David Lintern has been putting the new (and ISPO award winning) Montane Solution Jacket through its paces for months.

The Montane Solution Jacket is one of the new breed of ‘waterproof’ or hardshell jackets made without relying on PFC chemicals that are now becoming far more mainstream. I’ve had a preview sample since early autumn, and it’s been with me on almost every mountain trip since.

The headline news here is the fabric technology. All 3 layers are made predominantly from Pertex Revolve (100% face fabric, 100% of the backer and 75% of the membrane), and the DWR (durable water repellent coating) is fluorocarbon free. The fabric is also solution dyed, which gives the jacket its name. Adjusters and zips feature recycled tape. The result is a jacket mostly made of recycled material, using 50% less water in production, which should prove to be very colour fast. It also means far fewer persistent (and potentially carcinogenic) chemicals in the great outdoors.

David Lintern’s verdict

Overall, this is a great, general purpose 3 season hillwalking jacket with excellent environmental credentials.
  • Excellent enviromental credentials
  • Breathability
  • No rear hood adjuster
Quick specs
Price: £250
Weight: 469g (on reviewer’s scales)
Materials: Solution Dyed Pertex Revolve, PFC-free DWR
Hood: Stiffened, with 2 volume adjusters
Front Closure: 1 way zip, storm flap
Underarm/Side Zips: none
Pockets: 2 handwarmer, 2 way zips.
Hem: 2 drawcord
Cuffs: Velcro
Sizes: S-XXXL
Women version: Yes

Otherwise, the Solution has a simple feature set. Velcro tabs seal in warmth at the wrist and hem adjusters around the top of the legs. There are two cavernous handwarmer pockets with mesh backing designed to improve ventilation alongside 2-way zips, and a 1-way zipper at the front. The hood has two adjusters which are tucked away on the inside so as not to catch the wind, and a large peak is stiffened, not wired. The hood provides plenty of depth and protection, whether you are wearing a helmet or something lighter.

The fabric is of medium stiffness and felt protective and durable during some foul winter weather over the test period. The DWR has remained in good working order, but the jacket can still wet out in persistent, heavy rain. The fit is generous and quite long, and there’s lots of room for layering underneath. The arms are well articulated with no hem rise or wrist exposure. I really enjoyed the overall fit but found the hem prone to curling up if sitting under a loaded pack – in some instances this would catch water.

David Lintern testing out the Montane Solution Jacket
David Lintern testing out the Montane Solution Jacket

The pockets remain accessible above a hip belt and all zips are well guarded from the elements with robust storm flaps. The hood could use a third adjuster at the rear to take in additional volume – visibility is fine and the jacket zips up to protect the chin and lower face without restriction, but the hood doesn’t really move with the head.

In certain conditions, I found the jacket stuffy to wear. The mesh lined pockets are designed to be at least partially open in warmer weather to provide ventilation, but open pockets on the hill feels like poor personal admin’ to me. My reluctance to leave them venting has probably lead to the occasional feeling of stuffiness and wetting out in heavy weather.

Overall, this is a great, general purpose 3 season hillwalking jacket with excellent environmental credentials. For me, a 3rd hood adjuster, an internal chest pocket for a phone, and pit zips (instead of mesh lined handwarmer pockets) would make it perfect.

Written and tested by David Lintern