Is your winter wardrobe missing a great padded mid-layer? Montane’s Phoenix, £140, might be the answer – this versatile and adventure-ready jacket is comfortable, water-resistant and seriously warm.
Review Montane Phoenix jacket
Product description: “Employing innovative new PrimaLoft® ThermoPlume technology, a new synthetic fill which comes closest yet to mimicking the structure of down to provide an incredibly lightweight and warm insulation package, yet with the advantage of performing even in wet or damp conditions.”
Out in the elements: I’ve been testing out a lot of mid-layers recently but Montane’s Phoenix (a men’s version called Icarus is also available) really stands out on test. The Phoenix ticks a lot of the boxes I look for in an effective down jacket – it’s very warm (the benefit of the PrimaLoft® ThermoPlume synthetic fill down is immediate), but lightweight and easy to pack down small. Picking synthetic also avoids the issues of making sure animal down is ethical and traceable – Montane’s Phoenix proves that synthetic down can perform just as well as animal.
The fill is water-resistant and stays warm even in the rain, drying quickly afterwards and holding its shape when wet. I also wear my Phoenix under a waterproof shell in rain and snow and it’s proved very breathable, even when you’re working hard. There’s a nicely cut hood and pockets and the jacket fits beautifully (although I’d recommend going a size up from your usual if you don’t want a snug, slim fit – I prefer a bit more room for inner layers).
Verdict: The Phoenix has become my go-to jacket for slinging on for instant warmth after a cold surf or when resting on a hike. High-performing, versatile mid-layer that delivers on warmth, weight and comfort makes it worth the spend.