If you’re mountaineering, climbing, or just being active outdoors, a good softshell jacket is a great thing to have in your wardrobe. Usually less heavy, less bulky and less expensive than a full-blown waterproof hardshell, they’ll nonetheless offer a degree of protection against the elements.
Montane’s Alpine Equaliser Jacket is a classic softshell. It’s not stupidly light, but at 456g it’s not going to be a deadweight in your rucksack and it packs down reasonably small too so it won’t take up a ton of space either.
So that’s it packed away, but what about when you’re actually wearing it? The outer shell is made from some smart nylon material called Wind Barrier Dynamic. You can probably guess that this makes the jacket windproof, but it’s also super lightweight and very stretchy, so it’ll move with your body, not restricting it.
“The Alpine Equaliser Jacket has clearly been designed with climbing, scrambling and mountaineering in mind.”
Montane have added DWR coating to the outer, to keep you dry should you get caught in a brief shower. It’s not waterproof in the same way as say a Gore-Tex hardshell jacket, but the Alpine Equaliser Jacket does dry quickly so even if you do get wet you won’t stay wet for long.
Inside, the Thermo Plexus lining will keep you snug and warm. Its brushed microfleece inner traps warm air and wicks away moisture. Putting this jacket on feels pleasingly like wrapping yourself in a snuggly jumper.