I have owned the Montane Air Jacket for over a year now and have used it for trekking across Norway and Sweden, and on various other outdoor adventures from hillwalking in the Cairngorms in Scotland, to walking my dog in the woodlands of Kent.
When I was planning my St. Olavsleden trek, I realised that I was in need of a technical waterproof jacket that could keep me dry on the trail. It also needed to be lightweight and packable enough to carry on my back for 30 days, if not needed. I used to work for Simply Hike, so I contacted them for some advice and they very kindly kitted me out with the Montane Air Jacket, after recommending it to me.
Montane are a UK brand who make very high quality products. The Air Jacket is constructed from PERTEX® Shield AP fabric which promises to deliver breathability whilst still being completely waterproof. Weighing 300g, it is half the weight of my Berghaus Arisdale jacket, yet it feels surprisingly durable. The pockets are large enough to carry a standard bottle of water or a map inside and have waterproof zips to keep the elements out.
Without getting too technical with the details, the jacket achieved its purpose and has kept me dry. I wore it in some torrential downpours in Sweden and Norway (pictured above) and it didn’t disappoint. My favourite feature is the stiff but pliable wired peak and the adjustable hood. This was really useful for shaping it to my head and allowing me to see in a downpour, something my previous jacket lacked. It also has a nice slim fit which hugs my hips, though I will say that this can mean that you might need a larger size if you are bigger on bottom than on top – like me.
A year on…
After owning the jacket for a year, I began to notice some discolouration in different areas of the jacket. At first, I thought that these were blueberry stains (from sitting on the jacket in a Swedish forest) and that somehow, i’d forgotten they were there after, which was highly unlikely as i’d used the jacket so much since. On closer inspection, comparing them with actual blueberry stains I remembered getting on my rucksack, they didn’t look the same. They were not in areas of the jacket that would have really come in contact with the forest floor either. When I held the jacket up to the light, they looked more opaque than other parts of the jacket, which was interesting, considering how dark they appeared on the outside.
I contacted Montane to see if they thought there was a fault with the fabric or to see if they could shed any light on how to get rid of these unsightly marks. At first they thought they might be oil marks and gave me some recommendations on how to try cleaning the jacket again. When this didn’t work, they agreed to inspect the jacket. I sent it to them by Royal Mail and they quickly got in touch to tell me that the fabric had developed a fault.
Even though I had owned the jacket for a whole year, they offered to replace it free of charge and for that I am really grateful. The only downside was that they didn’t have any in stock in Montbretia Orange, so they offered me the Blue Ridge colour way, which didn’t really bother me too much, despite orange being one of my favourite colours. Overall I was just really pleased that they had been so helpful and that I could have a replacement jacket without the unsightly marks.
I’m looking forward to seeing how my new Montane Air Jacket lasts – it will be interesting to see if I have the same problem in the future.