OK, I’ve been shopping

My gear abstinence ended with a bit of a bang yesterday. I’ve been looking for a new pair of shoes for the summer months. After my less than happy experience with the Inov-8 Roclites, I wanted to have a look at the HiTec Infinity shoes. However, I wanted to try a pair on as my experience with HiTec is that the fit is a bit variable. The only place near to home that sells them is Go Outdoors in Harlow, so I drove there yesterday.

It is my first experience of Go Outdoors. The staff were very pleasant and helpful. The store itself was a huge industrial shed crammed with all the familiar stuff. Anyway I tried a pair of Infinities. The fit is more roomy than Adidas/Salomon, but they were very comfortable so I got a pair. As usual I weighed them when I got home. 618g for a pair of size 8s. I’ll give you an update when I’ve worn them a few times.

HiTec Infinity

I also wanted to have a look at an intermediate synthetic warm jacket between my Minimus and my LIM Barrier. The jacket I was interested in was the Montane Prism jacket. However, when I tried it on, it didn’t feel quite right. Next to it was a Rab Generator jacket. It felt a much better fit and the insulation felt more lofty. Despite both using Pertex, the material used in the Generator feels better, silky smooth. Even though it is slightly more expensive, I went for the Generator. Notionally they are similar weights 440g and 420g. However, when I got home, I weighed the Generator. To my surprise it is 364g (medium).

Rab Generator Jacket

Next to the Generator jacket was a Montane Krypton jacket, I think you know where this is leading! I’ve not really taken much notice of this jacket, but seeing it in the flesh, it looked very good. It has a Pertex shell with a thin fleece lining, very similar to the one used by Marmot in their DriClime clothing. However, it looked like a better jacket than any I’ve seen using this combination. The pockets are mid-chest height, above a hip belt. They are mesh and act as vents as well as pockets. The roll down hood has a proper elasticated volume adjuster and a wired peak. The collar is deep enough to hide your chin from cold winds. The sleeve cuffs have velcro adjusters (hooray!). Given the fit of the Prism was not quite right, it was surprising to find the fit of the Krypton much better. The advertised weight is 375g. Apart from the superfluous small compass/GPS pocket on the sleeve, it seemed an ideal garment. The GO price is £78.30 compared to a RRP of £125, so it had to be bought. It looks like an ideal jacket for times when the Paramo VAL is overkill. Incidentally the weight was slightly heavier than advertised at 399g, but I’m a Large in Montane, rather than a Medium.

Montane Krypton Jacket

I also bought yet another buff and the Cicerone guide-book on Dartmoor. James’ posts on Dartmoor have inspired me to have a look at a visit to Dartmoor this year. I’ll fill you in with my research in another post, but it looks like an interesting place to go. I’ll give some updates on my purchases as I use them.

 

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31 thoughts on “OK, I’ve been shopping”

  1. Robin that is not shopping it is going out for a massive gear splurge! Good luck with the infinity shoes, I have found hi-tec to be too wide for me, like strapping a couple of sheds to my feet. The Adidas that I have got recently have been pretty good, great if you have narrow feet. It was odd walking through the bogs of Dartmoor and getting wet feet but not much differerent from my Fastpackers which now leak.

    The Dartmoor book is a bit of a jumbled mess, too many short routes and no map index showing the location of each walk on Dartmoor. Good though for getting a feel of what’s what though. I have four more Dartmoor posts coming……………

    1. Look forward to it. I’ve already planned a four day walk from Ivybridge to Okehampton possibly at the beginning of April. HiTec shoes are a bit on the wide side but the Infinities are not so bad, especially with slightly thicker socks. I may experiment again with shoes in the summer, but my Terrex boots are good and my Fastpackers are still watertight.

  2. Another pair of shoes, synthetic jacket and pertex thermal suede lined top! You have quite a collection going now!

    I had the prism and sold it couple months back. It is a great garment but the Rab Generator is warmer and wherea’s the Prism uses Microlight outer the Generator Quantam making it a smoother feel but maybe not quite as robust. I have tried many of the synthetics and for me the right amount of warmth it’s the Haglofs Barrier. Well designed jacket and some great reviews on RVOP’s and from where I purchased mine ‘Packyourbags’ in Tunbridge Wells. (Great little shop)

    I tried the Krypton on but my back is broad and it was way too small.

    As for the Hi-Tec Erruptions I recently bought, they were sent back because the sizing wasn’t right and they just didn’t feel right. I got myself a pair of Salomon Ultra 3D Pro’ (Not Gore) and they feel superb, cracking footwear and very comfortable.

