Incoming: Montane Minimus Jacket

This is a jacket that I’ve been very keen to get my hands on and those nice people at Webtogs have very kindly sent me one to review. Although I’ve been a long time user of Paramo, I’ve come to the conclusion that for the warmer months it’s overkill and that I need to have a more flexible clothing system, hence, my interest in lightweight waterproofs.

In the past I’ve dabbled with the Marmot Mica (209g) and TNF DIAD (202g) jackets. Neither has been totally satisfactory. The Mica has one of the worst hoods I’ve ever used. The DIAD is not the most breathable of jackets and is a bit short.

Enter the Montane Minimus. On the swing tag it claims 200g but on the Montane website it says 227g (M). My large size weighs 228g. It comes with a small mesh sack (12g).

Webtogs has given me a black jacket, which looks very smart. It is also available in blue and vivid green (don’t think they will get many takers for that colour!). It has some reflective dots and flashes for safety and to add a little bit of style.

My first impressions are that Montane could have a real winner on their hands here. It’s got all the features I want in a jacket but with nothing superfluous. The material is very light and silky, similar to silnylon. It feels more like a wind shirt than a waterproof jacket. It is slightly crackly but not in an extreme crisp packet way like paclite. The inner surface is pleasant to the touch, not slick and clammy like many membranes. All the seams are tape sealed.

The hood is a real joy for such a lightweight jacket. It’s not too big, not too small, and has a proper elasticated volume adjuster, which is a welcome improvement compared with the Velcro adjuster on the old Montane Quickfire. The hood draw-cord has single handed adjusters, secured in tunnels. There is also a proper wired peak. Overall, it seems to fit very well and is certainly the best hood of any Montane waterproof I’ve owned (i.e. Superfly, Quickfire and Lite-speed H2O). Finally, there’s the standard Montane tab to roll away the hood.

Another weakness of many lightweight jackets is the main zip. Montane have used a reasonably substantial water-resistant zip backed by an excellent internal storm flap. The storm flap has a stiffener and a “fold-back” seam to ensure that any moisture will drain down along the flap and not spread. The zip itself moves freely, unlike some water-resistant zips and has a puller with a plastic toggle. There is a small fold of material at the top of the zip, which is micro fleece like the beard guard. I guess this might get a bit damp, but it shouldn’t be an issue.

The Minimus has one good sized Napoleon pocket, which is large enough to take an OS 1:25,000 Outdoor Leisure map. The backing is mainly mesh, but the bottom of the pocket is solid, a good idea in case any water gets in. The zip is not water-resistant. Personally I would have preferred a water-resistant one. However, it has an outer rain flap and an internal storm flap, so it should be weatherproof. There’s also a small plastic D ring to secure a key ring.

The sleeves are excellent, with good mobility. The cuffs are asymmetric so the outside is longer than the inside, a feature that I like. They are long enough to completely cover my hands. The closure is hook and loop with rubberised tabs. The bottom hem of the jacket has an elasticated cord with a cord lock on either side.

The standard of workmanship is high and the cut is good. As usual with Montane, the large is the correct size for me compared with medium that I normally take for most other manufacturers (e.g. Rab). At £107.99 at Webtogs, I reckon that’s good value for a well specified, very light jacket.

My first impressions are very favourable and I’m looking forward to taking the Minimus on my next trip, which will be for a few days in the Lakes at the end of May. It’s the first very lightweight jacket that I’ve felt happy with. It’s 100g lighter than the old Quickfire jacket, which apart from the hood volume adjuster is a great jacket.

The most interesting thing to find out will be the performance of the Pertex Shield material. Will it be as breathable as eVent? Can the membrane get overwhelmed like paclite? Hopefully I’ll have some answers in a couple of weeks’ time. I’ll also give you some more photos.

Link to Webtogs Minimus Jacket

Link to Montane website

Disclosure: Webtogs provided this item free of charge. I have complete editorial freedom and the opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. You knew that anyway, but I just thought I’d make it 100% clear.


22 thoughts on “Incoming: Montane Minimus Jacket”

  1. Robin, interesting looking jacket, I have a Atomic DT, pretty waterproof, but could be more breathable. I don’t know much about Pertex Shield material , but on the webtogs site it suggests it has a MVTR rating of 25,000 g/m2/24hrs (breathability rating) compared the Atomic DT of 8,000g/m2/24hr. The Pertex Shield has a hydrostatic head reading of 20,000mm compared to Atomic DT at 10,000 mm. So if these figures are correct then the Minimus Jacket will be more breathable and more waterproof.
    Just a thought, I wonder what PHD will think of the name Minimus ?! – since they have a range with that name already including jackets.

    1. I guess it’s Latin, so they can’t trade mark it!

      I’ve got some Atomic DT overtrousers. The fabric feels even thinner and warmer to the touch. The big thing is whether it is more breathable. I found Entrant DT OK but a bit clammy at times. The TNF DIAD uses a material very similar to Entrant DT .

