While all the jackets here have some laudable qualities, Montane’s Atomic wins on both features and design. It is constructed from PERTEX Shield, which I found easily breathable enough for hillwalking and durable with ripstop patterning. The backing fabric is comfortable against skin and wicks well.
There are two hand pockets which are perfectly placed – low enough to actually get your hands in comfortably, but not even slightly impinged by hip belts on a backpack – the only jacket here with this benefit. The pockets are backed with mesh, meaning they can be opened for more ventilation as there aren’t any pit zips. The cuffs are stiffened – another good feature.
The hood is also the best tested here. The front drawcords can be pulled, fixed and
loosened with one hand, as can the volume adjuster on the rear of the hood. And as I mentioned the peak is wired – big Brownie points – plus the hood can be folded away.
The neck comes up higher than most and will cover the chin, but comfortably so. There’s a press stud both at the top and bottom of the zip and an interior storm flap that is kept in place by Velcro patches, and there’s a folded seam that will direct any water to the bottom.
The volume is lower than some, but the articulated arms reduce the amount the hem lifts up. An excellent jacket, especially at this price.