Monday, 7 May 2012

Montura Core Jacket

Whilst on the weekend which Petesy organised I was given a go of a couple of bits of kit. The only brand I hadn’t heard of was Montura (their site looks as if it’s going through a refurb). They are an Italian apparel company, I don’t know much about their history but what I saw was a variety of technical kit that was well constructed and well thought out. The rest of the guys that tested it have come up with a common theme, quality!
My piece of kit was the Core Jacket in a fetching black and greeny-yellowy colour. Green seems to be the colour for Montura this season, really the whole industry. It’s made using Gore-Tex Pro Shell. Apparently it’s the jacket Italian MRT use, well if it’s good enough for them then it’s good enough for me, probably too good for me.
First thing I noticed was the colour, it’s a bit brighter than my usual wardrobe choice by a long way. Features include two big chest pockets, waist belt and harness compatible which have external weather baffles. There are 2 zipped pockets inside either side of the main zip and on both arms a stretchy panel pocket with a flap over the top of the zip when closed. As expected with such a dense membrane pit zips are included. The main zip has an inner baffle and at the top of the zip there is a nice bit of fleece to prevent chin chafing. Velcro adjustment tabs on the wrist as normal.
The hood itself has a couple of really good features – inside the hood on the top of the head is an elastic skull cap which grips to the head this allows the hood to move as you move your head. I liked this, the only issue may be when wearing a helmet. I don't know how it would stretch over a larger surface? I didn’t have one to try it out so I might be wrong. The hood size did look as if it would be helmet compatible. The adjustment to the rear was a velcro tab, not something I’m keen on but between the skull cap and the main front adjustment the hood fitted and moved well. There wasn’t a wired peak, it was kind of reinforced. The skip was turned back on itself which created a sort of gutter. What this means is that no run off from the hood will drip down in front of you, the water will shed unnoticed down the side. I like that bit. As you can see from the picture with me and Phil the hood does look big, but it didn’t feel that way when it was up. Sign of a good hood maybe?
As you can see the black hood colour comes down on to the neck are and just below. Not across on the shoulders as you would normally find. This looks nice but the only issue I see, especially with this colour being so light, is dirt. The bottom area of the zip has 2 black tabs(these can just be seen on the picture above) which, I imagine, is to prevent this area becoming dirty from constant use. But the main area for shoulder straps, ropes and slings is likely going to stain. You know the dirt I mean,the type that ingrains itself into the fabric. It won’t be that much of an issue I don’t think more of a passing concern.
I chose the Pro Shell because I like it, some don’t, breathability being an issue and what not I just think it’s bombproof. When I was wearing it I didn’t really notice it was there. I just used it. I put stuff in the pockets, I put the hood up and everything worked well. A pocket on each arm might be too much but they didn’t cause any offence. As you would expect from anything used by MRT there is little bits of reflective panelling all over the jacket.
I had this jacket only 24 hours, it doesn’t give me a real chance to put together an informed opinion. It was made and thought out well. It’s high end gear and the price tag reflects it, just shy of £400 I think was the quote I was given. That was the same as all the kit that was there. I’ve put a list of the other guys opinions on other Montura kit below.
Michael on the Guide G and Vertigo Prime
Kelvin on his red Yara North Pants
I think there is a place for this jacket for serious outdoor people, it might be a little rich for some. The gear in general will be viewed as expensive but once you get your hands on it you will see the build quality and the thought that goes in to the garments reflects the price tag, just! Montura is being distributed in the UK by Ardblair Sports. I don’t know when they will be in the shops but I would imagine for the upcoming winter season.
P2120014 As a side review I was given these trousers to use – Sky Cover Pants. They have zips up the full length of each leg. This allows them to be put on with out taking boots off. What John from Ardblair told me they were used for is competition skiers in their lycra suits use them for insulation whilst waiting to race. I used them to keep warm as an extra insulation layer. They helped but try putting them on lying/sitting in a tent when both zips are fully undone – not easy. Not something I could see being used in real life for the outdoors type. Handy for that night though.