A lightweight premium jacket that performs perfectly on peak adventures.
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Montane Pac Plus XT: first impressions
An evolution of the Montane Pac Plus jacket, the new Montane Pac Plus XT is lightweight and packable, but also comes with plenty of mountain-ready features making it one of the best waterproof jackets on test.
It is primarily aimed at hikers who want to move fast in the mountains, and for summer wear. Gore-Tex Paclite Plus fabric offers high levels of waterproofing and breathability, while a 40-denier nylon face (which is completely recycled), provides good durability.
Further mountain features include fully taped seams, a helmet-compatible hood with stiffened peak, two-way pit zips and two map-sized, mesh-lined pockets. In addition, there is a two-way YKK Aquaguard front zip with an internal storm flap. Adjustable cuffs and hem along with articulated arms allow for good freedom of movement.
• RRP: $320 (US) / £250 (UK)
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL / XXL
• Weight: men’s 375g / 13oz; women’s 330g / 11.5oz
• Materials: 2L Gore-Tex Paclite Plus (40 Denier with a 100% recycled nylon face)
• Waterproofing rating: HH 28,000mm
• Breathability: >10,000-15,000g/m²/24hrs MVTR
• Colors: Men’s Orion Blue / Oxide Orange / Slate; Women’s: Paprika Pink / Slate Grey / Wakame Green
• Compatibility: Lightweight alpine backpacking and fastpacking
Montane Pac Plus XT: on the trails
The Pac Plus jacket fits well, and it is not too big nor too tight. The fabric is lightweight but still practical with a good balance of waterproofing, breathability and durability.
I wore the jacket on a number of wet and windy hikes and I stayed nicely warm and dry (see how to stay dry while hiking for more tips). It can easily be stuffed into a hiking backpack, and then pulled out when needed, such as in the summer mountains on a fast-hiking adventure.
The Paclite Plus fabric has a “dry-touch” inside that feels pretty good against the skin and isn’t clammy like other jackets.
An added bonus is that the nylon face fabric is made from 100% recycled fabric, which is a great environmental tick.
While the jacket is lightweight, it still has plenty of features that you would expect on a heavier mountain jacket, such as a two-way front zip, two-way pit zips and generous pockets.
The hood is large enough to take a helmet and easily adjustable, while there is a small wired peak to keep some of the rain off your face (and glasses in my case).
It’s not a cheap jacket, which is why I haven’t given it a five-star rating, but Montane is a renowned brand and the quality is usually great.
Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.