Chris Townsend reviews a PFC-free ultralight waterproof with an athletic cut.

This review is part of our ultralight waterproofs gear guide, and was first published in the May 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.

The Masao Light uses a soft fabric that is comfy to wear with reasonable breathability. Unusually for an ultralight it has underarm zips. Along with the front and pocket zips these are claimed to be waterproof. They are when new (but then so are the water-resistant ones).

I like the pockets, which are roomy enough for maps and accessible with a hipbelt. I wish the tiny zip pullers were a bit bigger though. I’d add cords to them, as there are on the underarm zips. The hood design appears excellent, but I could not get a good fit. The hood has a stiffened wired peak, an inner elasticated gusset and a rear drawcord. Yet even with the latter pulled really tight I could not get a good seal round my brow and the hood blew back in strong winds.

The semi-elasticated cuffs are longer on top with elastication underneath, for better wrist protection – but the sleeves are too short. In fact, the fit as a whole is small. I tested the Large and it’s only just wearable over a thin fleece. Mammut says the Masao Light has an ‘athletic cut’. I’d add the word ‘very’ in front of that!

It’s okay if it fits but there are better jackets at similar weights and prices.

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The products mentioned in this review were provided free of charge by the brands. However, this does not affect our impartiality in any way. Unlike some of our competitors, who only review items from brands that advertise with them, advertising relationships aren’t a factor in our gear reviews here at The Great Outdoors.

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