Read Olives review of this classic 2 layer Gore-Tex jacket from Mountain Equipment, updated with the latest version of PFC free Gore-Tex

Taunton Leisure’s first Father / Daughter team blog, whereby the daughter gets a cosy new coat to test, enjoy and pass judgment upon in the great outdoors while poor old dad has to sit down at his computer and compile the article in his small windowless office. Not that I’m feeling hard done by or anything.

Meet Olive. 14 years old, fanatical about Guinea Pigs and a Hamilton super fan. Olive has spent much of her spare time this year walking the full length of the South West Coast Path from Poole to Minehead, fundraising towards the cost of travelling to Kenya with her school. She departed from Poole harbour on the 4th February with the aim of completing before the end of 2023.

 The timing of the offer to test and review the Mountain Equipment Nanda Devi Jacket couldn’t have been better.  By early October with the last of the summer warmth and possibly the best of the weather behind us, Olive still had over 100 miles to go including the dramatic and very exposed Exmoor coast where decent protection from the elements would almost certainly be needed.

   The Nanda Devi Jacket is pretty much the perfect companion for year round day hikes on the coast path. The weather proofing and breathability credentials of Gore-tex have long been market leading and the go to for anyone looking for high and long lasting performance from their shell. 

   Its construction is of a 2 layer Gore-tex ePE 75D fabric. What this means in a nutshell is that it is a lighter weight, softer and more comfortable version of Gore-tex, which is completely Flurocarbon free.

We really like the softer nature of this fabric which is not only comfortable to wear but also quiet, free from that persistent rustling you often get with more robust mountain orientated shells.The trade off of course is that you won’t get quite the same level of durability but it is still more than meaty enough as a general purpose hiking jacket.

    Add to that a soft and breathable lining (made from recycled fabric), a great feature if, like Olive, you tend to wear the jacket with just a t-shirt underneath. 

  The pockets are plenty generous enough for gloves, snacks, keys or just hands.

  Hoods are a hard sell with Olive. Left to her own devices she just doesn’t use them; however for the purposes of the reviewing process she did agree to test it out. It’s by far the most adjustment she’s ever had in a hood and even for her relatively small head a good close fit was achievable.

  I wouldn’t say I’ve converted her but I think she was mildly impressed (which is probably the best I’m going to manage) I’m sure at some point she’ll get caught in really gusty, really wet conditions which will be when the penny will drop.

   All in all we’ve been really impressed with the Nanda Devi Jacket. It’s a model that puts comfort at the forefront which in our opinion is absolutely the right angle for a year round hiking jacket. For Olive I know that the lining is her favorite feature for just that reason. It feels nice to wear. The colour’s been a hit too; Capsicum / Tibetan Red, with a contrasting Majolica blue lining.

  Would we buy it? –  For someone of Olive’s age, of course not; but that has nothing to do with the jacket. It’s just too much investment in a product that she would quite likely outgrow in a year or two (that’s assuming she hasn’t left it somewhere or trashed it at Scouts in the meantime).

Would we recommend it? – Absolutely! It’s a jacket that delivers great balance between being comfortable and nice to wear, yet still having all the features desirable of a high end walking shell. Olive has now completed the entire South West Coast path and has begun training for next year’s Ten Tors. The Mountain Equipment Nanda Devi Jacket will continue to be a worthy ally I’m sure.