Adidas Terrex may not have been in the outdoor game as long as some brands, but when it comes to “proper” mountaineering shells, the Terrex Techrock sits at the summit with the best of them. Get the fit right and you’ll end up with a well-cut, protective jacket that is impressively light without skimping on too many features.
Great build quality
Generous fit – you may even want to size down
No inside pockets
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Adidas Terrex Techrock Gore-Tex Pro: first impressions
You don’t need us to tell you about the brand behind the Adidas Terrex Techrock Gore-Tex Pro – it’s one of the world’s biggest and most recognized sportswear producers, with an illustrious history that dates back to the mid-1920s. Today, its product range straddles everything from elite sport to high-street fashion, including some cult collaborations with high-profile ambassadors like Leo Messi and Kanye West.
However, Adidas only truly entered the outdoor scene in 2008, when it launched its hiking and climbing-orientated Terrex brand. Since then, the range has expanded hugely, and now covers a full gamut of clothing and equipment as well as footwear.
The Terrex Techrock GTX Pro jacket is arguably the flagship product from the current season’s roster, and up there with the best waterproof jackets for more challenging hiking and trekking. It’s a technically advanced mountaineering shell, developed in conjunction with Adidas’s team of mountain athletes – including German Alpinist and boulderer Fabian Buhl. It’s a striking-looking jacket, which comes in an array of mostly yellow- and gold-hued colors that are certainly different from most rivals’ more sombre palettes. We approve, our take being that it’s always better to stand out in the mountains, just in case of emergency. Having said all that, it comes in black as well, if bright and flashy isn’t really your thing. In all cases, you get the brand’s trademark three stripes emblazoned on the hood.
There’s substance as well as style here though. The jacket is constructed from a three-layer Gore-Tex Pro fabric, sandwiching the membrane between a nylon face and a dry-touch tricot backer. That ought to ensure top-quality waterproof-breathable performance.
The construction of the jacket incorporates a high, protective collar, combined with a fully adjustable, helmet-compatible hood, two large external chest pockets complete with water-resistant Vislon zippers, fully adjustable cuffs and hem, and a highly water-resistant two-way main zipper. It’s pretty much the standard feature set for a mountaineering shell, but it’s free from extraneous details, which represents a truly Alpine-style design ethos: all you need and nothing you don’t, providing maximum functionality and minimum weight.
• RRP: $700 (US) / £450 (UK)
• Size: Men's XS / S / M / L / XL / 2XL Women's XS / S / M / L / XL
• Weight (men's medium): 410g / 14.5oz
• Colors: Black / Black & White / Active Gold / Mesa / Acid Yellow (Men’s only) / Power Berry (Women’s only)
Adidas Terrex Techrock Gore-Tex Pro: on the trails
The first thing to note, as many other buyers have, is that the cut of this jacket is generous, which leaves plenty of room for layering. Even so, you may want to size down, as it seems to run fairly big – for example, our tester found the medium size a better fit than the large for his 6ft, 42-inch chest frame.
Once you’ve done that, however, it instantly goes from a sack-like shell to a well-cut waterproof, though the length in the arms and torso are perhaps an inch shorter than most brands. This won’t be a problem unless you’re unusually tall or rangy. You might also appreciate the slightly trimmer and more sculpted fit, which is ideal for technical mountain pursuits. It also has a generous scooped tail to ensure good coverage even when bending over or sitting down. Dual hem drawcords and fully adjustable Velcro cuff tabs are also welcome details that minimize the chances of water ingress.
We certainly stayed dry on test, aided by the Terrex Techrock’s best-in-class Gore-Tex Pro fabric, which performs superbly. It’s fully windproof and impressively waterproof, whilst being breathable enough to move moisture vapor through the fabric and prevent too much build-up inside the jacket. (And here are a few more tips on how to stay dry while hiking?)
It feels slightly thinner than some other winter-grade jackets – Adidas don’t provide the specs, but we’d guess it’s a 40-denier nylon rather than the 80-denier nylon used in some heavyweight shells. That’s the key consideration, since the Terrex Techrock balances all-out rugged durability with low overall weight. So, although it might be marginally less tough than some (not that we managed to do much damage to it on test), it is impressively light for a mountaineering jacket, rivalling top-end competitors from brands like Arc’teryx, who are one of the few manufacturers making Gore-Tex Pro shells that tip the scales at the 400g mark or less.
In terms of features, we got on well with this jacket. It’s got a cracking helmet-compatible hood, with three-way adjustment for a precision fit with or without a climbing lid. The twin face drawcords are also designed to sit inside the jacket, leaving nothing to dangle around, get snagged in pockets and pack straps, or whip you in the face unexpectedly. There’s also a two-way main zip (always a plus if you need to get to other layers fast) and useful pit zips (though these only have one-way zippers). There’s a small external chest pocket and two roomy hand pockets, which have an internal gusset. This means they can expand, accommodating far more than you might initially think, making them well-suited to stashing your best hiking gloves. We did slightly miss the lack of any inside pockets, though. All the zips have practical tabs, though the zip pullers aren’t quite as easy to grab as some, especially when wearing gloves.
Bottom line: we were impressed, and this is a shell that isn’t likely to disappoint. Real-world performance is excellent, all the essential features work well and it’s one of the lightest winter-grade Gore-Tex Pro jackets around too.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.