The Montane Men’s Spirit Waterproof Jacket is a lightweight waterproof jacket which has been designed to provide portable weather protection thanks to its Gore-Tex Paclite material.
The Montane Spirit Jacket is available now in five colour ways, with a UK recommended retail price of £190.
Montane Spirit Waterproof Jacket Review: Design and build
The Montane Men’s Spirit Jacket makes complicated things seem very simple indeed. It’s a Gore-Tex Paclite shell, weighing in at 365 grams, and boasting a hiking/trekking cut, giving broad protective coverage without getting bogged down in some of the more specialist cuts and styles. Read on for our full review, and to see how it performs compared to the best waterproof jackets available today.
The shell fabric is 75 Denier Gore-Tex Paclite, which has a 2.5 layer laminate construction, with the membrane being bonded to the outer shell fabric, then a protective layer applied to the inside to provide comfort next to the skin and oil repellency - at least in theory. All seams are fully taped, and you get two roomy, map sized hand pockets with YKK Aquaguard zips, but no inside pocket. The pockets are made from mesh, so double up as vents when unzipped.
The cuffs are velcro-adjustable as you’d expect, and there’s a hem draw cord to tighten the waist if needed, while the full-length front zip (also YKK Aquaguard) has an internal storm flap to keep breeze (and general storminess) safely outside. Also in attendance is Montane’s trademark double hang loop - one inside, one outside, which can be very handy when hanging up a wet jacket to dry.
The hood is arguably the most interesting part of the deal, outwardly a standard number, but with some intriguing internal adjusters that keep all the mechanics hidden inside, keeping the outside lines nice and crisp. Slightly annoyingly the hood has been cut tight at the back, so although a helmet fits inside, the top part of the main zip won’t close - still, it’s a walking jacket so we’ll let it off.
Montane Spirit Waterproof Jacket Review: Performance and comfort
That snug fit of the hood allows a really nice, tight profile to be easily gained with the top adjuster and internal side adjusters, which is ideal in windy conditions. The internal adjusters are riveted to the inside of the jacket, which is helpful as they don’t move around, meaning you can easily find them when needed. The downside of the internal adjusters is that you need to open the main zip to get to them, which can let rain enter if it’s already chucking it down. That said, as the hood is quite low-volume you shouldn’t need to fiddle with it much once it’s set to your bonce size.
The seam-taping inside the jacket is excellent, and the attention to detail is also strong throughout - little details like extra lining inside the cuffs, for example, make this feel a much more expensive jacket than it is.
Gore-Tex Paclite is a little bit of a polarising topic for some, and although the breathability of newer, fabric-bonded Paclite such as here in the Montane Spirit Waterproof Jacket is much improved over the older style of Paclite, it’s still noticeably not as breathable as ‘better’ Gore-Tex membranes. The interior of the jacket is that immediately-recognisable dark grey colour, and things do get steamy quickly if you’re exerting yourself while fully zipped up.
That said, there are lots of positives to the jacket and indeed Gore-Tex Paclite - as the name suggests, it packs down very well indeed, and at 365 grams this is no heavyweight winter waterproof. There are lighter waterproof jackets around, of course, but the Montane Spirit Waterproof Jacket (as Gore-Tex Paclite jackets often do) strikes an excellent balance. Many ultralight jackets are often a bit flimsy, small of pocket, and frankly not very warm, while their winter mountain brethren tend to be much heavier, more expensive, and basically overkill for lightweight trekking.
Montane Spirit Waterproof Jacket Review: Verdict
The Montane Spirit Waterproof Jacket is well designed for the job it’s aiming to do, and offers great weather (both wind and rain) protection as well as relative light weight and good packability. It’s got genuine weather resistance thanks to that Gore-Tex Paclite, so perfectly capable of fending off UK mountain weather if needed, as well as not weighing you down on the journey. In other words, it’ll serve you well when the clouds gather, without draining you of energy when the sun is shining - and that’s a thing to be valued. The build quality is excellent, and it offers good value for money at the price point. Overall, a winner.