  2. Yes, you are probably right about the trade mark – could cause some confusion however. I have some DT overtrousers as well. Not found so much of a problem with these I guess, my legs tend to sweat less than my top half.

    Anyway, look forward to your report in due course.

    Oh yes, I noticed that I put my name twice on the last comment !!

  3. I’ve tried this jacket on a couple of times and am very close to getting one. The vivid green is not actually too bad – it is not all that bright and would probably blend in fairly well on a green/brown hillside. I can’t go for the black: my trousers are black, and my pack too – I’d look like a waterproof ninja or wannabe special forces type. The fit for me was excellent and the hood was also great – much better than the other super light jackets that I’ve tried. Ditto on the Mica, the hood was why it stayed on the rail. I’ve just been waiting for the summer to properly start incase anything else appears in the meantime.

  4. It looks and sounds ideal for the warmer months.
    Something i could probably push too at the price.
    I will wait and see what you think of it at the end of the month when you have been in wet and windy weather. (well it has to be wet and windy to do a review doesn’t it.)

  5. I have had a look at a Tumalo in the flesh and my first impressions were that it was going to get sweaty.
    I havn’t had any other contact with one. I havn’t tried one.
    I agree with you that the Minimus looks a better design so it should be an interesting review to come.

    1. The Minimus doesn’t have elasticated cuffs, they are velcro. The Napoleon pocket has a mesh backing, so it can be used as a vent.

  6. Hi Robin, I’m really interested in this jacket but living in New Zealand I can’t try one on so am wondering about sizing. I’m 5’9”, 37 ½ “ chest, so in theory would need a size Small, but I notice that reviews including yours say these jackets tend to be on the small side anyway, so would you suggest a Medium instead? I’m slim overall and would want a slimmer athletic fit anyway, but obviously don’t want it too tight and restrictive. I appreciate you can’t give me a definitive answer but any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Brendan

    1. I’m normally a 40″ chest, which equates to a medium, but Montane seem to be a tighter fit than, say Rab. My advice would be to go for a Medium.

  7. Is the base+R1+windshirt or base+Krypton with a minimus in your pack better than the anology light system?

    By wearing the anology light system, does it eliminate the frantic decision making of switching the windproof back and forth from waterproof?

    1. On balance, I think the Velez Adventure Light is the best, but maybe not in summer, then I would go for a fleece and a windshirt (Litespeed). The R1 is probably too warm.

  8. Hi Robin, just wanted to say thanks again for the sizing advice. I went for the medium, which arived yesterday and it’ a perfect fit. Haven’t tried it in the wet yet, but first impression is WOW! What an amazing little jacket- everything you need and nothing you don’t, including excess weight. I loved Paramo kit when I was in the UK, but having moved to NZ it’s just too mild and humid here in the North Island, and my (older, heavier) Velez smock and Viento jacket are too warm, even with just a very light baselayer underneath, but I’m really looking forward to giving the Minimus a good workout.

  9. Just received a size medium (the green – it’s not too bad!) and agree with the comments above including those about sizing/fit plus the way the cuffs are cut to give a little more protection to the back of the hand is great, however for me personally it feels like it could have been just an inch or two longer in the body (I’m 5’10, 37in chest).

    Remarkable comparing it’s weight with my old Sprayway Paclite jacket it will be replacing – It’s almost half the weight (227g on my scales- exactly the same as the spec on Montane’s website) and packs down to the size of a large jaffa orange. Never thought of Paclite as heavy before!

    I wonder how the Pertex Sheild fabric will hold up to wearing a pack though- I aim to take part in a mountain marathon (probably LAMM) next year and bought the jacket with this in mind, but it feels so thin & with no shoulder reinforcement that I’m concerned about it’s durability. Unfair I guess, as I haven’t tested it yet, but it just feels so flimsy!

  10. I have, or should have said, had an X-Large Minimus jacket. I really liked the fit and workmanship and ended up wearing it around town a lot when it was rainy. It was the most comfortable, most breathable rain jacket I have owned. However, the waterproofness deteriorated under the shoulder straps after a three day backpack trip and within two months, the inner coating began to delaminate from the outer layer. I corresponded with photos to Montane who acknowledged that the fabric was defective. I sent it back to the vendor and received a credit. Now I am trying to decide whether to purchase another one. I really liked the comfort, breathability, and packability of this jacket. But I am concerned about the durability.

  11. Hi, I’m just wondering if you have had a chance to test the jacket on the move, I’m keen to find out what the breathability is like??? I need a jacket for The North Face 100 in Australia and I really like the look and sound of this one, as long as it breaths well… I tried another jacket (the Vigilante Gokarna) to run in but my arms and torso ended up drenched in sweat after 4kms… any info would be awesome.

    1. It’s ok but I still prefer eVent, like my OMM Cypher. The liner on the Minimus gets a bit damp in humid conditions as there’s no scrim to hide the moisture.

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