Montane Hiking Kit Review
Written By: SportsShoes
MONTANE AMBASSADORS TAKE THEIR LATEST KIT TO THE LAKE DISTRICT
Last month, two of Montane’s ambassadors ventured up to the Lake District for an over-night hike and a first-hand test of Montane’s latest hiking wear. The two ambassadors, Olivia and Michael recently caught up with Sportsshoes.com to share their experience:
There is something to be said about going to the lakes at the start of the autumn. The clear but chilly days and the lack of people around due to the end of the school holidays gives us that great feeling us hikers love of peaceful isolation. Living just two hours away from the lakes means you can easily head over for a short stay if you want to get out into nature, which is exactly what we did last month. Hiking past the last fell wall up to the top of Hallin fell around Ullswater, we set up camp just below the obelisk. It is a perfect location with beautiful views for a spot of night photography. In one direction you can see all the way down the valley to Penrith and in the other, you can just see the top of Helvellyn, usually with a shroud of cloud about it.
Ideally, we would want to spend weeks exploring about every time we go, but the sunrise we saw rising over the cliffs of Arthur's Pike on this trip alone made the journey up the hills worth it. This golden hour was one of the best we’ve seen - we were absolutely giddy, (which could have had something to do with the odd miso soup we had for breakfast) - but the air was crisp and you could see miles away, a truly flawless morning which we just had to capture on camera.
After revelling in the morning’s activities, we packed up the tent and left the campsite without a trace of us ever being there. Wild camping is one of the best experiences for any person who loves the outdoors, you feel more connected to life and the people around you and is an experience everyone should have. Hikers/campers etiquette is something we really believe in, so we try to look after the environment so we can continue to wild camp in the UK.
Michael’s hiking wear
Normally I wouldn't opt for a long sleeve base layer, however this super comfortable t-shirt changed my mind. As a man who heats up very quickly and sweats profusely on the trail this base layer kept me feeling dry and at a comfortable temperature.
For someone with a big chest and a slim waist I often find it difficult to find an insulating layer that fits well, this was not the case with this jacket. The taper and the length of the athletic jacket fit perfectly leaving no room for the cold air of the lakes to get in. In high winds the hood and high collar really made a difference, even with a hat on, the hood sat comfortably on my head shielding me from the chill. The jacket has spacious pockets too, which you can warm your hands up quickly in if you’re not wearing gloves. This jacket is the perfect insulating layer for any activity whether it be mountain climbing or sitting outside your tent stargazing.
A great lightweight reliable outer layer. It’s ideal for when the wind picks up and you need that extra protection, and it will keep you dry and warm when the weather turns. It fits perfectly over the Icarus and keeps that cold air away from your body, and when the sun comes out and heats you up it packs down even into a small day bag, barely adding any weight.
Olivia’s hiking wear
You've got to start how you mean to go on, so by putting on this blend of merino wool and prima-loft you know you've started strong. It feels like a second skin that you don’t really even realise is there, wicking away all the sweat from when you’ve been climbing, walking or eating a good goulash.
The great thing about synthetic insulation is that it's quite a punchy heat, handy for when you’re on top of a fell in the Lake District during an Autumn cold snap. By throwing on this Phoenix jacket I warmed up quickly. As this insulation works just as well in the rain we didn't have to worry about the sporadic British splashes of rain throughout the day, which makes it great as an outer jacket and as a mid-layer. I really enjoyed the elasticated cuffs, for someone with small wrists I am used to jacket sleeves flapping around my hands, which can be highly annoying, but that wasn't even thought of during our adventure. The jacket is actually quite flattering in its shape, not that it should be a massive concern but it's always a really nice bonus.
A perfect topper to the three layering system we used in our Lakes excursion. As the weather is unpredictable this time of year it was necessary to have a fully waterproof shell but also really important to have something breathable. That is why ultra tour jacket was ideal, with it being 40 denier it felt light and moved well whilst walking and climbing, and didn't make me overheat as other heavier shells would of.