Monday, 02 July 2018 13:09

Montane Quattro Fusion Jacket tested and reviewed Featured

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There was a time when when sub 500g was seriously lightweight for any kind of 3 season jacket, never mind an insulated one. With the Montane Quattro Fusion jacket, however, you get a combination of 800+ fp down, Polartec Alpha Direct and Pertex Quantum in a mix of flavours that comes in at a touch over 470g and pushes the 3 season boundaries close to 4 season.

The Quattro Fusion would have been called a hybrid a few years ago with its body-mapped design and mix of fabrics, but fusion sounds much more appropriate; hybrid has connotations of compromise and that's one thing this jacket doesn't do. It's possibly the most "technical" insulation we've seen. 

What the manufacturers say:

One our most technical and innovative products yet, developed using thermal imaging data produced during activities in cold, wet conditions, the Quattro Fusion Jacket sets the standard for critical attention to detail. With a full set of technical features aimed at alpinists and using a combination of the highest performing fabrics available (POLARTEC® Alpha Direct fleece, PERTEX® QUANTUM PRO with DIAMOND FUSE, PERTEX® QUANTUM AIR and 800+ fill power premium goose down), the Quattro Fusion Jacket offers insulation, wind protection and breathability in one unique package. 

 

Features:

  • Micro-baffled high quality Allied Feather & Down Titanium water resistant fluorocarbon-free HyperDRY™ lightweight 800+ fill power goose down in the core front body, upper arms and side panels
  • The down is encased with PERTEX® QUANTUM PRO with DIAMOND FUSE; a supremely lightweight yet tough nylon rip-stop fabric, which gives windproof protection and the benefit of light rain resistance through a Durable Water Repellency
  • PEAQ Down lining that is supremely comfortable next to the skin, highly breathable and fast drying
  • Zoned and super warm POLARTEC® Alpha Direct 120g/m2 fleece across the back, hood, forearms and lower side panels for a powerful wicking action and excellent freedom of movement
  • PERTEX® QUANTUM AIR covers the zoned fleece areas to provide protection from the wind 
  • Hybrid body-mapped design based on thermal imaging data in laboratory conditions with Montane athletes to simulate wet and cold conditions in both active and static situations to help regulate the body’s temperature  

  • Articulated arms for high reach movement, tailored specifically to prevent hem lift

  • The premium down inside this product has been certified through the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) to ensure that it is the most responsibly sourced down available

  • Track my Down™ for comprehensive traceability and information about the down used in this product

  • Fully adjustable insulated climbing helmet compatible hood 

  • Stiffened hood peak gives stability and wired edge allows adjustability

  • Hood can be rolled down and stowed away whilst not in use in windy conditions

  • Two A-line hand-warmer pockets positioned clear of a backpack hip belt or climbing harness 

  • Concealed external chest pocket on left hand side 

  • Full length two way YKK VISLON® front zip allows easy access to climbing or rucksack harness 

  • Internal storm flap behind centre front zip together with press stud to secure hem and prevent further weather entry

  • Roll over chinguard lined with brushed fine microfleece for comfort next to the mouth and chin

  • Low bulk cuffs with internal lycra closure to provide a snug fit and prevent heat loss

  • Adjustable hem with two-sided cinchable drawcords, easy to use cordlocks, and excess cord management system

  • Rear external Montane hang loop

  • Ergonomic lightweight zip pullers make use easier when wearing gloves

Montane Quattro Fusion Jaclet tested and reviewed:

Testing and reviewing the Quattro Fusion hasn't been easy; for the same reason I have a stack of waterproofs for testing backed up. The Spring and Summer of 2018 have been reminiscent of the Summer of 76 and wearing insulation in Britain has generally been out of the question. Although we grabbed a couple of cool evenings in late April we had to wait until early July and a trip to Switzerland to really put it to the test.

Quattro Fusion 5

Fit:

It has to be said, the Quattro Fusion is very much a walking fit rather than a climbing fit; the jacket is designed for a stocky build. The body is medium length - not too short but not long enough to cover your rear end when sitting, but has the volume available to accomodate a couple of layers underneath with ease. The upper arms are equally spacious but the lower arms are quite close fitting and slightly shorter than average, which could be a problem for climbers with well definied lower arm muscles. Mpntane have also tried to make the Quattro Fusion stay in place irrespective of the activity you're doing with articulated arms allowing maximum flex without the hem lifting excessively.

Quattro Fusion 2

With a high collar and a good hood the jacket forms a good seal against the weather and the choice of Polartec Alpha fabric for the neck and the lower sides of the hood means it's very comfortable to wear. IN terms of helmet compatibility it's borderline between wearing under or over the helmet, but for walking it's close to perfection. The hood follows head movement with ease and the wored brim is surprisingly resistant to wind, and together with drawcord adjustment at the sides and rear the hood is a good, close, fit, that will protect the wearer against the elements.

Quattro Fusion 1

Insulation and fabrics:

The first thing you notice on taking the Quattro Fusion out of its bag is the "body mapping" that presents as two very distinct areas; the down insulation on the front of the torso and upper arms and Polartec Alpha Direct on the back and lower arms. The idea is to have down insulation where it's needed most but a more flexible and breathable fabric in the areas that need to breathe better. The fleece extends over the shoulders, where down would get compressed by rucksack shoulder straps.

The face fabrics follow the body mapping zones of the insulation with Pertex Quantum Pro covering the down sections and Pertex Quantum Air on the outer face of the fleece areas. The end result is a tight weave face fabric over the down areas and a highly wind resistent, but very breathable, cover over the lower arms and back.

Quattro Fusion 4

In practice the Quattro Fusion is very much an "active" insulation jacket, with enough 800+ Fill Power down in the core sections to keep the wearer warm for all but prolonged inactivity below around -5c. On the move, however, the down core doesn't become excessively warm and the breathable Polartec Alpha Direct sections really come into their own, dissipating heat very efficiently. With temperatures just below zero at the Jungfraujoch (3572m) and snow falling it was warm enough to stand around for 15 minutes before needing to zip the front up and once zipped up you could almost physically feel the excess heat leaving through the arms and back. The hand warmer pockets retain the down cover on the outer side, giving enough warmth to protect finger from hot aches while the chest pocket is noteable for its almost completely invisible zip.

Quattro Fusion 3

Conclusions:

The Quattro Fusion is a very distinctive jacket that uses technology at its best. The body-mapped design gives core warmth where it's needed but allows a much higher level of breathability than pure down-only jackets of the same weight. It's strange to think of 470g being mid-weight rather than lightweight, but in real world testing it does an extremely good job at replacing 2 layers with one - particularly in active use. It's never going to be a belay jacket for prolonged inactivity on an alpine ledge, but it has the flexibility over a 15 degree range that makes it a go-to jacket for a wide range of uses. The cut and style allow for layering underneath while also fitting the bill perfectly in the pub. It takes a couple of uses to get used to the variation between upper and lower arms, but it works and works well.

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 09 July 2018 10:26

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