Image of the November 2018 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
November 2018 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Softshels

Kathmandu XT Exmoor

Price:

$399.98

Our Rating:

At a glance

Plusses: Warmth, breathability, versatility, comfort
Minuses: Difficult to zip, uncertain durability, pricey

Features: Designed as an all-in-one layering solution, this jacket claims to provide both warmth and breathability while minimising the need to add or remove layers. A water-repellent nylon shell protects in light showers, but in wetter conditions the Exmoor can be paired with a fully waterproof rain jacket without uncomfortable sweating or overheating. A snug-fitting hood gives unimpeded vision and high pockets can be accessed while wearing a pack. It can be stuffed into one of its pockets, but it’s so tight it’s not worth it most of the time. 

Fit: The Exmoor is designed to be worn close to the body, so has a relatively tight fit. The sleeves extend longer on the back of the hand, eliminating draughts when arms are extended and the jacket feels much lighter than expected for clothing that keeps you so warm.

Comfort: The soft touch Polartec lining feels wonderful against the skin. It’s warm, even in cold winds, and in warm weather or on uphill grunts it takes serious exertion to get to the uncomfortable stage. The hood pulls tight with drawstrings, but it can be difficult to manipulate with cold fingers or when wearing bulky gloves. It’s light and unobtrusive enough to wear when relaxing at night in huts, or even sleeping.

In use: I pack this for nearly all conditions, leaving most other layers (except a waterproof) at home. In 90 per cent of conditions, I would be comfortable wearing just a baselayer and this jacket, confident that my temperature would be regulated. The main zip has a tendency to get stuck when doing up, but construction is generally simple and sound. A question mark hangs over its durability, due to the tendency of the outer shell to billow out and potentially catch on branches or other sharp objects.

Value: Reasonable, given the amount of use it’s likely to get and the all-in-one factor.

Verdict: The jacket seems to tick all the boxes for warmth, breathability, comfort and versatility. It’s better suited to slim to medium-sized people and is a good option for those who don’t want to pack a lot of layers.

Like what you read? Buy the XT Exmoor here

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