    My kit list is limited and I am trying to abstain from any more purchases. Starting from the most recent purchases:

    Montane Lite-speeed (Off to Spain soon for a quick hol and this will be in the bag)
    Salomon 3D Ultra’ (By far most comfy shoes ever worn)
    Fuera Windproof Smock (Very roomy and allows for great movement)
    TNF Sythe Jacket (Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft, packs so small but very warm)
    Deuter ACT Trail 32 (Not used yet but confident it’s going to serve me well)
    Deuter Speedlite 20 (cracking mini pack for every day use)
    Haglofs Barrier (Cracking piece of kit and packs well into it’s own pocket)
    Cioch Glamaig (Tailor made Paramo garment, superb hood and perfect length)
    Marmot Driclime Catalyst (1st) Every day jacket, perfect balance of WP & warmth)

    1. I reckon the Generator is warmer than the barrier and fills the gap between the Barrier and the Minimus. It’s the same weight as the Minimus, but has the flexibility of being used as a walking jacket. I wouldn’t use the Minimus to walk in unless it was very cold (and dry).

      I have a pair of Erruptions which are relegated to dog walking duties. The fit was not quite right. The Infinities are still quite roomy but the lacing system makes it easier to reduce the volume. They also have a very flexible sole. Salomon is generally the best fit for me as well.

      I find Montane’s sizing a bit weird. I am medium for virtually all manufacturers apart from Montane where I’m a large. I wouldn’t class myself as broad shouldered, so the Krypton fits well. It’s a very good design in my view. Better than any of the other Pertex/fleece jackets I’ve seen. I think it’s the right one for me!

      I can’t see myself buying much else now, although I’m having a bespoke piece of gear made at the moment which I’ll post on when I get it.

  3. How many shoes can one man buy? What do you do with all of them? For sure you can’t wear them out because you would need to be on a constant hike doing that. There must be a female gene deep inside yourself, Robin… 🙂

  4. Montane, I’m a XXL in everything and the Krypton didn’t fit at all! My back and shoulders are too broad for it! XXL felt more like a Large.

    The ME Microtherm is supposed to be the mutts nutts but again it’d be way too small for me because it’s supposed to be a close fitting garment.

    But then we go back to the pile/pertex lined top and layered base/micro fleece/pertex wind top debate. Surely the latter being more adaptable?

  5. Hi there, do you mind me asking your measurements, am trying to work out Montane sizing without the ability to try on any of their gear. I’m 5’1″1, a 42″ chest, and 31″ waist, and I take a large in Rab’s PS zip top and Demand pull-on, but a while ago I managed to try on a Featherlite smock in medium and large and found the medium better for me. I was interested in the Prism you see, especially as it’s hood makes it better for quilt sleeping for me.
    Nice blog too!
    P.S. it helped me decide on a Scarp, which I’ll be ordering in the next few days.

    1. I’m a 40″ chest and 34″ waist. The Prism Medium felt a bit tight for me and the sleeve short. I’ve found Montane sizing to be a bit variable.

  6. Some nice kit there Robin, the Prism has been on my hit list for quite a while, my Flux is 2 years old and worn out due to almost constant wear (work/home/hill) but still works so there’s no point in getting another, the Prism would I guess be just as versatile but not as warm.

    Interesting you mentioned the Krypton being a cooler alternative to your VAL, that was my initial reaction when I started reading. I’m not a Paramo convert as such but I do like my VAL (my only Paramo garment) the Krypton is like a modern take on the Pertex/fleece reversible jackets from some years ago apart from not being reversible (of course it has other features including a hood)

    Both nice bits of kit, I really must get a Prism.

  7. There are some good buys to be had at Go Outdoors.My best purchase from their Stockport store was a Paramo Alta 11 Jacket for £125.I have visited their stores at Wolverhampton,Stockport,Sheffield,Hathersage(known as CCC) and Wigan and always wished that they had a store closer to my home.My wish is about to come true as the new Stoke store is due for opening very soon.

  8. The Krypton sounds a bit like the Rab Vapour Rise which I have just shelled out for. Like the look of it but will soon post on the V-R: in short, impressed so far but it’s 540g.

    1. I have the VR Lite, which is the same weight (400g). They are different. Both the face and the inner materials are very different. I think the Krypton feels better. Also the Kryton has a hood, which the VR Lite lacks. My first impression is that the Krypton is a better jacket.

  9. Isn’t the Krpton an updated version of the Scarab with a hood? Do the sleevs have the capabilities of rolling up to vent?

  10. Looking for reviews on Primaloft tops and came accross these posts from earlier in the year.

    Today I bought a Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody for £85 in a sale in a shop in Guildofrd. I’ve always wanted something from Patagonia and fianally took the plunge, though only because it was half price. (Staggering £170 new and not much cheaper online)

    Stiching is a great idea locking the primaloft in patches to eliminate cold spots and to hold it in place whilst washing.

    The hood is minimalistic by not having any cords to cinch it down. It doesn’t need them because it snuggly fits round the head (no room for helemt if you climb) and moves with the head.

    It’s 60g per m2 Primaloft 1 and feels really warm when on. Perfect for me because I run hot. It packs away into the chest pocket however I prefer to roll it up into the hood which works equally well.

    They also have R1′ going for £40!! I nealry bought one but how many fleeces can one own?

    If anybody else has any reviews it’d be great to read them.

