Pros and Cons
Filed under:Clothing, Gear reviews, Midlayers, fleece, midlayer, Montane, Protium
We test a new fleece midlayer from Montane in the Scottish Highlands....
The new Protium Hoodie from Montane – available in both men’s and women’s versions – is a super comfy fleece that makes a great addition to your layering system.
Its close ‘active’ fit allows it to be easily worn under a shell, but it can also be used as an outer in the right conditions. The first thing that we noticed when trying it on was the amount of stretch it has, making it extremely comfortable. The THERMO GRID brushed back fleece design was soft against the skin and kept us warm but was also breathable.
We found that it gave a fair amount of wind protection too. The hood framed the face nicely, and fitted easily under a helmet. We didn’t find the hood to restrict movement in any way when looking up or down, and side to side. The cuffs are low profile and close fitting, again making this an ideal layering piece. We appreciated the added length in the arms which added a bit of extra warmth and meant that the sleeves didn’t ride up when reaching. The extra length didn’t bunch enough to ever become cumbersome. Our tester found herself pulling the sleeves down over her hands on chillier days and thinking that a thumb hole could be useful.
The hoodie weighs about 320g – not bad for a fleece! Montane have included a chest pocket in both the men’s and women’s, but in the women’s version they’ve used a discreet invisible zip. This pocket is big enough to stash snacks or a camera/smartphone. The Protium is suited to both easy jaunts in the hills, and more technical endeavors, easily worn under a harness and the stretch allowing for plenty of movement. So far, ours has held up well against abrasion with regular wear, sometimes walking through undergrowth or rubbing against rock.
For those who prefer, Montane also have a simple pullover version without the hood, but with the same brushed grid back construction. We definitely have no complaints about the Hoodie though, and at £65, we feel it’s well worth the price as it’s become one of our most frequently used layers. We’ve found the Protium to be a truly versatile piece that keeps things simple – doing the job without all the bells and whistles!