Possibly the lightest windproof, weather resistant top in the world tested - would you believe 86 grammes and a pack size the same as a satsuma?
Montane Featherlite Smock
Weight: 91 grammes (including mesh
stuff sac 86 grammes without - medium)
Microlite DWR+ fabric, Lycra cuffs and hem, zipped chest
vent, mesh stuff sac
Ultra small, ultra light
The Featherlite's dead simple, just an incredibly
light, very small windproof that you can stick in a pack pocket or a
bum bag and forget about till you need it. It's not intended for
full-on downpours, but it should take the edge off rude breezes and
cope with light showers. Think fell runners, mountain bikers, light
packers or anyone who wants to save weight.
The Featherlite uses a filmy micro rip-stop Pertex -
an old favourite - with a DWR treatment and is pretty minimalist. You
get Lycra cuffs and hem with drop tail, a zipped neck opening with
back-up flap and no hood. The collar is double thickness to give it
some shape. Oh, and it comes with a tiny mesh stuff sac.
The Featherlite packs down to a comedy tennis ball-sized
package, so no complaints there - it's stash and forget. When the
going gets breezy though, it offers surprisingly good protection. Cut
is streamlined, but long with a pronounced drop tail that makes it
good for mountain biking, running or wearing with a harness.
The fabric's windproof, but we were also pleasantly surprised by
the level of water resistance from the DWR, particularly as untreated
Pertex isn't renowned for its water-shedding qualities. This did well
with light to moderate rain, though it won't stand a really serious
It's soft and comfortable against the skin and breathability is as
good as any windproof we've tried. There's no hood mind and some will
prefer a deeper neck zip for added venting, but we found it adequate
and you can roll the sleeves up too.
Simple, effective and extremely light and compact windproof for
summer and fast-moving use - possibly the lightest one of its kind in
the world, but if we say it is, someone'll come up with a lighter
one, so we won't, okay?
We were impressed by the fabric's performance and the long,
drop-tailed cut. It's not going to hack it for extended heavy
backpacking sessions or dragging across rough rock formations and
some users will miss an integral hood, but apart from those provisos,
it does what it says on the wrapper and does it well. A neat and
quietly effective bit of kit particularly given its ridiculously low
Take care not to lose the stuff sac though, it might have been
better as an integral part of the garment.
Know more or want to?
Pushed for time:
Simple, effective and extremely light - 86 grammes -
and compact (tennis ball-sized) windproof for summer and
fast-moving use. We were impressed by the fabric's
performance and the long, drop-tailed cut. It's not going to
hack it for extended heavy backpacking sessions or dragging
across rough rock formations and some users will miss an
integral hood, but apart from those provisos, it does what
it says on the wrapper and does it well. A neat and quietly
effective bit of kit.
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