£200 seems to becoming the sort of amount that one can expect to pay for a top-end own-brand waterproof jacket these days. Whilst the likes of Gore-Tex accelerate the price of garments using their fabrics to levels which only the very determined (and affluent) can afford, the competition between own-brand waterproofing technologies is definitely hotting up.
Mammut’s Creon Jacket uses their own DRYtech fabrics, which in the case of the Creon jacket is a waterproof, windproof and breathable hardshell for hillwalking.
The Creon is a jacket designed for a younger audience. It has flashy styling, bright colours and a pocket for your music-player with a very neat little elastic headphone retainer just under the chin. It’s a jacket for those who want their outdoors with a soundtrack of beats, rather than tweets.
But what about that own-brand waterproofing? Well, functionally, it seems to performs extremely well at keeping the rain out. It’s also definitely windproof. And the breathability is, to my mind, as good as many of the Gore Tex jackets I’ve tested. Of course, breathability comes in the most part from the enormous underarm zippers and full-length front zipper, but the rest of the jacket didn’t seem to get to sweaty for me.
Mammut’s DRYtech fabric is a 2-layer waterproofer, which is to say that a waterproof membrane is glued directly to the fabric, and protected from your harsh, abrasive elbows by a separate liner fabric or mesh. In DRYtech, the membrane (Polyurethane) actually absorbs your sweat and then once it’s full to capacity it evaporates it out the cooler, outer surface.
The Creon is fairly light-weight at 600g, and will crush down quite small in a pack. As you’d expect from Mammut (and at the price tag) it’s very well made and there’s a lot of attention to detail.
All the fixtures and fittings seem high-quality and the styling is very neat indeed.
The fit of the Creon is a sort of mid-length. The sample I have is a little on the large side for me, particularly in the arm length, but it comes down over my backside and won’t expose any flesh when I’m reaching or perched on a bike.
The Creon has a set of hand-warmer pockets which are nice and deep, lined with mesh and zipper closed. And a third chest pocket for the afore-mentioned music-player. I can’t get an OS map in to any of them, but they’re plenty big enough for a GPS.
The Creon’s hood is a fairly simple affair with a fixed peak to keep rain out of your eyes (unless it’s blowing a hoolie) and adjusters for depth and diameter. It’s too close-cut to go over a helmet, so may rule this out as a climber’s jacket if that’s one of your criteria.
I like the Creon. It looks good and doesn’t feel fussy. It works well and I’m becoming accustomed enough with price tags around the £200 mark to realise that it’s not such a stretch for a higher-quality piece of kit.