The perfect mountain jacket probably doesn’t exist but the Montane Alpine Pro has got to be a close contender. In short, the value for money and features are just about all I want from a mountain shell - no more, no less.


Th key features I like and would like to delve deeper in to:


  • Hood

  • Fit 

  • Fabric

  • Durability 

  • Simplicity 




Wired to keep the rain, snow and sleet out of your eyes. High volume to cover a helmet and enough along the sides to keep the same rain, snow and sleet from attacking your cheeks! Too many jackets have big cutaways down the side of your face that leave you feeling exposed to really nasty weather. Rain coming in horizontally really makes me dislike that style of jacket quickly. 


The three elastic cords allow you to properly seal the weather out. Just add goggles and you’re well protected from the worst mother nature can throw your way. The neck comes right up to your nose so no cold chins even when you’ve got a helmet on. 


The Alpine Pro also has a wonderful toggle on the back of the hood, you can pull it in to fit an un-helmed head and release it to accomodate a helmet with your gloves on, one handed, everytime! That might not sound like much but too many jackets are so painful to release in this regard, fiddly little toggles all tucked under a flap that’s about as hard to grasp as the ending to Interstellar or Brexit!


The only thing I don't like is the toggles at the front, to tighten they’re fine, you just pull the ends that are on the outside of the coat at the base of your neck. However to release, you have to dig inside the jacket and find two rather small toggles. A better solution would be the laminated squeeze tabs TNF use. That said, they’re probably very hard to replace when things go wrong.




I like the fit, a medium fits me real nice. I can wear enough warm layers underneath to ski in cold conditions and it doesn’t look half bad. I can move around freely, pointing my hands skyward lifts the waist a little but nothing too bad and no worse than jackets that cost almost twice the price.




Gore-tex Pro; it ain’t cheap but it really does work at keeping the rain out. I know if you spend a whole day in driving rain you're going to be wet but this is usually due to that fact there’s big holes to put hands, heads and torsos in. And as breathable as anything claims to be, we sweat faster than any fabric can move it whilst still being waterproof. I still maintain it’s the best compromise for bad UK weather. 


The face fabric used on the Alpine Pro is a nice balance between toughness and flexibility. If you go too thick the jackets start feeling abit boardy and too thin, the obvious, not so durable. 


Zips? I’ve not found them to leak but if I go out for a full day of heavy rain I’ll still use a dry bag for water sensitive items. You sometimes leave a zip slightly open or even just stick a hole in the main body of the fabric...




I’ve had it for over a year now and use it on a very regular basis in bad weather with bags and it’s holding up very well. I can see it lasting me another few years to come. The zips are all going strong too. I should probably give it a re-proof to reapply the beautiful beading effect we all love but despite this I remain dry in heavy rain and strong winds.




I love the clean lines and lack of too many features that you see on other jackets. Three pockets well positioned to be used with a bag. The side pockets are big enough for a map, medium sized guide book or big gloves. A chest pocket with waterproof zip holds car keys or a large phone (I prefer to keep my phone in a midlayer pocket to keep it warm though). Hem adjusters to keep wind out; 3-way hood adjusters and a two way main zip. There is a mesh pocket inside but I rarely use it. What you’re getting is what you need to keep the weather out, a few pockets and that’s it really! For £360 at full price I think it’s the best value jacket I’ve seen from quite a few brands and it’s also got a lifetime guarantee (better than most).


How to improve? Apart from the hood toggles thing, the cut on the arms could be better. The best arms I’ve ever seen in a top was that of the 3rd Rock Zoom hoodie; if they could put those arms on this jacket it might just be perfect! 


I’ll be buying another if they still make it in a few years (when mine dies) and if they decide to stop making them I’ll snatch one up quickly to keep in the kit room.


- Bertie