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Montane's Alpine Shift waterproof jacket is built to endure abrasions, whether on the crag or at the campsite, we review it to see if it stands up to its claims.

montane alpine shift jacket
Best for...
Packed as an emergency shell for anything from hiking to cycling and climbing
Overall Score
Multi-use possibilities
Distinct lack of pockets

When you first get the Alpine Shift in your hands you can tell that it's a robust bit of kit. The material has a durable quality that you just know will withstand scrapes, which in turn makes you more comfortable with the price tag.

We wore this jacket on a camping weekend that involved chopping and loading wood, hiking and lots of rain, so perhaps the perfect test environment.

As you would expect the rain was dealt with perfectly, we found the hood to be particularly good as it gives excellent coverage over the face (like a ninja) and cinches down over the head well. This means it can be worn for prolonged periods without getting in the way of vision or generally being too annoying. If you're on your bike or climbing, you'll also be pleased to know that it's helmet compatible.

Comfort and articulation are both very good all over the jacket whatever your activity of choice. With a classic 3-layer construction the Alpine Shift isn't the best against the skin, but in warm, wet weather the great breathability comes into play to ensure you don't feel too clammy.

Coverage over the wrists and bum are both generous and adjusters seal out the weather effectively for serious downpours - this jacket offers much more than its 280g weight would suggest. The cut is very well judged, allowing for layering without being too baggy and it turns out the yellow colourway is ideal for cycling on the road, where you want to be seen. In fact this has become our go-to cycling shell for its bright colour, light weight and great breathability.

Other features are fairly basic, which helps keep the weight down - just one chest pocket for instance making this more of an emergency shell than an everyday wear item.

Overall a durable but lightweight 3-layer shell jacket that can be put to many uses. Get a good deal on one online and you're on to a winner.


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