I have owned the Air Jacket from Montane for well over a year now. In that time I have used it for keeping dry on various outdoor adventures; from hillwalking in the Cairngorms of Scotland and trekking across Sweden and Norway, to walking my dog in the woodlands of Kent.
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When I was planning my St. Olavsleden trek, I realised that I was in need of a more technical waterproof jacket than the one I already owned, as I would be outside all day everyday in the elements. I wanted a jacket that would be completely waterproof and windproof, as well as lightweight and packable enough to carry on my back for 30 days if it wasn’t needed.
About Montane and The Air Jacket
Montane are a UK brand who make very high quality outdoor clothing and equipment. Their Air Jacket (retailing at around £220) is constructed from PERTEX® Shield AP fabric which promises to deliver optimum breathability whilst still being completely waterproof. Weighing just 300g, it is half the weight of my Berghaus Arisdale waterproof jacket, yet it still feels surprisingly durable in comparison to other lightweight jackets on the market. The pockets are large enough to carry a standard bottle of water or a map inside and they have waterproof zips to keep their contents dry. There is also a handy breast pocket which is easy to access, especially if wearing a backpack with a waist belt. If you are interested in knowing about the more technical details of this jacket, then visit the Montane website.
My Review of the Montane Air Jacket
Most importantly, the jacket achieved its main purpose kept me dry on my trek, without adding too much weight to my pack. I wore it in some truly torrential downpours in Sweden and Norway (pictured above) and it didn’t disappoint. My favourite feature of the jacket is the stiff but pliable wired peak and the adjustable hood. This was really useful for allowing it to be adjusted and shaped to my needs, allowing me to see better in a downpour. This was something my previous jacket lacked. It has a nice slim fit but this causes it to hug my hips and bum, so if you are bigger on bottom than on top like me, you may need a larger size than anticipated.
It’s condition 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. However that would mean I got them in while sitting in a forest in Sweden. Even though my memory is terrible, I don’t think that these would have gone unnoticed or unremembered months after that trip.
On closer inspection. After comparing them with the actual blueberry stains on my rucksack, they just didn’t look the same. They were also not on areas of the jacket that would have likely come into contact with the forest floor. 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.
Excellent Customer Service
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 these may be oil related marks. They gave me some recommendations on how to try cleaning the jacket again. When this didn’t work, they agreed to inspect the jacket. After sending it by Royal Mail, they got in touch to tell me that the fabric had developed a fault.
Even though I had owned the jacket for a whole year already, they offered to replace it free of charge. As this jacket is really expensive to replace, I am really grateful to them for doing so. The only downside was that they didn’t have any in-stock in ‘Montbretia Orange’. I was offered one in the ‘Blue Ridge’ colour way instead. Despite the fact that I adored my orange jacket, I wasn’t too bothered. Overall I was just really pleased that they had been so helpful. And that I could have a replacement jacket without unsightly marks.
Update: A year on from my replacement jacket
I’ve owned my replacement jacket for a whole year. In that time I am pleased to say it hasn’t developed any faults like before. I continue to wear it whenever rain is forecast and I have absolutely no complaints. I would recommend it, or an equivalent from Montane to anyone looking for a good waterproof jacket to invest in.
My local outdoor shop (and old employer) Simply Hike very kindly kitted me out with the Montane Air Jacket, after recommending it to me when I contacted them for advice on buying a jacket for my trek. Despite being gifted the jacket, all of my opinions are my own. They are not influenced in any way by the receipt of this gift.