Established in 1986 Trekitt is family owned and run. We have always been driven by our passion for wild places and mountains and have enjoyed sharing those experiences with our customers for over 30 years.

Trekitt provides top quality equipment and clothing for mountaineers, hill walkers, climbers and travellers and has grown over the years to cater for a wide range of outdoor activities. We hold large stocks of specialist clothing and equipment from the worlds best brands backed up by our award winning customer service.  We are more than a shop, we are a service for adventure, we fully understand that to get the most from your passion you need the best kit that is fit for purpose and suits you personally.  We offer expert boot and rucksack fitting services in our Hereford shop and are always happy to discuss your equipment needs, so just call us.

The Hereford shop is open Monday to Saturday from 09:00 - 17:30.

We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays because we value our free time and want to keep it that way.

51 Eign GateHereford Herefordshire HR4 0AB
   11/01/2019 15:48:35

Review: Montane Phoenix Jacket

Hello Trekitteers!

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The weather is finally starting to turn and we are now getting some frosty mornings! I thought now would be a good time to review my beloved Phoenix Jacket. I've actually owned this jacket for about 4 months already and I was originally going to put out a review for you at the beginning of December - however, I wanted to give it a good roughhousing and deliver a thorough review. Let me just start by saying that I LOVE synthetic insulation. I have a couple of down jackets and I think they have their place but the unpredictable UK conditions mean that I actually end up wearing synthetic insulation much more (unless it's snowing and sub-zero temperatures). It can, however, be hard to pinpoint an insulation that works best for you. We actually did a Synthetic vs Down insulation video a couple of months ago that is worth checking out if you have any questions! Now, as usual, let's start by breaking down the jacket.

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Introduction

The Phoenix has fast become my favourite jacket. It’s easy to layer up underneath a hard-shell because the matt fabric doesn’t stick and slides on easily, and the cut of the jacket means that you can easily chuck a layer or two on underneath too. The Phoenix has ended up becoming the jacket I reach for no matter where I’m off to – mountains, work or pub!

What is it actually made from?

Taking care of the insulation inside the Phoenix is 115g of Primaloft Thermoplume. Don't be ashamed if you haven't heard of it before, I hadn't either! This brand-new form of blown insulation from Primaloft is a jump forward in terms of synthetic insulation; it essentially copies the shape and fluidity of down but using synthetic fabrics, meaning it retains the same compressibility, feel and loft as down but with the added benefit of still performing well in damp conditions.

Surrounding this is a Pertex Quantum Eco outer fabric - this offers a high level of water and wind resistancy when the weather turns against you. If you do happen to get a little toasty, the combination of the synthetic insulation and lightweight outer fabric means the jacket packs down to a fraction of its original size so you can stash it in your pack.

What are the features of the jacket?

The insulated under-helmet hood fits close to your head to seal in warmth. In practical use the hood will just go over a helmet - so if you're at a belay point and the weather rolls in, you can chuck it on without needing to take your helmet off. 

Phoenix

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Storage wise, the jacket has two zipped handwarmer pockets (which sit a bit higher so bits don't dig into your hips when you have a harness or backpack on) and an internal zipped security pocket.

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The heat is all contained in the jacket with elasticated cuffs, a YKK moulded centre front zip (which features a storm flap behind it to prevent weather entry) and a pre-elasticated hem to prevent heat loss.

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Great, but how does the jacket actually fit?

I’m 5’1”, weigh around 50kg and I’m wearing a size 8. The Phoenix falls under Montane's 'Athletic Mountain' fit block which means that it’s designed to fit pretty snug but has enough wiggle room under it for an extra jumper on the really chilly days. The arms are articulated giving the jacket a great range of movement (important on scrambles and when using walking poles). On me, I found that the jacket has a bit of a squarer cut than some other brands - but that means that it fits true to the size. Sometimes I find that a size 8 will be fit nicely on the hips, chest, back and arms, but will compress the baffles around the waist a bit too much - especially when I've got an extra layer on underneath. However, I don't have that issue in the Phoenix jacket at all! I did find that, if anything, the Pheonix was a bit generous in it's fit - so if you are usually between sizes then you may be better off in the smaller size.

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So what were my favourite bits of the Phoenix?

Well, firstly, I love the versatility of the Phoenix - I keep it in the car when I'm out running so I have something warm to throw on when I get back. I wear it almost every day to work. I always have it rolled up in my backpack on hill days for my lunch stops and I'll be taking it to Bulgaria at the end of this month to wear under my shell when I'm skiing. Secondly, I love the overall fit and shape of the jacket. I think the 4-panel system works really well in delivering an all-round great fit for most body types. I am also a big fan of the matte finish - I think it's very flattering and suits the jacket very well. I also love the pockets - they are very generous and will easily take all of my every day 'essentials' (phone, wallets, keys, poop bags) as well as having room for my compass when I'm out walking. The pockets actually sit higher than a lot of my other jackets meaning that the Phoenix is also a joy to climb in!

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Is there anything I would have changed?

Now strangely, I'm going to put the fit in here too. I do love the shape, but I think that the jacket does size a bit big. I have tried other pieces from Montane and an 8 is usually a great fit on me, so maybe I just don't get on with the size block very well. The jacket doesn't go down to a 6 so I've had to make do with an 8 - which at the moment is okay because it's about -2 in the mornings and I have a whole plethora of layers on underneath it! The other thing I would consider is putting a couple of draw cords into the hood - possibly just a crown synch that you can adjust from the back. The hood tends to catch the wind on a blustery day.

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Verdict

Is it because of the versatility, the sleek design or the warmth to weight ratio? I don’t think I can pin it on one thing, but I love my Phoenix jacket. Yes, there are a couple of extra bits I would like to see to really make it a great mountain piece, but otherwise, I think it’s a gorgeous jacket indeed!

And that's a wrap! The brilliant all-rounder from Montane - The Phoenix! If you would like to watch the Inside Look video we did at the beginning of the season then head over to this link. 

Have a great weekend, Trekitteers!

Hannah (The Feral Lady)

Useful links

Wearing: Montane Women's Phoenix Jacket in Tibetan, Size 8

Down vs Synthetic Youtube Video

Inside Look: Montane Womens Phoenix Jacket Youtube video

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The product I bought was competitively priced. The video demonstration of the product assisted me in my decision to purchase the item and was very informative, as it showed all of the features and the fit. I chose "click and collect" which was an efficient and quick process. I would definitely shop here again.

Amanda  •   19 Jan 2019.

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