Renny Hutchison puts this waterproof shell through its paces.
Turning up for a weekend of adventure in a shiny new jacket is an invitation for comment. And that’s what you’ll get when sporting a new Mammut waterproof hardshell. Especially in the company of fellow Scout leaders. Trust me on this. They are a discerning and vocal bunch when it comes to outdoor equipment.
I had already worn the Mammut jacket a few times in challenging conditions in the Ben Lawyers range of hills, so I felt reasonably confident with the jacket’s waterprooofing. This time the weather outlook was fair, and the trip would be on a route that would present a bit of light scrambling and exposure â€“ a good opportunity to test the breathability of the jacket.
We were about to head to the Great Glen to give some Explorer Scouts an introduction to ‘real hillwalking’. So that meant turning up in the gear you are going to wear, belt it up the road and hit the hills as soon as the car door clunks shut.
Surrounded by a frown (the collective noun) of scout leaders, the Mammut jacket came under close inspection. Zips were unzipped, cords were pulled and seams were, well, tested.
It seemed to pass muster amid a few “oohs” and “ahhs”. Although there was one comment of “all the gear, no idea”. Although that might have been in reference to my legendary sense of direction.
That leads me to my only gripe with the jacket. No map pocket. I appreciate that active shells usually compromise on pockets and flaps to keep the weight down, but I’d happily swap both the harness-friendly chest pockets for one roomy OS map-friendly pocket.
Elsewhere, Mammut have not scrimped on anything. The build-quality is as high as it gets â€“ a look at the taped seams lets you know Mammut has spent a lot of time engineering this jacket. And the shaping of the sleeves and hood reassures you that someone at Mammut also had a good think about how the jacket should let you move. The fit is neat, but generous for extreme ambulation.
In terms of durability, only time will tell, but after a fair few hikes and time spent crushed up in a damp rucksack, it still looks and feels like a new jacket.
On this particular hike in the Great Glen, the weather was uncommonly decent, and the jacket’s breathability was indeed called into question. With vents open and pockets open too, it performed at least as well as the other two hard shells I own, although there are limits.
In summary, it is on my kit list for my next Switzerland walking holiday. You’d be hard pushed to find a better active hardshell, and at this price point, that’s what you’d expect.
Mammut Segnas Jacket, RRP: Â£275. Available at Amazon.