This super lightweight jacket is a good choice for backpacking – but how does it perform on the hill? Chris Townsend puts the Montane Pac Plus through its paces. 

The Montane Pac Plus was the lightest jacket in our review of the best waterproof jackets 2020, and the best one for backpacking or any trip where weight matters. It’s good for most conditions though not the best choice for severe winter storms compared with a heavier jacket. The fabric is Gore-Tex Paclite Plus, which is not the same as Paclite (I wish Gore had given it a different name). Paclite Plus is a two-layer fabric with a new abrasion-resistant treatment on the inside that makes a separate lining unnecessary and which feels quite pleasant against the skin. The fabric is thin and flexible and packs down small. Breathability is good.

The Pac Plus is a well-designed jacket. The hood, which isn’t helmet-compatible, fits well and gives excellent protection while moving with the head to allow side vision. The pockets are just big enough for maps. 

Other than winter mountaineering the Montane Pac Plus is suitable for year-round use. 

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: hood, pockets, low weight, cost

Cons: none

  • Weight: 305g
  • Materials: Gore-Tex Paclite Plus nylon
  • Hood: wired peak, volume adjuster, front drawcords
  • Front closure: water-resistant zip with inner storm flap
  • Length: 72cm
  • Underarm/ side zips: no
  • Pockets: 2 handwarmer
  • Hem: drawcord, extended back
  • Cuffs: Velcro
  • Sizes: men S-XXL, women 8-16
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