Haglöfs new award-winning Gore-Tex Pro Shell mountaineering jacket reviewed.
Haglofs Spitz Jacket - First
Weight: 470 grammes
Waterproof shell jacket using Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3-layer
fabrics - 315 Ripstop and 317 Cordura-reinforced material -
roll-away, helmet-compatible hood with three-way
adjustability, two-way waterright front zipper with wind
flap, reinforced shoulder, back and hip, two large Napoleon
pockets, one sleeve pocket with laminated watertight
zippers, two inner pockets, laminated, fleece-lined
chinguard, laminated watertight pit-zips, Velcro-adjustable
cuffs with bellows, single-handed adjustable hem, sealed
with Gore-Tex microtape
What's It For?
The Spitz is aimed at climbers, mountaineers and skiiers who want
full waterproof and windproof protection with durable reinforcement
in strategic areas and a helmet-compatible hood, but with light
The Techy Bits
The key to the jacket's light weight is the new Gore-Tex Pro Shell
fabric. You can find more information about it from the links at the
bottom of this review, but in short, it's a new waterproof and
breathable fabric from Gore which uses a lighter, but tougher woven
backer which is not only tougher than the old knitted version used in
last year's XCR fabrics, but 50 per-cent lighter too and slides more
easily over other layers.
Jackets made from Pro Shell tend to be lighter anyway, but Haglofs
has maximised the weight saving by using two different grades of Pro
Shell in the Spitz. The shoulders, outer sleeves, back and hips use a
tougher, Cordura-reinforced grade of the fabric, while the rest of
the jacket is a lighter, but still strong, rip-stop version. There
are also weight savings from the use of thinnner microtape to back up
Watertight zips are used all round for pockets, pit-zips and main
zip and the hood has three adjusters: one for the face aperture at
the front, one which grips the top of the head or helmet and finally
one which allow you to pull the peak back and out of your eyes.
How It Performs
The Spitz won a design award at this year's ISPO trade show and
it's easy to see why. Not only is it a full-on mountaineering shell
that weighs a genuine 470 grammes, but it's beautifully cut and
The cut is short for harness friendly use and the fit is quite
tapered, so unless you're on the thin side, you won't be wearing
anything much thicker than a microfleece or Powerstretch top
underneath. It's not restrictive though and that, along with the easy
movement of the Pro Shell microgrid backer over inner layers made for
As far as Pro Shell goes, as we've said in other tests of 2007
jackets, we think it's still less breathable than eVent though maybe
slightly more breathable than XCR, but its real advantages are the
slippy, slidey way it moves over mid and base layers, its toughness
and the reduction in weight.
The Cordura-based, reinforced Pro Shell areas on the shoulders,
back, outer sleeves and hips feel as tough as old boots and should
cope well with hard use.
We liked the three-way adjustable hood with it's massive stiffened
peak as well. It's fine with a helmet, but also works well with a
bare or hatted head, moving with your direction of gaze and adjusting
easily. Other details are also impressive. The bellowed cuffs allow
easy venting and mean the sleeves can be rolled up over your forearms
For further venting, big pit-zips have double-ended watertight
zips meaning you can open them from either end, though you may have
to pull the sleeve taut in some positions. There's minimal bulk in
your armpit too, so they're unobtrusive.
The Hypalon zip-pulls with their natty cut-out Haglofs logo are a
pleasure to use even with gloved hands. Ditto hood and hem
The two big chest pockets both swallow an OS map and sit high out
of harm's way. The Napoleon-style access looks neat and works well
for easy access to pocket contents, but if you habitually use shell
jacket pockets as handwarmers, you'll be looking for an alternative
place to pouch your paws. That, together with the short cut of the
jacket, does limit it slightly if you prefer a longer, more
traditional mountaineering design.
For full-on protection we'd suggest teaming these - like other
shorter-cut mountain jackets - with a softshell trouser or shell
pants / trousers / legwear or whatever you want to call them ;-)
Haglofs really is producing some lovely kit at the moment and
the Spitz is no exception. Like Rab with its Super Dru, the
combination of different fabrics in different areas gives an
excellent compromise between protection and weight. And that 470
grammes is a genuine weight from our highly accurate digital balance.
The Pro Shell fabric is tough, mobile and very wearable, although
still outbreathed by eVent we feel, but the design doesn't take
second place to anyone. Neat cut with good mobility and no lifting
when reaching for holds, a decent hood and effective as well as
aesthetically pleasing details like cuffs and zip pulls.
It may not fit more generously built users, there's limited space
for thick mid-layers and the lack of hand-warming pockets will put
some buyers off, but if you can live with those limitations, you'll
be hard pushed to find anything better on the market.
Light, tough, nicely cut and beautifully detailed.
Close cut won't suit everyone, lack of handwarmer
Know more or want to?
If you'd like to add your own experiences of this
product check out our user review system and post your opinions to
the world. If you have questions you can mail
us direct, ask
Richard Gear or try a posting to our