Take a look as Exeter Shop’s Dave takes Montane’s lightweight insulated jacket to the Scottish hills and gives his thoughts.
The Montane Prism boasts a heap of features for such a simple jacket. The arms are articulated which I never thought of as important but does increase when reaching for the next hold climbing or scrambling. It features a hardy YKK Vislon zip with an internal storm flap, however not a 2-way zip to accommodate a harness.
This Jacket has 2 large insulated pockets, Montane says that these are large enough for a Map and you can get one in there but getting it out again is a different battle, they are certainly large and cosy but I would look at putting a map elsewhere. The right pocket also features a double-sided zip, you can stuff the jacket nicely into here and seal it for easy carrying.
Along with the “map-sized” pockets the other feature I also don’t quite agree with Montane on is the helmet-compatible hood, you certainly can fit the hood up with a helmet on but movement does feel a little restricted when the jacket is zipped up. One feature I wasn’t excited about was the elasticated cuffs around the wrist, this is a personal thing that I always feel they stretch out and fray but this hasn’t happened with the Prism.
Montane says “Close-fitting” I’m 6’ 2” and on the slim side and chose a medium, although it’s a little loose in places I found the arms too short on a small and a large was very baggy in the body. I wouldn’t describe the jacket as a close fit. This does increase the range of the Prism allowing space for other layers in colder conditions but still not too flappy in windy conditions as a stand-alone piece.
The Montane Prism is constructed from 30D 100% Pertex Quantum nylon rip-stop Outer, with Montane’s Featherlite lining, and filled with 100% PrimaLoft Silver which is 100% recycled insulation polyester, but what does this mean to you?
The Jacket is Tough, Light, Packable, and Warm. The outer fabric has held up against Dartmoor granite, gorse bushes, and the sharp claws of an over-enthusiastic spaniel without even a nick or tear. Montane’s pioneering Featherlite fabric from 1999 is used for the inner which means it’s light and feels great against bare skin, although when clammy I felt it clung against the skin, especially around the wrists. Finally, and what makes the Jacket is 40g/m2 of recycled synthetic insulation gives what can only be described as the perfect level of warmth for the South-west all year round.
Over the past several months this jacket hasn’t left my side. If I’m not wearing it, due to its size and weight then it’s in my pack ready to come out at any stoppage even during the summer. As with the majority of insulation pieces on the market, this jacket is by no means waterproof but it does have a DWR (durable water replant) coating on the outside which does hold up to a reasonable amount of rainfall and due to the style of insulation once wet it still functions keeping the wearer warm. One reason I have been such a fan of the prism is the level of warmth it provides it’s warm enough but not too warm.
This may seem strange but it means that whereas I generally only wear a duvet down jacket for 2 or 3 months a year due to being too warm, the Prism is an asset all year round. This doesn’t mean id wear it to hike across Dartmoor during the summer but it’s great for the first hour after clambering out of the tent on fresh summer mornings. The Montane Prism also fits great under a Gore jacket when the weather truly does turn, and when not quite as grim is fantastic as a stand-alone jacket during the spring and autumn.
Although perfectly suitable for hiking, dog walking, and mountaineering I did try climbing some routes in this jacket and found the cut a bit too loose and bulky to climb in. That doesn’t mean that it can’t appeal to climbers, it’s nice to put on whilst belaying and packing small and light there would be no reason not to stash this away in a sack for topping out those multi-pitch routes, or popping on whilst spotting out.
Pros and Cons
· Great medium level of warmth
· Light and easily packable
· No 2-way main zip
· Hood doesn’t suit a helmet
In summary: As you may have guessed from this review, I am a massive fan of the Montane Prism, it is a great jacket for a wide range of users. This is a tough, warm and packable jacket and when compared to other insulated peers of a similar weight and performance, is very well priced indeed.
This review was written by Dave from the Exeter Shop. Dave has over 15 years experience of in outdoor instructing up and down the country. He is a qualified Canoe, Kayak, Mountain biking, Walking, and Climbing instructor with also years of experience coasteering. Dave is as much at home cruising down the Dartmoor Rivers as he is scaling Cornish sea cliffs.