It’s 8am on Saturday 19th December 2018 and my running buddy had talked me into attending my very first GB Ultras Chester recce. This was my first introduction to ultra running and since then I’ve completed over 50 Ultra runs and races over varying distances. During the past 5 years I still find myself admiring other runners gear and equipment, so let’s see how the Montane Icarus Lite Hooded Jacket gets on.
As a runner I like to vary my terrain types so it’s not uncommon to find my partner and I packing up the campervan to go explore some new routes and terrains. In order to give a good review of the Montane Icarus Lite Hooded Jacket, I felt I’d need to test it in varied terrain and temperatures.
First thing to say is about the sizing, as a runner of 5’9’’ and 15 stone I would normally opt for the XL jacket, however after reading the sizing chart, I opted for the XXL which was the right choice as the fitting was small. The XXL is the largest size in range and therefore anyone with larger credentials than me would struggle. The jacket was a good fit with the stretch panels on either side allowing for more manoeuvrability.
The first outing was here in the UK where I chose to use it during a gentle jog through the Cheshire countryside. Although it was late November it was a modest 12 Degrees with a light breeze and lots of sun therefore, I found the jacket to be slightly warm in that environment. However it should be noted that the stretch panels at the side worked as good ventilation, allowing my upper body to breathe and maintain a comfortable temperature.
The second outing was in a location I thought would test the jacket to its full. I arrived in Tampere, Finland, and into a -12 Degree temperature with a wind chill of -25 Degrees. I knew when stepping off the plane this would be a real test for the Montane Icarus Lite Hooded Jacket.
The early morning run was arranged for the next day and to add to the ‘fun’ there was a full covering of overnight snow. This is absolutely where the jacket came into its own. From the moment I stepped out the hotel and noted the outside temperature gauge indicating an ambient temperature of -15 degrees, I felt warm and protected from the elements. I was slightly worried that the stretch panels that had previously allowed my body to breathe back in the UK would be its achilles heel and allow too much cold to enter the jacket. However this simply was not the case. The jacket stood up well to the elements and actually the venting was a plus side. I’d say the biggest mistake was mine, who thought it was a good idea to run that day in shorts!
If I have any points or additions that would enhance the jacket it would be to add thumb hoops to allow the jacket to cover the hands in the colder temperatures, and have the capacity to retract them in warmer temperatures. Though it was not a concern in the temperatures of the UK. I also think the addition of a small storage bag so that the jacket could be stuffed into it or be carried in your race vest for those cold nights would also be a great addition.
The jacket is retailing at £180 direct from the Montane website and I’d agree that the extra cold protection it provides it is value for money.
Review by Ryan Black
Montane Icarus Lite Hooded Jacket