New this spring, Lowe Alpine has sprung one of the nicest Gore-Tex Paclite jackets we've used on an unsuspecting world and it weighs just over 300 grammes as well...
Lowe Alpine Fairview Paclite
Weight: 309 grammes
Paclite Lomond two-layer fabric, water resistant front
zipper with inner wind flap and wrap-over chin guard, two
water-resistant zipped torso pockets, welded, adjustable
cuff tabs, slim, athletic fit (it says here) shaped hem for
increased leg movement, Watershed shoulders, foldaway hood
with welded peak and single-handed volume adjustment. Also
available in women's-specific version.
Light, minimalist, beautifully cut..
Peak's a bit floppy.
New this spring, the Fairview is, according to
Lowe Alpine, a 'simple, ultra-lightweight, high-performance jacket
for high-activity mountain use'.
We're thinking mountain walking, climbing, scrambling, maybe the
odd bit of mountain running, so it needs to be light, unrestrictive
The Fairview is pretty minimalist, but it's not
spartan. The fabric's an ultra-lightweight version of Gore's Paclite
with a micro rip-stop face that's strangely attractive. You also get
water-resistant main zips plus two on the harness-friendly torso
pockets plus a hood that will just about swallow a climbing
The collar is lined with a soft microfleece and last but not
least, the hem is cut with neat scoops to reduce leg restriction when
making high steps - this feature is echosed through Lowe's technical
range, so you can layer the jacket with a similarly cut fleece for
optimum mobility. All nice and simple.
It still seems a bit odd seeing the Gore-Tex label
on a Lowe Alpine shell jacket after years of Triplepoint, but the two
Lowe Alpine Gore-Tex jackets we've used have both been top quality
The brand new Fairview has two big stand-out pluses, one is the
weight, which at 309 grammes is actually 40 grammes less than the
company claims and the other is the cut and design, which are spot
on. Arc 'Teryx were the first outdoor clothing company to nail their
flag to the mast of close-fitting, athletic cuts, now others are
As a result, the Fairview, has a neat, slim, athletic look that
should suit many of the people it's aimed at. A neat cut isn't just
aesthetically pleasing, it's also more efficient with less internal
convection currents and less flappy material billowing around when
you strap on a harness or pack.
We also think it's a particularly good move with Paclite. The
fabric seems to work partly be absorbing some excess moisture into
that grey lining and the close it's contact with the mid or base
layer, the easier that will be. It's not restrictive either and that
double-scooped hem line seems to work too.
Gore-Tex Paclite does it's normal, dependable, lightweight and
breathable gig, arguably working best when effort is varied giving
the liner / membrane combo the best chance of clearing excess
moisture and not being overwhelmed and we found the jacket worked
well unless you unleashed a continuous period of sustained sweaty,
effort upon it, at which point it could be overwhelmed.
Details like hem and hood pulls and zips all worked well and we
liked the way the pockets are sealed. Water-resistant zips will leak
under pressure, so don't count on the pocket contents staying dry,
though at least the damp won't reach your underlayers.
If we have a quibble it's with the hood. It's a plus that it'll
cover a climbing helmet, just about, but the laminated peak could do
with some extra stiffening for UK use, even if it means that the hood
folds away less slickly.
It doesn't do tricks and it isn't loaded with pointless features,
but the Fairview's light, beautifully cut in a slim, athletic stylee
and uses one of the most effective waterproof / breathable fabrics on
We wouldn't want to drag that lightweight fabric over rocks or use
a heavy pack on a sustained basis, but that's not really what the
Fairview is intended for. Think of it as a lightweight, stash and
forget waterproof shell for mountain walking and climbing, possibly
ideally thrown over a softshell when things get messy, and you won't
go far wrong.
Nothing fancy, one of the nicest Paclite jackets out there. If it
had a slightly stiffer peak, it would have scored a straight ten.
Know more or want to?
Pushed for time:
No-one ever reads this bit anyway, so let's just say that
the new Lowe Alpine Fairview is made out of chocolate cake
and tastes yummy. Okay, it's one of the nicest,
lightest, best-cut Paclite jackets we've come across. Just a
floppy peak away from near perfection.
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