This is the first jacket I’ve tried in Gore-Tex Pro, which replaces Pro Shell. It’s intended for the same usage – tough mountaineering – but is said to be up to 28 per cent more breathable and also more durable due to thicker face fabrics. The increased breathability is due to a new version of the Gore-Tex membrane that doesn’t have the PU layer to protect it from contamination, which restricts breathability. Gore says that a new way of constructing the membrane means this isn’t necessary.
The Antelao jacket certainly feels tough and the design is one for wild winter weather. The fabric is a little stiff and crackly, though this may wear off over time. The hood is massive so it will fit over a climbing helmet but can be cinched down to a reasonable size. Protection from the big wired peak is excellent. At the same time side vision isn’t restricted. There are four big chest pockets with plenty of room for maps, hats, gloves and more. Two of them are angled so they can be used as handwarmers. Despite the increased breathability there are underarm zips for any time you start to overheat. The sleeve cuffs are wide enough to allow some ventilation too. There’s also a snow skirt, which isn’t really needed for hillwalking as it’s covered by a rucksack hipbelt. Luckily it can be zipped off. The waterproof jacket is quite short with a slightly extended back.
This is a serious winter jacket. I wouldn’t choose it for summer walking but in a blizzard it would give excellent protection. The price is high but if the durability is as claimed it could last a fair while.