A super-light, packable and rustle-free windproof jacket with adjustable hem and one zipped chest pocket that only lacks a hood.
Breathable plus underarm venting
Full YKK zip
Glove-compatible zip pulls
Microfleece chin guard
One zipped chest pocket
Folds into chest pocket
Underarm venting not compatible with race vests
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Montane Featherlite Trail Jacket: first impressions
The Montane Featherlite Trail Jacket is a wonderfully lightweight, rustle-free layer that will block out the breeze and repel light showers. It only weighs 100g / 3.5oz so you don’t notice you’re carrying it if you need a lightweight running jacket just in case, and better still it folds down into its one-zipped chest pocket very easily for quick stowing.
• RRP: £75 (UK) / $100 (USA)
• Weight: 100g / 3.5oz
• Colors: Men’s: Navy / Red / Khaki; Women’s: Navy / Blue / Black
• Pockets: One zipped chest pocket
• Hood: No
• Adjustments: Elasticated hem drawcord
• Vents: Underarm
• Thumb loops: Yes
• Material: 20 Denier Wind Barrier Dynamic
• Compatibility: Drizzly, windy days in the hills and mountains
One thing we really liked about this jacket was the rustle-free material. It has a sort of matte texture to it rather than the “plastic bag” feel of some windproof jackets. It feels very comfortable when on, and it’s easy to get on and off while wearing a running backpack thanks to the full-length zip.
Unfortunately, if you’re wearing a waistcoat-style race vest it will cover up the underarm vents. Equally, if you wear a backpack over this jacket, the vents will be obscured by the straps (though there is an easy solution to this problem, as we reveal below…)
Pleasingly, the arms are plenty long enough to use the thumb loops without straining at the elbows when you run, but there’s no hood to take this jacket further into the realms of almost-a-waterproof protection on the hills.
Montane Featherlite Trail Jacket: on the trails
It was ridiculously easy to pop this lightweight, packable windproof in my running pack, ready to put on the moment the weather turned breezy at the summit. It was also a great layer to start off running in on drizzly summer days, when a waterproof would have been impractical, because its lack of breathability would have lead to overheating.
The underarm vents are really good if you’re on a short, local run without a running pack, but unfortunately if you wear a pack over the jacket, the vents will be obscured. Luckily the jacket’s roomy enough to wear over a 5L pack, and if you go up a size it’ll even fit over a 10L pack, which leaves the vents free to fo their job, and also makes putting the jacket on or taking it off easier in changeable conditions.
We were also very impressed with the thumb loops. This is often an area where companies scrimp on length, but Montane’s sleeves are long enough so that you can pump your arms furiously when you’re running uphill, or flail them about on the downs using the thumb loops, keeping your hands that little bit warmer.
The only downside we could find with this jacket is the lack of a hood, which is fine if you never wear a hood on a windproof, but some of us like that little bit of extra protection.
The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films about trail- and ultra-running advice, inspiration, races and gear reviews. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, Claire's first book, The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook (5k to 50k), is out now. Her second, The Ultimate Ultra Running Handbook (50k to 100 miles), is out Autumn 2024. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.