Mazeno Jacket – £225 / 430g
The Mazeno’s an interesting one. It’s a hybrid jacket which uses the same 675 Fill Power Water Resistant Duck Down in the main body of the jacket, but has synthetic PrimaLoft Gold insulation in the arms and hood – the non-quilted bits of the image on the right.
The idea is that the sleeves and hood which are most likely to get wet use the more water-resistant synthetic fill, but you get the benefits of lighter down elsewhere along with the insurance of water-resistant down. The fabric’s the same HE30 as well.
It’s not as outright warm as the Lumin and the hood, though it is helmet compatible, is a little less comprehensive. The pay-off is that added water-resistance, which should make it a good call for situations where you want to go lightweight but need to cope with potential damp conditions.
Again there’s a women’s version with a quoted weight of 405g.
Potentially damp conditions, but with reduced weight and bulk compared to a pure synthetic jacket.
Fitzroy Jacket – £200 / 645g
The Fitzroy is a synthetic-filled jacket of the type that used to be commonly known as a ‘belay jacket’ but is maybe better understood as an ‘over-layering’ piece simple because the concept is brilliant not just for climbers, but walkers, climbers scramblers and even runners.
The idea is that it’s slightly oversized so it can be thrown on over your other layers at a standstill, then removed once you’re on the move. It’s brilliantly simple and effective and a lot hassle than trying to add extra insulation under a shell jacket in the form, say, of a spare fleece. It’ll swallow a helmet too if necessary with a wired peak hood.
And because the Fitzroy uses PrimaLoft Gold synthetic stuffing – 60g weight in the sleeves and hood, 100g in the body – it’s ideal for cold, wet, UK winter use. The outer fabric is ME’s own DriLite Loft water-resistant outer fabric which has a 1500mm Hydrostatic Head adding even more water resistance.
The Fitzroy’s been around for ages, but it’s been improved for this winter. The jacket’s still cut with over layering in mind, but now has a slightly neater cut to give a better fit over technical shell clothing. The cuffs have been tweaked so the elastic fits more easily over winter gloves and Shoulder Shield construction means the shoulders are both seam free for better water resistance and have a double layer of insulation for added protection.
Bailey reckons that at around 640g it’s the ideal weight for UK mountain use. Warm andy protective enough to worth carrying in the first place, but not prohibitively heavy and bulky. No women’s version available.
UK winter over layering for both walkers and climbers and trim enough to be worn in the move in really foul conditions.
Citadel Jacket – £250 / 890g
You can think of the Citadel as being like the Fitzroy but on steroids. At 890g it’s significantly weightier thanks to the use of heavier PrimaLoft Gold filling – 200 and 170g in body and sleeves respectively – though it has the same Drilite Loft outer as the Fitzroy.
The pay-off for the added weight and bulk is significantly greater warmth making it ideal for hanging about on for hours on belay in really foul winter conditions, but overkill for more mobile use we reckon. Like the Fitzroy it has tweaked cut, revamped cuffs, Shoulder Shield construction and a redesigned helmet hood, which also incorporates ME’s EXL elasticated baffle system in the hood and rear of the jacket. The zip gets and insulated baffle too.
Hanging about and staying comfortable in really nasty winter conditions whether on belay or perhaps as part of a not very mobile hobby or job.
Rampart Jacket – £100 / 420g
The Rampart’s a simpler bit of kit that’s actually designed to work as a cold conditions mid-layer or warm outer layer for walkers and mountaineers. It uses synthetic 80g Polarloft insulation with a windproof Helium 50 outer and polyester inner fabrics and should be resistant to being squished down repeatedly in the pack and used.
Because it’s synthetic, it’s arguably more suited to UK use than equivalent lightweight down and is more affordable too at £100. There’s ask a 365g women’s version.
Walkers and mountaineers wanting a warm mid-layer in UK-type winter conditions as an alternative to lightweight down.