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July 2015 Issue
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Cactus Mountain Jacket



Our Rating:

Industrial. That’s what it says on the collar; that’s what it is. The Cactus Mountain Jacket’s design bulletproof, simple and no-nonsense.

Cactus’ Proprietary WTF-3 three-layer fabric keeps the wearer dry all day long, regardless of the conditions. It’s stiff and noisy, but for its intended market, who cares? It feels as though you could use it to break rocks, then throw it in the corner at the end of the day where it will stand until morning.

The hood rolls and domes into the massive collar, which is lined to stop cold spots around your neck. When the hood is deployed, the collar unfolds upward to surround your face, and provides an extra layer against the elements. Despite the fabric’s stiffness, the hood is comfortable and easy to adjust, but doesn’t turn freely, so your face can disappear inside.

The length and fit around the torso are excellent; the arms have super-long Velcro cuff adjusters to keep all snow out, but are disproportionately short.

The monster YKK Vislon (big, chunky teeth) main zip is easy to grab with gloved hands and is smooth throughout its length, culminating at a slightly offset and lined chin guard to stop you snagging your beard. There are two deep breast pockets (no hip pockets here).

The draw cord hem is adjusted from one side only, so it pulls up unevenly and dangles out from the jacket. It requires some fiddling to get it tensioned and sitting right.

Whether tramping or in the mountains, at 1010g and $499, this is no lightweight garment. But when you consider its application as a tough mountain workhorse, durability is the key consideration for those wanting something special that lasts.