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Gear Review: Montane Apparel

Run Oregon sometimes receives products to review. We recently received a couple of items from UK Company Montane to try out.  Here are our impressions of Montane: Company: 

Montane® has become synonymous with lightweight and breathable clothing. The first to truly push the limits of single layer mountain clothing with the Extreme Smock and then, later realising the true value of windproof clothing... The functionality of garments does not stop at clothing design. Fabric technology is critical. Over 10 years ago Montane® was one of the first clothing brands in the world to recognise the true genius of eVent® fabric. With never before seen levels of breathability, eVent® fabrics allowed Montane® to help revolutionise mountaineering and rain shell performance. Fit For Purpose:
  • Designed for the most demanding weather conditions in the world.
  • Constructed to work hard during tough physical conditions.
  • Built to cope with harsh physiology. Sweat, heat and cold.
  • The leading lightweight and breathable garments on the market.
  • Understanding the intricacies of Climbing, Running and Biking at the first stage of development.
High Quality Standards:
  • Demand for innovation in the pursuit of functionality and performance.
  • The use and continuous search for leading performance fabrics.
  • The use of the right fabric in the right way to maximise garment potential.
  • Highest standards of quality and construction.
  • The use of leading garment construction techniques, processes and skills.
Proof:
  • Extensive testing on endurance pursuits in the harshest of extreme conditions, from rain and wind swept British mountains, to the Greenland Icecap, hurricane winds in Patagonia to Cold Climb classics on Scotland's Ben Nevis.
  • Laboratory testing of fabrics and components to ensure all fabrics are fit for purpose and meet Montane's exacting standards.

Alpine Sun/Burnt Orange

Matt:
Featherlite Trail Jacket (MSRP: $110):

I have had this in my closet for a while, but with the warm and dry temperatures in Oregon over the past few months, there was never an opportunity to test it out.

Then came Hood to Coast 2015, an event of 198 miles through two mountain ranges, where you never really know what to expect. I tossed this in my bag just in case – and boy was I glad.

Given the lightweight nature of this jacket (only about 4 ounces), it took almost no room in my pack. I was able to ball it up and shove in my already full bag. It was the perfect garment for what proved to be a weekend of crazy weather.

While wind and rain were in the forecast, and eventually reared their heads about 18 hours into the event, this jacket had me prepared. I needed it for a few of my legs, as well as trudging to and from our van. The material was thin and breathable, yet protected me significantly from the wind bursts and rainy periods. I found the fit to be perfect. This is definitely going to be a key piece of clothing once the Oregon wet season starts.


downloadFeatherlite Pants (MSRP: $102):

The Terra Pack Pants also got their first action during the 2015 Hood to Coast.

These pants are truly lightweight (only about 4 ounces) and packable (they fit into a sack about the size of an apple). They have been used by athletes in mountain environments for many years as a way to keep out brutal winds and rainy seasons. While HTC wasn’t epic in that sense, it did offer elements to try this out.

Though I knew they would be lightweight, I was still surprised as to how thin the material (PERTEX® Microlight Mini Rip-stop) was. I was skeptical about their ability to provide as much protection from the elements as they claimed – but boy was I mistaken.

I ran in these and felt completely dry while doing so. They were a little tight, which was perfect for me, and their fast-drying capabilities had them ready for wear post-race, which is when near record-breaking wind hit the Oregon Coast. These really do the trick in the elements, and I expect this to be an absolute necessity for those rainy runs coming up.

Jessica: As Matt alluded to above, it took way too long for me to be able to put the Montane ladies Featherlite Trail Jacket to use due to the weather. I am a running/active clothing snob; you know the type that walks into running stores and has to touch, feel, massage and generally manipulate the crap out of an active-wear piece of clothing? Well, that’s me. And 9.5 times out of 10, after I’ve sufficiently manhandled the item to bits, I am left with the impression that it isn’t well made, my style, or has the feel I want.

Montane Ladies Featherlike Trail Jacket in 'Blue Spark

Montane Ladies Featherlike Trail Jacket in ‘Blue Spark”

When I received the Featherlite Trail Jacket from Montane in the mail, it was a very warm, very humid summer day. I ripped open the package and began my in-depth touchey-touchey-feely-feely of the jacket. It was substantial, but not too much. More substantial to the feel than my Patagonia Hoodini, but in a great way. I knew the Montane Featherlite Trail Jacket was going to be a jacket that would stand up to the punishing winds and rains I expect it to during long trail runs (and even road runs, of course). As it was simply too warm to give it a shot, I had to let it rest in my closet, with the jacket lovingly staring at me, telling me “Take me out for a run!” 

The time finally arrived that I could put the Featherlite Trail Jacket to the test. The week leading up to the McKenzie River Trail Run 50k (MRTR50k) that I did back in mid-September had perfect weather for this jacket. I packed it for the MRTR50k, and it was the ideal companion for my race day adventures.

Why was it so ideal? The Featherlite Trail Jacket has is made from a ‘Wind Barrier Dynamic’ material that is exceptional light weight, yet not thin and flimsy. This allows the jacket to be breathable and wind proof at the same time. I particularly enjoyed the fashionable, tailored fit. It looks gorgeous on, but due to the tailored fit, also allows the upper body to move freely when running. There is a lovely, super soft brushed (ultra fine) micro fleece that is next to the chin, so you don’t chafe or get a raw jawline. And, the underarm vents are impeccable – no sweaty pits for this lady!

The lower hem area is adjustable, so you can prevent the wind and rain from sneaking in quite effectively, and also aid in preventing unwanted heat-loss. There are reflective logos to help you be seen in low light conditions, but they are not gaudy and ugly. And, this jacket packs like nobody’s business. About 10 miles into the MRTR50k, I pulled the jacket off, and was able to quickly, easily, and effortless stash it in my Ultimate Direction Jenny Jurek pack.

The fit: The product I tested was a US size 10. This was perfect for my 5’2″, ~130 pound frame. Having a bit of a petite build, the sleeves were not too long (yay!) and I can zip it comfortably without feeling squished. I was very pleased with the fit. If you have fit questions, definitely reach out to Montane prior to purchasing so you can get the perfect size for you, as I did.

I honestly am in love with the Montane Featherlite Trail Jacket. So much so that even on casual days at work I bring it along and show fellow colleagues/runners when I see them. I can comfortably give the trail jacket 10 starts and 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. Love it!

About Matt Rasmussen (1532 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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