This is a marvellously eccentric jacket from Jack Wolfskin. It’s provenance seems to have come from a ski jacket, but the High Amperage Jacket is wholeheartedly a mountain waterproof.
It’s a luxuriously soft jacket too. It uses Jack Wolfskin’s proprietary three-layer Texapore Softshell Infinity shell which is completely waterproof, but without any crinkling, and it sits nicely on the body too.
It’s quite a long jacket, and a hem cord with two fasteners helps keep it down. There’s also little hem lift. And although it comes out quite large – it will easily fit a fleece under it – it’s well-tailored around the midriff with very little bulging up. The sleeves are long, again helping with any climbing or scrambling, and there’s a Velcro fasteners.
The hood is different than most waterproof jackets in that it rolls up and stows away – when was the last time you saw one of those? It is helmet compatible – this is a jacket designed for the Alps – but the two volume adjusters pull it in well. I’d have preferred a wired hood as always as the hood isn’t very stiff. That said, it does move well with the head. When the hood is rolled up, there’s another cord adjuster around the neck. The zip fastens below the chin.
One of the most singular aspects about this jacket is the vast pockets – much bigger than I’ve seen on any other. Big enough, indeed, to carry not just a map, but an entire library. I could quite comfortably fit several copies of The Great Outdoors inside it. There are two such pockets that sit above the hipbelt, and I love them. In the cold and snow, while wearing gloves, not having to squeeze maps and snack bars in them seems a luxury. Big fan of big pockets. There’s also a hidden chest pocket inside the largest of the two, and big enough for a phone. There’s a zip on the arm, but I haven’t found a use for it yet. The zips are all water-resistant, and there’s a big, stiff baffle behind the main zip.
Two large pit zips, with two-way zips, allow more ventilation, but I’ve found the jacket pretty breathable.
It’s hard not to emphasize just how soft and nice this feels. This is Jack Wolfskin’s key piece this season and they’ve thrown everything at this piece, and it works. But it is pricey – £380 is a lot for a jacket. The style is a bit Marmite, but I love it.