Monday, 5 March 2012

Montura Perform Anorak, the gear that went on "The Meet"


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When asked by John From Ardblair Sports in the car park what I preferred in a mid layer or soft shell I replied...

“I don't, I'm a windproof on, windproof off kind of bloke.”

I've never really bothered with anything complicated or expensive in that department. It just didn't seem to make sense to me. I've always managed to regulate my temps just fine with the lightweight windproof over a base layer or thin micro fleece. So it was with some trepidation I found myself donning the Perform Anorak from Montura. I was, however, almost immediately thrown off guard with the fit of the thing. I doubt very much that I'm “Montura shaped”! I mean seriously, a ski trekking/mountaineering clothing company certainly isn't likely to be modelling their line on a baw faced halfwit like me with an ever expanding waist line. So I reckon we can put the perfect feeling fit down to the clever use of stretchy fabrics.

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That was the next thing I noticed about the Perform Anorak. The multiple panels of fabric everywhere. There were 4 different fabrics spread about the garment, but here's the difference. They seemed to be all in the correct places for once.

There was the reinforced softshell type material on the shoulders and arms that will repel pack abrasion and the sort of weather that would have me reaching for my windproof but not necessarily the waterproof. In fact it felt like it would hold off the wet stuff a little longer than my usual system.

On my front was a wind resistant fabric that certainly kept out the majority of the biting wind. I didn't once regret leaving the windproof in the car. The main zip was nice and long which allowed for quick venting and easy over the head access. On either side of the main zip were two deep pockets that easily and frequently swallowed my gloves, hat and hankie along with an assortment of Honey Stinger Chews and Werther's Originals. Not once did I find any of the zips catching, jamming or pulling and those pockets were positioned such that my pack straps didn't get in the way either.

Around my waist/midriff there was a section that was described as a “fleece skirt” by Kelvin when he had quick try on of the top. It sounds silly but actually it was genius. It kept the important internal organs warm and I found that the stretchy fleece fabric on the inside gripped my clothes and kept the garment in place. It never rode up resulting in cold kidneys.

Lastly on the back of the garment the material was thinner and allowed any excess heat I was generating to escape quickly. I don't remember getting that horrible cold feeling you get when you remove your pack from a damp and sweaty back. In fact, I didn't find myself overheating in this top at all over the weekend which if I'm honest, was my main concern.

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After wearing the Perform Anorak all weekend, only removing it when in my sleeping bag, I must say that I've had my point of view re-adjusted a bit. I've gone from someone who thought that the whole “softshell” thing was bit of a fad for folks with too much money to finding myself browsing the online shops to see what I can fill the softshell shaped hole in my arsenal with. I'd certainly like to own one of these tops. In the warmer months I think I'll go back to my usual system but this top certainly worked extremely well in the colder conditions we had that weekend. This garment is very well thought out in my opinion and the comment that someone (I can't remember who now, possibly PTC?) made over the weekend sums it up nicely I thought...

“You can really tell that this stuff is user designed, not committee designed.”

2 comments:

  1. Hi

    Looking for opinions on Montura sizing as I'm thinking of ordering a skisky race top. Being an Italian brand I've heard that they are a bit on the small side, which I've also experienced with dynafit clothing.
    What sizes did you try in both the montura tops you reviewed? You do mention that they are close fitting.
    I'm 6''1' and 88kg and usually a large, but I'm guessing I may have to order a XL from montura. http://www.auvieuxcampeur.fr/skisky-races-maglia-veste-h.html

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  2. Hi Nicholas,

    It's difficult to say. I'm looking back at the photo's in this post and I can see a bit of "moon face" about myself. I was on large doses of steroids at the time and my weight was rocketing as a result. I think I was around 88/89kg at the time these shots were taken however I am just under 6' tall. With steroids the fat also doesn't get deposited normally around the body (I had a lot on the face as well well as across the shoulders). At the moment I'm about 81/82kg and also usually take a large in most things (Old Rab VR smock fits well as a large for example)

    I'd probably suggest an XL for you I think given you are a little bit taller than me. I'm pretty sure it was a large I had on and the fit was quite close, I certainly wouldn't have wanted it any tighter. You could maybe try contacting Ardblair sports for some more advice as they were the importers at the time, however I don't see the brand listed on their web page any more.

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