Montane Nitro jacket £160

Extremely packable warmth for ride stops and emergencies

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Nitro provides excellent levels of warmth and windproofing for a very low weight and size. It’s ideally suited to long exposed rides, where stops to read maps, fix punctures or simply eat/admire the view can really sap your bodyheat.

It comes with a stuffsack the size of two fists, but we find it packs easier into the nooks and crannies of a backpack without it. Sizing is accurate, and the Nitro’s big enough to slip easily over layers and even jackets without being big or baggy.

While the cut is good, with a very comfortable and effective neck, articulated arms for easy movement and a slightly raised front/dropped tail, it’s not a jacket to ride far in. It’s simply too warm with anything more than a base layer tee underneath, and despite the water-resistant DWR coating it wets through relatively quickly. It’s not intended as a riding jacket, to be clear; it’s a ‘mountain jacket’, and we tested it as emergency warmth for big rides.

The lining is goose down. Combined with that nylon shell, it’s windproof and warm enough to keep us happy in temperatures down to -7C (around -20C with windchill). Given that it only weighs 395g (size large), the protection it offers is impressive.

There’s a map-sized zip-up mesh pocket inside, and two zipped handwarmer pockets outside; all have good-sized tabs for use with gloves. There’s a thick baffle behind the quality main zip, the cuffs are elasticated against drafts, and there’s an elasticated drawstring in the hem. It’s also available in black or steel.

There are only two things limiting this jacket. One is its susceptibility to rain. The other is a level of quality, comfort and style that makes it difficult to expose the Nitro to the mud and spray of the hills.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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