Review: Montane Women’s Phase Lite Waterproof Jacket

A well fitted and thoughtfully designed jacket for fast-paced adventures in all conditions

Feature type Review

Read time 4 mins

Published Dec 19, 2023

Author Evie Butler

Evie Butler Evie is a UK-based adventurer, personal trainer and traveller. She can be found out hiking in the hills, skiing or snowboarding on the mountains, swimming in open waters and running around new cities. You name an activity, and she’ll happily get stuck in. An avid outdoorswoman with a passion for veganism, sustainability and exploraration.

OUR VERDICT

A well fitted and thoughtfully designed jacket that is designed to support fast-paced adventures in all conditions.

Weight 255g
Features Breathable GORE-TEX membrane, fully waterproof 30D with taped seams, YKK AQUAGUARD® front zip with internal storm flap, peaked hood, drawcord hem

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great colour
  • Peaked hood and taped seams provide extra rain protection

Cons

  • No pit zips
  • Very fitted on the hips – would potentially need to size up
  • Pricey

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

I’m looking for a dynamic, well fitted jacket that is going to keep me dry out on the mountains – a good and comfortable layer that is breathable and has GORE-TEX in the design in order to keep me extra dry. Getting caught in the Scottish weather, I can find myself soaked through, so that’s the ultimate test for a waterproof in my book. 

I’ve recently taken up trail running and whilst I’m still very new to it, I’m out and about and often get caught in showers. With this jacket I am aiming to test out the breathability and the adaptability for faster movements in the hills. I’m particularly interested to see how the GORE-TEX Active membrane allows for that escape of moisture.

I do tend to find that I run fairly warm, and I hate the jackets that create an internal sauna! I need something that’s going to keep me warm but have the breathability to regulate my internal temperature. 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I do like a brightly coloured jacket, so I was really impressed by this colourway. It’s sleek, modern and definitely easy to be  spotted out on the hills. It’s definitely a shade that I am loving at the moment, considering my wedding theme is sage, this was very exciting when it turned up.

The jacket felt very light when pulling it out of the packaging, and on first wear it fit like a glove. Designed to be trim and close fitting – it certainly fits close, especially around the hips. The design would allow for another thinner layer underneath, but not much more, certainly if you’re wider on the hip area. I’m certainly a curvy body shape, and often find jackets to be tight around my hips – this jacket does fit well, but any smaller and I wouldn’t be able to zip it up. 

One of the first thing I noticed was that there are no pit zips. This is a feature I would love more companies and jackets to incorporate into their designs. I think for my style of adventures, I sometimes just need that zip to add some more ventilation – so it was a shame that it didn’t have this. With the 30 Denier GORE-TEX Active Shell and fully taped seams, this feels like a very well made jacket. 

The jacket felt very light when pulling it out of the packaging, and on first wear it fit like a glove

THE TEST

Heading out into the hills of Scotland, you can experience every season all in one day. Montane has designed this jacket with a light and breathable 3-layer fabric with the aim of keeping you comfortable and protected when heading out for a hike or a run. 

I found this jacket very lightweight and easily packable, I have no problem stuffing it into my rucksacks without it taking up too much room. It’s super easy to pull out and shove on, no matter the weather. This came into true force during my days at work; when the heavens opened, I quickly pulled it out of my bag, popped it on, kept myself dry without taking up too much space in my bag. 

The fully adjustable, roll away hood with the stiffened peak is a great design. It’s exactly the type of design that jackets should have, it doesn’t budge when you’re up on the hills in gale-force winds, It fully encapsulates your face, and stays put. It has a soft chin guard as well which reduces any rubbing on your face when you have it fully zipped up. 

One thing that does seem to be missing to me is pit zips – these are so important if you’re moving fast or needing ventilation. Missing out the pit zips on this really was a downside for me. I did find the jacket fairly breathable but not as much as I would have liked for my runs and hikes. I feel that I couldn’t wear a short sleeve under this jacket as I ended up sticking to the inside, whilst if there was that pit zip incorporated into the design, I think the ventilation would be exactly what I needed it to be. This might be down to personal preference, of course!

This jacket certainly kept me dry on the hills, and was able to keep me protected during the blustery winds. I would say it wasn’t the warmest of all jackets on those particularly cold and crisp days, but a base layer underneath makes for the perfect combo for hiking out on the hills.

WHO IS THIS JACKET FOR?

This jacket is for adventure lovers who are heading out into the mountains – whether hiking or running – but want a jacket that is lightweight, minimal, breathable and waterproof. It is a close fitting jacket that allows for movement and flexibility, but keeps you warm and dry. 

The jacket has been designed for fast and light adventures in the mountains – and it certainly lives up to that.

WHAT STANDS OUT?

Peaked hood

This hood didn’t move when out on the windy mountains, and with the soft chin guard, I felt no irritation.

Colour

This might be a matter of preference, but it does play a big part when I’m investing in outdoor clothing!

Weight and packability

A really lightweight jacket that can easily roll up very small. Doesn’t take up much space in a bag. 

GORE-TEX membrane

Having the inclusion of the GORE-TEX Active membrane immediately makes it that little bit more efficient for keeping dry out on the hills.

Having the inclusion of the GORE-TEX Active membrane immediately makes it that little bit more efficient for keeping dry out on the hills

VALUE FOR MONEY

£325 can seem like a pricey number, but with the inclusion of the 30 Denier GORE-TEX Active Shell, this certainly is a worthwhile investment to make. I know if I was making this choice, I would be wearing this every single day and getting every bit of use out of this jacket. You can find it on sale in places, so it is best to keep an eye on prices if you want to pick up a bargain! 

This is a high quality jacket that is certainly adaptable and waterproof – and of course value for money is subjective. I do know this will be my go-to jacket for bagging Munros and testing out my trail running from now on!

BASE BOTTOM LINE

Whether it’s trail running or hiking, this jacket certainly has been designed with a range of activities in mind and is adaptable for most adventures. 

Just keep in mind that you might need to size up for this jacket, depending on how you like it to fit around your hips and chest. I’m looking forward to testing out this jacket on many more adventures.

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