MONS Gear Box Product Review
Now this is a jacket with a mission, blending warmth, durability, utility and comfort in just about equal parts.
Having used it for several weeks in mountains in cold to very cold (mind you with a layer underneath) terrain, it excelled in all areas, shedding snow and rain without wetting out, and never holding me back, whether climbing, hiking or running.
Wearing comfortable clothing is essential when you want to stay focused, especially when operating outdoors in winter conditions, and UF PRO’s DELTA OL 3.0 Jacket has been designed specifically with this in mind, offering the necessary durability and most importantly, keeping me comfortable, weighing a mere 1,5kg (I wear the XXL).
During activities in cold weather, the DELTA OL 3.0 jacket kept me protected against cold weather (via a combination of G-Loft and Gore’s WINDSTOPPER), being water-repellent. Water-repellent is a step-up from water-resistant, meaning it is hydrophobic, entailing that the product actually has physical properties that, as the label suggests, repels water on contact. Water-repellent products are generally built with special materials and techniques. UF PRO’s jacket has a 2-layer ripstop laminate, giving it a higher chance of withstanding above-average water exposures. It kept me dry during snowfall and light drizzle, but in heavy rain, after a few hours, it got soaked.
The G-LOFT thermal insulation combines the benefits of natural down with the ruggedness of a synthetic fibre, guaranteeing optimal thermal insulation and heat regulation. Due to what the Austrian company G-Loft calls Memory Effect, the fibres automatically return to their original and unique shape, providing warmth, even after repeated washing and hard use. The G-LOFT bi-component-fibre is permeated with a micrometre fine air channel. As a hollow fibre, it ensures as in nature the fur of polar bears, for optimum thermal insulation. Thanks to the natural cluster structure the G-LOFT insulation is particularly breathable. The air can circulate without withdrawing heat, an optimum moisture transport is guaranteed and the body stays warm and dry, which I was.
In the arms area the jacket has two grades of thermal insulation, and in the torso area it is lined with a 145g/m2 and in the sleeves with a 110g/m2 G-LOFT insulation. Areas that are more prone to abrasion, like the elbows and the lower back area, are additionally reinforced with a 500 Denier CORDURA fabric. 500 Denier CORDURA fabric is a medium-weight nylon fabric woven from Invista yarns. As CORDURA fabric is widely recognised for durability, this popular 500 Denier CORDURA fabric is resilient and lightweight and gives the parts of this jacket great durability.
WINDSTOPPER, a fabric laminate made by W. L. Gore & Associates, gives optimal performance and comfort, being windproof and delivering maximum breathability to keep the user comfortable in cool and windy weather conditions. As Gore says it, “the totally windproof, yet extremely breathable membrane blocks the wind and allows vapour to escape. This combination of protection and breathability minimises the wind’s chilling effect while reducing the risk of overheating when you are active.”
The UF PRO jacket offers eight pockets, which allow the user to stash most gear within hands reach. Smaller equipment can be stowed away in one of the four sleeve pockets, which are fleece lined on only one side. For bulkier gear one can either use one of the large fleece lined front pockets or the two inner pockets. I don’t particularly like high pockets like many manufacturers currently use, as I like pockets for my hands, but I do appreciate it for its intended design. When wearing a pack it’s the only way to get to one’s pockets. And if one has normal pockets one can’t keep anything in them, as the contents will be pushed into the stomach area.
All zippers on this jacket are YKK water repellent zips. Added features include Velcro areas on the upper arm for attaching patches, unit badges or other insignia, amazing fleece wrist warmers (keeping the sleeves nicely in place), cuff adjusters, Side Vents to ensure ventilation and a large detachable hood, which I didn’t use.
The DELTA OL 3.0 Jacket kept my core warm and gave me great manoeuvrability, i.e. I was able to stay active without compromising thermal protection. This jacket will be used again and again. If you need to be operating at the highest level in the worst winter conditions, MONS Gear Box recommends UF PRO’s DELTA OL 3.0 Jacket. The company’s product page can be found here.