On a cool, crisp winter’s day it’s difficult to know what to wear sometimes. Go with something warm and you’ll end up sweaty and irritated when the going gets tough. And go with something thin; you’ll get a chill. So that middle-ground where there’s a need for a little bit of insulation, but great breathability and unincumbered movement is where the Foraker jacket from Mammut is aimed.
It’s a jacket of two halves: The chest and back are insulated, and the arms, sides and shoulders are stretchy and un-insulated. So, what it does is help trap warmth in your core, but allow you free movement of your arms for activities and enough side panel that you don’t get really sweaty pits.
And it achieves this pretty well by using some top-end materials. If we’re honest, this jacket is a bit of a showpiece for those materials.
The stretchy sections are made from Polartec’s Power Stretch fabric which is designed to offer maximum 4-way stretch with great breathability and wicking.
And the insulated sections are made from a Pertex Quantum 20 shell (super thin, super dense weave for ruggedness and wind-protection and light-weight). Inside that shell is a very thin layer of Polartec’s Alpha insulation. This is a synthetic insulation which was developed to offer the maximum breathability during activities. There’s not much in there though. In fact, you can barely feel it’s in there at all, but if you pinch the jacket you can make out the tell-tale mesh feeling which is the filling – that mesh insures it doesn’t clump or all slip down to the bottom.
There’s a single chest pocket which is big enough for a phone. This pocket also acts as a wrap so the jacket can fold away on itself and be stashed in your pack. The lack of hand-pockets is a bit of a bore, but this is a jacket sold for use during activities, I suppose.
To batten down the hatches when it gets windy, there’s a pretty effective zip baffle, a drawstring waist and soft elasticated cuffs. The neck is medium high and close-fitting to keep out breezes.
In short this jacket is really comfortable and has been a good cool-weather companion.
Price: £150 (RRP)