Multi-tasking: do you love it or hate it?
I’m trying to get over it, except when it comes to gear.
While I may be worn out from juggling my thoughts, actions and words each day, I prefer gear that multi-tasks.
Rather than complicating my life, gear with multiple uses equals less gear, which means more room in my pack and closet, and less clutter in my brain.
That’s a good thing.
Montane: Ultralight, Multi-use
This fall I’ve been using (and using and using) four items from Montane.
Montane’s motto is “Further. Faster” and the company is all about high-quality, low-weight mountaineering and outdoor gear.
Based in the U.K., Montane produces everything from high-performance packs suitable for major expeditions to full lines of men’s and women’s outdoor clothing. Not being much of an expedition girl, I passed on the hard-core stuff and tried four products that can almost do it all for anyone who hikes, bikes or skis.
Here’s my report.
FEATHERLITE DOWN JACKET: Make room for another puffy jacket in your closet. I like this ultra light down jacket because it’s slightly longer than my other puffy coat, offering greater warmth and coverage. A down-filled, reinforced hood (that you can strap out of the way) and an adjustable bottom hem, help you shut out the cold, while still maintaining some feminine style thanks to the attractive two-direction baffles.
Wear it as a down sweater under your ski coat on the coldest days. Hike in it, camp in it and take it backpacking. It weighs only 12.9 ounces, stuffs very small (about the size of a large orange), and has the most loft of any down jacket I own. Put it on and you’ll be warm.
There’s also a men’s version.
MINIMUS MOUNTAIN JACKET: This versatile jacket is currently my go-to favorite for hiking, running or biking in cool weather. An ultra lightweight shell (it weights in at 7.4 oz and stuffs into a sack about the size of an apple), it repels light and cuts wind effectively, although it offers zero insulation.
I like it because I can stuff it in the back pocket of my cycling jersey or layer it over a down sweater, depending upon what I’m doing. This winter, I’m looking forward to employing the Minimus Mountain Jacket as a light, breathable layer (and easily packable) when I skin up trails.
TERRA PACK PANTS: I’ve been wearing these lightweight hikers all fall and are nearly indispensable. Why? The thigh vents. I’m a huge fan of ski pants with leg vents but these are the first hiking/trekking pants I’ve had that zip open for ventilation.
In addition to these fabulous vents, the pants have reinforced knees, tapered ankles that close with a zip, and a comfy, loose fit. Just prepare yourself for British sizing. Although I’m usually a US 6, I’m a UK 12 in these trousers (ouch!).
POWERSHIELD GRIP GLOVE: I love, love, love these gloves. Running? Check. Biking? Check. Cross-Country Skiing? Check. I’ve done all of this, plus walk the dog, and these gloves deliver.
Super lightweight, they won’t warm your hands if you’re not moving. But if you’re active, they provide a good combination of insulation, breathability and range of motion. The reinforced palms grip well, whether you’re gripping handle bars or skinny ski poles.
Lots of online, outdoor retailers in the North America sell Montane products. Moosejaw and Backcountry.com carry a lot of their gear, and if you access Moosejaw or Backcountry.com via ActiveJunky.com, you can save up to an 12%.
To facilitate this review, I received each of these products to try and use. As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
- Ski Fashion 2013-2014: Trends in Women’s Ski and Snowboard Jackets, October 10, 2013.
- Columbia Omni-Heat Technology Field Tested by the Brave Ski Mom, January 12, 2011.
- Ski Fashion 2013: The Geode Collection Brings the Snow Bunny Back, February 11, 2013.
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