It’s been a while, but we all know why so let’s just barrel on with it shall we? What better way to get back in the saddle than straight into a gear review..
I’ve been wearing this chap a lot over the last year, this is the Haglofs Spitz jacket.
The original Spitz was an absolute cracker, a proper mountaineering jacket. I never understood why Haglofs dropped it from the range. Imagine my delight when tens years on from the original, the postie handed me an all new version. Then imagine my disappointment at the colour.
You’ll know by now that waterproof jackets are something I like to carry and not wear. Unless it’s absolutely horsing it down, I tend to keep them in my pack. A decent cap and a softshell will take you a long way. That said, there are some days when you’ve got no choice but to Gore up and get on with it. Over the last year there have been plenty opportunities where it has been serious Gene Kelly territory, albeit with a little less singing.
When it comes to material, we’ve got 3 layer Gore Pro with a 40D polyamide face fabric. There’s reinforcement in the usual wear zones with a 70D version. For the design, it’s cut a little shorter to accommodate a harness, so it’s not a bum warmer, but long enough to keep your modesty when reaching. The arms are long and reach-high friendly, which immediately gets my attention. I am more gibbon-like than I’d like to admit, so it’s a key issue for me, particularly if I’m wearing a jacket in winter. The cuffs on the previous years Roc Spirit jacket would slide up my forearms and that was a real joy-killer. No such problem with the Spitz.
There are two mahoosive napoleon pockets on the chest that’ll take anything you can throw at them and a wee one on the arm, which is a lot less useful. There are pit zips too for the days when the Gore Pro just can’t cut it with the moisture management.
When it comes to the hood, it’s superbly adjustable, able to take a helmet if you need to, but easy to cinch down to cover your napper too. There’s a broad stiffened peak, but as usual I tend to wear a cap under it to get better face coverage.
So down to performance. The original Spitz was a proper mountain jacket that was at home in the Scottish Mountains and I’m happy to say the new Spitz has taken that baseline and improved on it. The new fabric makes for a more breathable jacket, which is welcome and the sturdiness is still there, mine barely looks worn despite being scraped against rocks and squeezed through chimneys. Weather resistance is excellent, like a shield of steel against the worst conditions. The weight is low too for the spec, which is why I haven’t bothered to put it on the scales yet. If it’s never occurred to me to weigh something, that’s a good sign. My size large is a little bit roomy on me, it feels more like an Arc’teryx cut than Haglofs, so best to try before you buy.
When it comes to downsides, there’s only one: that black and grey combo. Christ. I’m sure the hill ninjas will be delighted but the spark of my soul dims a little bit every time I see it.
Haglofs have taken a classic and brought it bang up to date, the Spitz is a sturdy, well specced all-round mountain jacket and an excellent choice for the Scottish hills.