A new Pertex Shield AP waterproof jacket
Despite a recent heatwave I’ve managed to find plenty of rain for testing Montane’s latest version of the Air Jacket. This one is made from Pertex Shield AP, a waterproof microporous membrane described as ‘ultra high performance’. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean but I’ve certainly found the jacket waterproof and acceptably breathable, which is to say I don’t think it’s as breathable as Neoshell but it’s more breathable than most alternatives. As with all these fabrics this doesn’t mean there’s never any dampness inside of course, just that it forms less readily.
The jacket itself is well-designed. The outer nylon fabric is quite soft but also feels as though it should be durable. The AquaGuard front zip has a stiff flap with rain gutter behind it. So far I’ve not had any leakage through it nor through the three mesh pockets, which also have watertight zips. The upper chest pocket is quite small – okay for a phone but not a map, unless it’s one of the Harveys Ultra ones. The two angled hand pockets will just take maps and are situated just above a pack hipbelt. The hood is excellent. It’s helmet size but easy to adjust and has a good wired and stiffened peak. The sleeves are articulated and have cuffs wide enough for ventilation when open. There are no pit zips.
I tested a Large size Air Jacket and it easily fits over a fleece jacket. The weight is 362 grams, which is quite light for a jacket that feels substantial and suitable for year round use. I’ve found the Air Jacket comfortable to wear and secure feeling in torrential rain. The low weight and reasonable pack size means it’s a good choice for backpacking.