Best for performance use on a budget
Plusses: Stylish, light, excellent warmth- to-weight ratio
Minuses: Sheds down, few pockets
330g (m), 285g (w)
Features: The Anti-Freeze Lite Hoodie has a recycled water-resistant Pertex nylon outer fabric and an inner of 125g of 750FP (fill power) 90/10 HyperDRY down. There are two zippered hand pockets, elasticated cuffs and hood, a full-length zip (which stretches past the chin), and a waist drawcord that can be cinched to fit.
Fit: It has long arms and a tapered torso with space beneath for base- and mid-layers. Waist drawcords and elastic cuffs trap warmth and prevent the jacket from moving about when adding layers. The elasticated hood is comfortable, although I found the high zip slightly irritated my chin.
Comfort: This jacket has a light, warm feel. The recycled nylon outer is exceptionally soft, and the arm length prevents sleeves from riding up while walking or reaching. Pockets are well-positioned, warm and comfortable. The only gripe is a slight restriction of the hood when zipped up.
In use: The Lite Hoodie cuts around 30g from Montane’s flagship Anti-Freeze jacket. It’s more packable and compressible (to around the size of a pineapple) and is a good choice for fast and light travellers. Down is not skimped on as its ‘lite’ tag may suggest. When on the move, it was sufficient on single-digit temperature mornings in the Hūnua Ranges. Extra layering will be needed though for static evenings. The nylon lining is smooth, though it sheds down quite frequently, so could be vulnerable to abrasion – a compromise perhaps for its outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio.
Were I to be picky, one more pocket would help – if only to store the jacket’s stuff sack securely. It’s worth noting that many people commented favourably on this jacket, so it will excel equally well in an urban setting.
Value: For a lightweight, ethically sourced down jacket, $350 is competitive.
Verdict: It has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, and is built for fast, light tramping.