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Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On running jacket review: great things come in small packages

The super-light Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On has minimal features, so that you can pack it just in case, safe in the knowledge you’ll be stormproof

Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On
(Image: © Montane)

Our Verdict

A simple, well-thought-out, unisex smock design for adding to your pack in case of bad weather or as mandatory kit for mountain races.

For

  • • Peaked hood
  • • Water-resistant half zip
  • • Large storm flap behind zip
  • • Glove-compatible zip cord
  • • Reflective logos

Against

  • • No hood adjustment
  • • No pockets
  • • No hem or cuff adjustment
  • • No full zip

Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On: first impressions

A firm favorite just-in-case stowaway, the Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On is the size of an apple or orange when packed up, and tips the scales at just 100g / 3.5oz (the joint lowest-weight coat in our best lightweight running jackets buying guide). Despite that, it manages to provide excellent waterproof protection through the Aqua Pro Lite fabric with 15,000 mm hydrostatic head and 15,000g/m2 breathability, plus taped seams to seal the deal. 

There’s also the opportunity to vent the jacket via the water-resistant YKK AquaGuard half zip – open it up all the way and use the popper / press-stud halfway up to secure each side and prevent annoying flapping. The large storm flap behind the zip provides even more security from a downpour. 

Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On

Here’s how small the Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On packs up (Image credit: Montane)

Because it’s a smock design you can be certain that it will provide you with shelter from heavy rain even when your hands are too cold to fiddle with putting a zip together – simply haul it over your head and pull the running glove-compatible zip cord up to the top for ultimate weather protection. The elasticated hood, cuffs and hem fit well, and even though this is a unisex item it fits OK over wider hips for the ladies.

To keep the weight down there is no pocket – simplicity is the name of the game with this lightweight number. This jacket meets all FRA and ultra distance race requirements, and your race number is visible through the fabric.

Specifications

• RRP: $157 (US) / £120 (UK)
• Weight (Men’s size M): 100g / 3.5oz
• Colors: Grey
• Hydrostatic Head: 15,000mm
• Breathability: 15,000 g/m2
• Compatibility: Super light, packable and waterproof for use just in case it rains

Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On: on the trails

Montane Unisex Podium Pull-On

The elasticated hood, cuffs and hem fit well (Image credit: Montane)

This one has certainly been tested in anger during a freak rainstorm in the Peak District, when it – and the matching Montane Unisex Podium Waterproof Pants – were very quickly pulled on to protect us from an insane weather change! 

The water quickly beaded up and rolled right off, and thanks to this pairing we were warm and dry throughout what could have been a very uncomfortable few hours of horizontal sleet and hail. 

However, as the design is unisex and you need a slightly larger top to get the smock design happily on and off easily, we did find this jacket a touch billowy in high winds. 

This is a jacket where the pocket has been sacrificed to save on weight, so it’s one best used with a running pack or bumbag if you have bits to carry. 

We also found the hood worked really well while wearing a visor underneath it to extend the peak and stretch the elastic around the head slightly more for a better fit. 

The hood is also large enough to wear with a ponytail which is often overlooked, so that’s a nice touch. We’ll let Montane off the unisex (read Men’s-only) design because of this. 

The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.