Lowe Alpine Peak Jacket- First
Weight: 410 grammes
Lightweight alpine jacket made from 2.5 layer Triplepoint XC
fabric, Watershed seamless shoulders, helmet-compatible
Swivel Sight hood with roll-away stystem, two-way front
zipper with double storm flap, adjustable Velcro cuffs,
zippered vents on rear upper sleeves, two chext pockets with
water resistant zipsm hem drawcord with single-handed
action, inner pocket with zipper.
What's It For?
Lowe Alpine says the Peak has been developed specifically for
alpine mountaineering. It's a lightweight, very technical jacket that
can be carried in the pack without a big weight penalty, then thrown
on over a softshell or fleece when the weather comes calling.
We can't see any particular reason why you shouldn't also use it
as a lightweight, general mountain jacket particularly if you
scramble or do multi-pitch mountain routes where a helmet-compatible
hood comes in handy.
The Techy Bits
The key to the Peak's light weight is the new 2.5 layer
Triplepoint XC fabric, which looks very similar to the material used
by the likes of TNF and Montane for their lightweight shell clothing.
The PU coating is protected from abrasion by a raised microgrid
pattern which saves weight over a full three-ply fabric.
The rest of the Peak's features appear to have been lifted
wholesale from Lowe Alpine's top-end Gore-Tex technical jackets, so
you get the Swivel Sight helmet hood with its complex but effective
adjustable chin-guard closure system, well thought through cuff and
hem closures and finally the distinctive zipped vents a the rear of
the upper arm.
How It Performs
We haven't been able to use the Peak in alpine conditions yet, the
Peak District long having been through its glaciated period, but we
have worn it more generally and initial impressions are positive.
First off it's very light at a genuine 410 grammes - though that's
more than the 368 grames claimed - for a medium and packs down nice
and small, though obvously it's not as tiny as the ultra-lightweight
fast-mover jackets on the market.
Fit is good generally, long enough on us and neat but with enough
room for a soft shell or fleece underneath. Most of the features work
well too, we like the intermediate Velcro spot on the cuff fastener
which holds the tab out of the way and stops abrasion. If you're
prone to rolling up your sleeves and have beefy forearms though,
check before buying as the cuff is a little narrow.
The hood is the one area where it's clear that this really has
been designed for full-on alpine use. It's massive and has only a
simple Velcro volume adjuster at the rear. With a hood it's spot on
with the whopping great soft-lined and multi-adjustable chin guard
being capable of covering pretty much your entire face below your
eyes, spot on in serious hoolie conditions. If you've ever been
shotblasted by spindrift, you'll appreciate how handy that is.
The Velcro chin-piece adjustment may look clunky, but it's ideal
for tailoring the hood to fit your face without pressing
uncomfortably on your chin. Top marks.
The pay-off is that without a helmet, the hood struggles to cope.
There's not quite enough volume adjustment to cope with a naked
noggin, so your head tends to swivel inside the hood. It's useable,
but not ideal, so try carefully before buying,. play with the
adjusters and see if you can reach an acceptable fit for your head
Napoleon pockets are harness friendly and take a map, but there
are no handwarmer pockets if that bothers you..
Finally, breathability seemed fine to us. Not quite as good as the
expensive top-end fabrics, but on a par with most of the competition
and we like the easily used rear sleeve vents too, much nicer than
billowing pit-zips and pack and harness friendly with it.
It's too early to say how durable the lightweight fabric will
prove to be with regular use, but it doesn't feel overly fragile at
If you're looking for an affordable, well specced lightweight
jacket which will be used predominately with a climbing helmet in
foul conditions then this should definitely be on your shortlist.
Even though it's slightly heavier than claimed, it's still
respectably light and has all the features you'd expect on one of
Lowe Alpine's top-end technical shells.
The one area that compromises it for general use is the hood. It's
superb and protective worn with a helmet, but less assured with a
bare head, so try carefully. Other than that, an excellent jacket at
an incredible price.
Light, affordable, all the technical features, hood works
well with a helmet.
Basic hood adjustment system means it's less effective with
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