They don’t make them like they used to

My cupboard clearing exercise a few weeks ago unearthed another gem: the Montane Superfly jacket. Back in the good old days, front zips were protected by storm flaps. Nowadays, it’s increasingly rare to find jackets with proper storm flaps. The vast majority have water “resistant” zips, most of which are prone to leakage. The Superfly takes no chances with a double flap secured by Velcro.

It’s not SUL, but not too heavy at 429g (L). I’m a bit disillusioned with very lightweight waterproofs. I had a look at my OMM Cypher eVent smock the other day and noted that it is delaminating in a couple of places. The Superfly seems to be in perfect condition and the material is noticeably more robust. Outside of summer, I think I’ll be using it again.

Out of interest, I thought I’d look for other jackets with front zips protected by storm flaps. There are the ME Kongur and Rab Bergen jackets, but both are a bit on the heavy side and more mountaineering jackets than walking jackets. The Marmot Precip jacket has one and is decently light, but I’m not a huge fan of Marmot hoods.

The other jacket that looks interesting is the Berghaus Lite Trek Hydroshell. At around 430g, it’s a similar weight to the Superfly. It has four pockets (a bit overkill) and unusually for a European jacket, it has body venting zips. It also has reinforced shoulders and hips, so should wear well. The breathability specs for Hydroshell are similar to eVent. It looks like Berghaus are discontinuing it, so it is being discounted and looks good value. I’m tempted to get one as pretty soon it will be impossible to get a jacket with proper waterproof zip protection.

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8 thoughts on “They don’t make them like they used to”

    1. Looks good but a bit heavy and over specified for me. The original Alpamayo smock had a storm flap then they replaced it with a “waterproof” zip.

  1. My experiences with 2.5-layer shells like the Light Trek Hydroshell have been pretty bad. I’ve had two North Face and on Marmot jackets and one pair of North Face pants and they have all delaminated in less than five years. 3-layer shells on the other hand have been really durable.

    Finding a “holy grail” jacket with 3-layer construction, ventilation zippers, storm flap and ~400g weight seems to be impossible.

  2. I had one of those older Superflys Robin. Great jacket. I wore it for years until it was leaking in a couple of places, then my son took it on for commuting to school.
    I’ve borrowed my Father’s later model Superfly for the 2014 TGO. It was stiffer fabric than the previous model- in fact very similar to the Rab Bergen which I have been using for the last 3 years. I actually bought the Bergen because it was so very similar to the ( later model)Superfly I borrowed.
    As well as many Dartmoor days, I’ve used it on four Scottish backpacking trips over the last couple of years.2 Spring and 2Autumn. I’d recommend it.

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