Our expedition to the Western Zaalisky was supported in part by the Montane Alpine Club Climbing Fund and some of the team were also provided with jackets too.
I got the women’s Prismatic jacket. Available in four colours, Blue, Black, Berry and Red, I chose the blue colour in a size 10.
It’s always exciting to be given outdoor clothing to test, but in all honesty this jacket wasn’t about to fill a gap in my wardrobe as I already have something similar which performs well in a variety of situations. So how would this jacket compare to what I already have?
Montane bill this jacket as:
The women’s specific Prismatic Jacket is an essential item of mountain clothing. Warm yet lightweight and packable, it can be worn on the move in cool conditions for a variety of outdoor activities. Using 40g/m2 PrimaLoft® SILVER ECO insulation throughout ensures that the Prismatic is warm yet lightweight enough to be worn on the move in cool conditions.
The Prismatic jacket did provide great insulation and I wore it for a lot of the expedition for both pottering around base camp in the evening and high alpine days when the wind was cold or it was early in the morning. It insulated me from the cold without me feeling like I would get too hot and sweaty in it.
I like that the jacket is made in part from recycled materials:
Approximately 28 recycled water bottles are used in the production of each kilogram of PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Eco, which averages 6 bottles per finished jacket.
The jacket size worked well as it was fitted around the waist, without being too snug that I couldn’t get another warm layer underneath.
The length and cut was also good, as it tucked into my harness and didn’t ride up as I climbed.
Things that I’d change
Pockets. This is always my first complaint with women’s outdoor clothing. There seems to be an assumption that women carry less stuff than men. Despite being billed as an Alpine Jacket it only has two pockets, neither of which would be possible to put a map into. There is no internal pocket or chest pocket, unlike on the men’s equivalent Prism jacket.
For some reason the women’s hood is designed to fit under a helmet and the men’s over a helmet. I’m not sure why there’d be a difference, and to be honest I’m not sure which is better. I personally prefer to be able to put my hood over the helmet so when I heat up towards mid day I have the option of taking it off.
Colour is usually my other major complaint with women’s outdoor clothing – as we only get offered dark colours, with a predominance of pinks and purples.
For me, when I’m out in Scottish winters or on Alpine routes I want bright colours that make me stand out from the environment. That way if something happens and I want rescuing I can be easily found. They also look much cooler in photos!
To be honest, the men’s version of this jacket isn’t much better in this regard as they have black, grey, dark blue, a two tone green and a red jacket to choose from.
My overall opinion
The women’s Prismatic Jacket is a good jacket that provides medium weight insulation. It moved well with my body and was long enough to fit under a harness and not ride up.
It is priced at £125 which about comparable to competitor jackets of a similar type.
Would I buy it? It needs more pockets for me, and at least one big enough to fit a map in. I’d also want it in a bright colour, lime green or orange, something I can be very visible in.