My adventure race team Total XC / Facewest were lucky enough to have Montane as our clothing sponsor this year. This gave me the chance to try out a pretty comprehensive range of their stuff. Not surprisingly most of the things I chose for the team are now on sale on Facewest. These items are below with a short precise of why I like them so much.
|The best lightweight jacket I have owned. Super breathable 3 layer eVent with a tough face fabric. Good hood, one big chest pocket and nothing else. You can get lighter jackets but further weight reduction means too much loss in performance. You can use this jacket for everything.|
|The Krypton jacket is Montane’s lined windshirt, using Pertex Microlight and Classic. Of all the windshirts I have used (and FW sell) it’s the most ‘mountain’. Which means slightly longer cut, good hood, drawcord, adjustable cuffs and 2 good pockets. You carry an extra 100g of garment but this means the fit is great and the extra protection keeps your waterproof off just a bit longer.|
|The Fireball is our back up insulation piece, often used when taking power naps during the night. 265g of super insulation, this top is also super compressible and can be stuffed into any hole in your pack. The Fireball can be thought of as the most technical, high performing jumper you could ever own.|
|I love PowerDry as a fabric and think it is generally underused by manufacturers, possibly because it takes a little understanding. It is not quite as warm as classic microfleece but much better at moisture transfer. The Oryx makes a fantastic midlayer as it’s not too warm and allows any body vapour to pass straight through to the next layer. It’s also good as an outer layer when you are working for the same reason. It will not keep you warm like a lined windshirt in cool blustery conditions but is much more breathable. Combined with a simple unlined windshirt it’s very versatile. I quite often switch between carrying the Krypton lined windshirt and the Oryx jacket plus Featherlite Marathon jacket.|
|I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but these are fantastic waterproof pants. The Pertex Shield Plus fabric is light and has adequate breathability, especially for legwear. Simple slim fitting design is great for running but the real great feature is the velcro tabs on the lower legs. These remove any flap whatsoever and even allow you to ride a bike without ripping them. Biking in constant wheel spray at night without waterproofs means being chilled to the bone so for us it’s a must. The constant movement over the saddle combined with trail grit does cause a lot of wear but that would happen with any garment used for biking.|
|Another quirky product I really like. The Featherlite Mountain Cap is Primaloft insulated so very warm for it’s light weight. Styled like many waterproof mountain caps, but much more breathable because it’s not waterproof, although the Pertex outer is weather resistant and you can always use your hood. It’s just much more comfortable to wear than the Proshell or eVent options. Coupled with the Fireball Smock it’s like getting into a sleeping bag (well that’s what we tell ourselves).|
|Sort of a cross between a biking glove and a classic softshell glove, these are fantastic. Padding and reinforcement to make them last as a biking glove but the great performance of Powershield for all year use. Weather resistant but not fully waterproof. Even when they are completely waterlogged you can wring them out and still have a warm glove. Since they are effectively single layer gloves you can get them on and off even when your hands and the gloves are really wet. Sounds easy but I have had many gloves that became impossible to put back on in some circumstances|