable 390 grammes, price is £180.

If that's a bit rich for you, the new Ogre Pant - right -

shares many of the Kongur's design features, but is priced at a more

affordable £100.

It's made from Drilte Extreme, has three-quarter zips, but with a storm

flap cover, and the same active cut with articulated knees. It has

brace attachment points, but comes without them.

Down Insulation

The Mountain Equipment guys have been busy on the down

clothing front with some seriously warm new kit using 93/7, 700 fill

power down.

The Omega Jacket

was already in the range, but it's been massively overhauled for

autumn. Box-wall baffle construction is now fully welded. That means

less down leakage and better water resistance thanks to the lack of

stitching. There's a helmet compatible hood, anti-wicking strips at the

hems and lots more.

The outer fabric is a new version of Drilite Loft which is a serious 17

grammes per square meter lighter than before. The end result is a

jacket designed to work down to -20° or so in alpine

conditions, but at 745 grammes, it's lighter than the current

Lightline, which is pretty impressive. Price is £250.

Brand new for this autumn is the Vega

down jacket. It's a pure, lightweight alpine jacket, which like the

Omega, uses top-end 700+ fill power down and the new, lighter Drilte

Loft fabric. It's stitch through to save weight and has a

water-resistant main zip.

Mountain Equipment says the weight is around 280g lighter than a

Lightline - that's sub 500g - but just as warm. Price is £200 and

the jacket's also available as a - inevitably more attractive - women's

version called the Sigma.

Finally, there's a brand new and rather neat looking basic women's down

jacket called the Taiga.

It uses the slightly less warm 600+ fill power down in a stitch-through

construction with an unusual Ultrasoft shell and an active cut. Weighs

570 grammes, costs £100

for the jacket or £80

for the vest version. Both look very cool in the flesh....

Synthetic Insulation

On the synthetic side of things, the Fitzroy Jacket with

its Primaloft insulation is another one that's had a serious overhaul.

It's now both warmer and lighter, albeit 15 quid more expensive at £150. It

uses the new Drilite Loft fabric and now has a double-layer hood.

The old version had a number of cold spots due to the way it was

constructed, they've beem eliminated for this year, so, for example,

cord channels are now insulated as they would be with a sleeping bag.

Looks neat too.

Also new, are the Nordland

jacket using ME's own Polarloft synthetic filling with a completely

windproof and water-resistant microfibre shell featuring

pack-compatible handwarmer pockets. Looks like a good fleece

replacement option and retails for £80.

The kit above should be in the shops right about now, or by the end of

September at the latest. More details at www.mountain-equipment.co.uk.