Mountain Equipment Changabang Jacket
After having a few problems with my old shell, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a more serious jacket, after speaking to a few different people I finally settled on the Changabang, I have a few other peices of kit from ME and I've been more than happy with their performance.
Unfortunately the company that supplies Mountain Equipment in NZ don't usually stock the jacket, so it had to be done on a special order and I had to wait a few months for it to arrive.
Once the jacket finally arrived I tried it on, and found it to be a very comfortable fit, with the sleeves being a little bit long (though this is no problem when the cuffs are tightened, and is actually beneficial when rock climbing as the jacket doesn't lift up when you raise your arms above your head).
I was lucky enough after buying it that my first trip into the scrub was overshadowed by one of the larger storms we've had this year, and after walking 7 hours on the first day and 5 hours on the second I was bone dry and toasty warm.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that, although it's heavier than my old jacket, and larger, when it's packed away it's actually smaller.
My one issue with the jacket is that if you have a bit of stubble on your chin (quite common after a few days in the bush I think) the soft lining on the collar that's designed to stop the zip rubbing on your jaw actually catches your hair and tugs at it like so many tiny pairs of tweezers (much to the delight of my fiance, who has finally found an argument for me keeping my jaw clean).
Overall, another top-notch bit of kit, well worth the wait, and the dollars.
Price Paid: $670NZD (Bought at discount incl. shipping, RRP in NZ is $1200 Approx.)
I got this in summer 2000 as the old models were being cleared out (for £160!). Normally a jacket of this spec would be way out of my wallet, but this reduction allowed me to buy one. This jacket must have the best hood on earth. I have walked in driving rain and snow and it has kept my face dry (quite important as I wear glasses) and it stays with your head when you turn around. The pockets are also excellent, with two harness-clearing pockets on the outside, and two massive internal pockets. Reinforcements helps make glissading less expensive. Freedom of movement, as always with Mountain Equipment, is outstanding, as are the slightly bulky but effective quick-adjust cuffs.
Breathability: - 7/10
Waterproof Protection: - 10/10
Usefulness: - 9/10
Price: - (RRP 5/10) but 10/10 for me!
Looks: - 7/10
Abrasion resistance: - 8/10
Overall Mark: - 9/10
Fabric: 3 Layer Ascent Gore-Tex, 3 Layer Boston Gore-Tex Reinforcements
Price Paid: RRP £275
This is the best jacket for expeditions, climbing, and snowboarding. Made for the hardest of the hardcore with three layers of Gore-Tex XCR. It is the king of the waterproofs, light, excellent movement in all directions, huge pockets for the water bottle, map, and even with whistle in the pocket. Hood is probably the best on the Planet.
The best jacket I have ever had!
Fabric: 3 layer gore-tex xcr
Price Paid: 230 pounds
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Historic Range: $335.97-$451.72