Alpine Spirit Review

The Alpine Spirit is a serious workhorse of a jacket. Built for uncompromising abuse and long, tough days, it is rugged and uncomplicated. Fitting then that it is named after Montane Athlete Becky Coles’ project to be the first all-female team to summit all Alpine 4000ers.

An outstandingly well-designed jacket. Which came as a relief – when I was told they were naming a jacket after our project to climb all the Alpine 49000m peaks (check out Project Alpine Spirit here) I was a bit worried. What if it wasn’t any good? So it was with a hint of trepidation that i tried on the jacket for the first time. A wave of relief came over me. The fit was fantastic, the range of movement great and the key details, like the hood, cuffs and pockets well designed.

Since then I’ve used the jacket for Scottish winter climbing and braved the summer storms with it. It has proved to be robust and well designed. It’s kept the rain, snow and wind out.

Fit is also really important to me. A poor fit restricts movement and can ruin the enjoyment of a day out in the hills for me. It’s bad enough battling the elements but if you’re battling badly fitting clothing as well it’s a nightmare. The female form seems to be too much of a challenge for some outdoor clothing designers and I’ve put up with some very badly fitting clothing in the past. However, I’ve always found Montane to fit well and this, together with quality, was one of the reasons I took up sponsorship with Montane.

The Alpine Spirit jacket has the same excellent fit and quality but in addition, small details are spot on too. Take the cuffs, for example. I like roomy cuffs on a jacket for winter climbing so I can easily tuck my glove cuffs beneath the jacket cuffs, which I find important to keep my hands warm. This test, together with reaching up to check the jacket doesn’t raise too high and seeing that the hood is large enough to not restrict movement with a helmet on, yet doesn’t restrict vision, are the first things I do to test a jacket when I initially try it on. The Alpine Spirit jacket passed these tests with flying colours.

The next test takes time to see how durable it is. I work as a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor and not only use my kit is used intensely but am out in all conditions. Most jackets at least show some wear after a few months. Not the Alpine Spirit jacket. It’s not only survived inelegant squirming up wet scrambles, it’s been completely unscathed.

In summary, a superb jacket. An all-rounder which is suitable for Scottish winter routes and summer down pours it covers all your UK adventures. And don’t worry chaps, this jacket comes in Men’s sizes too.

Rebecca Coles
Montane Athlete & Project Alpine Spirit team member

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