ME's New Active Shell Smock
Quick early look at Mountain Equipment's minimal new mountaineering smock in Gore-Tex Active Shell.
Posted: 12 October 2012
We popped over to see the guys at Mountain Equipment yesterday for a quick look at their new winter 2012 range, but while we were there, we also grabbed a quick sneak peek at an interesting new lightweight mountaineering shell due out early in 2013.
The latest in ME's line of lightweight shells with Fire in the name - Firefox, Firebox, Fireinthehole, Firewhenyoureready... etc - is called the Firefly Smock and uses the highly breathable Gore-Tex Active Shell fabric for a combination of lightness and high breathability with full waterproof protection.
Minimal But Functional
As you can see from the images, it's a pretty minimalist bit of kit - there's just one stretch laminated patch pocket on the chest for example - but it has a full helmet-compatible hood along with neat, unobtrusive pit-zips. The hood has an external drawcord volume adjuster that reminds us of the Haglöfs LIM hood.
Oh, and as you'll also have noted, there's a slanted front zip which should reduce bulk over the chin area both when worn alone or in combination with other zipped layers.
Weight for a large-sized sample is quoted at 299g, but it'll be slight less for a medium or small. It's also worth noting that by the time it goes into production, the slightly voluminous sleeves will have been slimmed down a little, so that should save a few grammes too.
Should make a great lightweight mountaineering shell, layer it over a soft shell jacket when needed or stash unobtrusively in your pack, but we could also see it working for mountain running - remember those pit-zips for extra venting - or even mountain biking.
The Firefly is due out in early 2013 with a price tag of £220. More from us on the new for winter 2012 Mountain Equipment kit in the next few days.
Discuss this story
But the zip is slanted
More seriously its as likely to be a 'ripoff' of RABs demand smock as the Endo smock, which did only appear quite recently. Not that I'd consider people copying good ideas as something to worry about
Posted: 14/10/2012 at 22:15
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There's kind of a limit on how 'different' you can make a minimal waterproof pull-on. A friend of mine who designs outdoor clothing, says that lightweight stuff is mostly about what you take off the design, ultimately, when you strip away the extraneous bits, you tend to get left with much the same stuff, like a single pocket, a hood, a hem drawcord etc because pretty much everything else has been removed...
Visually, yes, they both have patched-on chest pockets. And external cord hood adjustment, but there are differences too and I suspect the cut will differ as well.
Posted: 15/10/2012 at 12:19