    1. The Nanopuf is something I’ve looked at before but was put off by price. Now I have two Rab jackets and a Haglofs pullover, I don’t I can justify any more! The R1 Fleece is excellent.

  11. Actually the Nano Puff is a tad too tight accross the back with just a base layer on so I’m going to sell it.

    Online yesterday, I bought a Berghaus Ignite Jacket in the hope of fulfilling the above. The primaloft fill is the same as the Nano at 60grams per sq m but won’t be as neatly and tightly stitched in as the Nano. Nano packs down well and feels extremely good quality but if it ‘Don’t fit don’t wear it’!

    I was reading a review at ‘OM’ on fleece warmth over primaloft and one person was convinced fleece was as warm and stays warm when wet!

    I have read reviews that fleece looses its thermal properties when wet? Fibre pile doesn’t, somewhat feels warmer!

  12. Hi I got a chance today at a Montane Krypton, paid £40, its currently being panned by online reviews as basically not very tough, tightly fitting and not one thing or another (not thick for cold not thin for warm). Well the thing is, my most used pieces of kit happen to be Montane, a Prism I got sometime 2007 and a Slipstream Gilet I got about 2010, because these have shown to be in that “just right” zone where its just-enough insulation to keep it on a long time for days. My Prism I’ve repaired 3 times as it just gets used *so* much. The Slipstream has been worn say 120 days, and is slowly dying of snagging but likely 1-ish year of life left. The Prism after I’ve warmed up after being active does me in just-above-freezing conditions, the Slipstream does me in about 60F type conditions, so I’m hoping the Krypton does me in about 50F which is a fairly typical winter temperature for me. I have a Paramo Torres Gilet Light I use to make in-between combinations, wear as I warm-up, pack it, then add when I stop. e.g. Litespeed+Torres, Prism+Torres, etc. As temps cross below freezing, the arm insulation needs then calls for different solutions, and I move to down usually.

    I am somewhat puzzled at these wicking windproof tops asking some very high prices. £40 for a Krypton seems fair, I paid £30 for my Litespeed (2nd one, the earlier one died honourably from use) and I think about £60 for my Prism, above that is my Paramo Quito I paid £140 and my down jackets (thin / thick) £65 and £95 respective. These in combinations will get me from 90F (add Litespeed for evening wind) to 0F (thin+thick down). I usually throw in the Torres gilet always and whichever windproof-thru-down for the expected temperature range.

    We’ll see how the Krypton ends up, I sell from new about 30% of my kit as its just plain wrong. Sold a Neoair Xlite instantly last week, it was sooooo not worth it.

  13. Hello All,

    It seems a few readers here are well-acquainted with Montane, especially the Krypton jacket. Do you mind if I ask a question about sizing? It seems like the perfect jacket for Spring backcountry skiing, but I’m wondering about the size to order. I’m 6’4, 183 pounds, 33 waist. I wear Large in everything (except Millet, where a French XL is equivalent to UK/US Large). Would you recommend I order the Krypton in Large as usual? Or do you think I should go up a size?

    Thanks for the advice!

    1. Hi David. Sorry for the delay but I’ve been on Dartmoor. I’m a 40″ chest and 34″ waist and find that Large is the correct Montane size.

    2. Similar comment on Krypton size, its size large is a little looser than the medium Slipstream and a lot baggier than the medium Litespeed and medium Prism. I’d say you’d find the Large Krypton too small in sleeve length probably, and certainly not as bum-covering as you’d like given your height, and have to go up a size but if your waist is 33″ then to get the length you’ll find it baggier in the torso. Krypton is a perfect for me in every dimension which is a pleasant surprise, I can just barely get the Montane Velo medium zip done up above the sturnum! Yes probably a good idea for high-activity high 30’sF – mid 40’sF type range, if sunny windless then lower those temps. As it has little insulation if you idle you’ll chill quickly. I find it comfy as the only layer but to not scare the ladies when venting I might use a very thin wicking baselayer t-shirt under. Hood is incredible, full-on mountain which is odd for something not waterproof or heavily insulating. Its been my go-to high-activity cool all-in-one since I got. I wished I’d bought two as I’m sure Montane will ruin its design before I get another (like they did with the Prism). Add a Primaloft or down overlayer for stops obviously dependent on the rain/dry weather expectations.

  14. Interesting reading the comments on Montane sizing and personal fit. I have a Krypton and a Flux….both fit better than any other jackets i have now and ones i have discarded. You always take a risk buying on line and even then, til you have worn on the hill in varying conditions, there is a risk with the gear shop. I have a Rab Latok 2 shell which works great in extreme conditions but as with all Rab gear for me, is a strange fit and always a compromise…..shame we are all built differently , females excepted! Although good to receive consumer comments best to be circumspect before handing over cash based on another`s assessment of sizing particularly.

    1. Exactly. As I live in an area with no outdoor shops, I’m forced to buy online, so I spend a lot of time reading comments such as these. (
      Thanks!)

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