Last year I got a chance to test a running jacket from the British brand Montane, a company I hadn’t heard of before. It immediately became one of my favorite jackets and I’ve worn it frequently ever since. So imagine my excitement when I learned I would be testing another Montane jacket this winter.
While I was definitely looking forward to trying out the new jacket, I was expecting it to be relatively similar to the Dynamo VIA Jacket I already liked so much. So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the Fireball Verso Pull-On jacket was completely different. For one thing, it’s reversible. Who doesn’t love reversible clothing? I know I do! It’s like having two garments in one, not to mention the pure fun factor of choosing which side to wear. Sometimes it’s hard to decide, and it feels like you’re neglecting the inside surface, but that’s just part of the cool factor of reversible items.
The other big difference is that the Fireball Verso Pull-On jacket is a half zip pullover, while the Dynamo VIA Jacket features a full zipper. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of half zip tops, because sometimes they feel a little restrictive to put on and take off, and if you’re gonna use a zipper, why not go all the way? But in this case I can live with it, because the Fireball Verso Pull-On is just so cool.
A final difference between the two jackets is that while the Dynamo VIA Jacket is a single layer shell, the Fireball Verso is two layers, with a stitched “puffy” look on one side and large panels of smooth ripstop material on the other. I’m not sure which side is more cool, but that’s part of the fun of reversibility.
Now on to the specific features of the Fireball Verso Pull-On: The “puffy” side is constructed of breathable “Hypervent” fabric, insulated with “Primaloft” to keep the chill at bay, and includes a chest pocket on the left side with a subtle hidden zipper and small zipper pull. Small reflective logos appear on the right sleeve and lower back, and the Montane name is near the top of the chest pocket. The half zipper and its reversible pull are bright orange, offering a nice contrast to the gray “Shadow” hue of the rest of the jacket. The short standup collar includes a large zipper garage that works for each side of the jacket. The elastic waist hem and cuffs are also bright orange and feature low-key Montane logos. The cuffs are nicely tight, keeping cold air and drafts from encroaching on your wrists. The stitching and tailoring of the “puffy” side are very high-quality, look good, and provide a nice fit.
One fun thing about the half-zip character of the jacket is that it reverses itself when you take it off, gently urging you to immediately put it back on with the other side exposed. The “smooth” side is made with “Pertex Quantum”, a 100% windproof rip-stop material that makes this side the one to choose if you’re planning to do some trail running through trees or shrubs, and want to avoid snags as much as possible. This side has no pockets, but makes up for it with orange-lined thumb holes if you need to keep your hands warm. (The thumb holes are still present on the “puffy” side, but you have to flip-flop the reinforced seams at the opening to use them). The right sleeve and lower back sport reflective logos on this side too, and the Montane logo appears in the same location on the left chest. The half-zipper on the smooth side is protected by a weather strip, while the orange waist hem and cuffs are present on both sides.
Whichever side you wear “out”, the Fireball Verso Pull-On jacket is comfortable, fits well, and keeps you nice and warm. Both “insides” are smooth and comfortable too, creating little friction with a shirt. The jacket can be zipped all the way up without crowding your chin or neck, and the waist and cuffs stay snug without being too restrictive. The Fireball Verso comes with a stuff sac in matching “Shadow” complete with Montane logo, and the stuff sac even stuffs into its own pocket when not in use!
The Fireball Verso Pull-On jacket is great for cold weather or trail running, and is just plain fun. I like it so much, I’ve been a little reluctant to get it sweaty, and have used it often as an every day jacket. It’s almost too cool to run in. And deciding which side to wear is half the fun!