We popped over to see the nice people at Mountain Equipment the
other week - bumped into their sponsored climber John Dunne, who was
just off to Vietnam on some hush, hush mission - and sneaked a look a
their new kit for the 2002 autum/winter season.
We also managed a quick look at something ME has up its sleeve for
2003, but right now we're not sure whether we can tell you about it.
Let's just say it's a very neat modern take of an idea that's been
tried before and we reckon it'll make a big splash come bed time.
Watch this space for more details...
Anyway, back to autumn/winter...
Manaslu Jacket -
New for this year and aimed squarely at outdoor women who
are looking for a serious mountain jacket that doesn't make
them look like a bag of spuds. Fabric is classic Gore-Tex
three-ply rip-stop with reinforced panels on main wear
points. Like the men's Latok it's based on, the Manaslu has
ME's excellent wired hood, pit-zips using easy-access
water-resistant zips with no superfluous overflaps, big
chest pockets, concealed draw cords and a map pocket.
Looks classy in a neat, understated sort of way and it's
good to see a British company turning out well-designed
women's kit. One neat touch we liked was the half-cord waist
that means the front of the jacket sits flat when cinched
up, great for being able to see your feet and coincidentally
flattering, not that women worry about such things of
Cirrus Jacket - £150
Another new arrival, the Cirrus uses ME's effective
Drilite Extreme own-brand hydrophyllic laminate fabric in
2-ply form and is aimed at minimalist users like adventure
racers and lightweight alpinists. It weighs in at around 680
grammes, which isn't that light, but you're getting a
full-spec roll-down hood with wired peak which will also
accommodate a climbing helmet plus two big pockets,
concealed draw cords etc.
Women's Dewline Jacket - £100
Another neat design aimed specifically at women. As
everyone knows, buy your partner a down jacket and they will
love you forever. Proven fact... Well, maybe. At any rate,
the women's version of the classic Dewline jacket is, erm,
cut to fit women. It also gets 'Box' stitch-through
detailing front and rear (yes, that's the box-shaped
stitching), weighs 540 grammes and has the same technical
features as the men's version.
That means ME's 90 per-cent down filling with 600+ fill
power, two large hand warmer pockets and a large internal
chest pocket, plus Lycra-bound cuffs, mmm... Sorry.
And it comes as a vest as well -
And the rest...
On top of all that - okay if you're a girl we reckon - there are a
few other new developments. The Microtherm synthetically-insulated
lightweight fleece alternative in jacket or pull-on form gets a new,
tougher rip-stop face fabric. The jacket - weight 520 grammes - has
zip-off sleeves for instant vest conversion scenarios - 'Help, I've
been converted to a vest...' and large, venting pockets. The idea is
better insulation than fleece in a ligher, more compact and more
Talking of which, there's also a new addition to ME's longstanding
Aquafleece range in the form of the new Aquafleece Alpine jacket, a
highly water-resistant and windproof fleece top. The Alpine looks
like the existing Guide jacket, but uses a warmer Gore Windstopper
Glacier fleece for the main body together with lighter weight
Windstopper Monsoon in the arms where insulation is less crucial and
mobility matters. It's also slightly longer in the body than other
Aquafleece jackets and should work well in extreme winter conditions.
Price is around £120.
And that's it except for that 2003 innovation... Nope, can't tell