What the manufacturers say:
A minimalist jacket with a highly functional hood, created for runners who aren't stopped by the weather. Wind and water resistant Lumin™ fabric in the body and sleeves deflect inclement weather, while large mesh underarm panels keep body heat under control. Reflective blazes improve runner visibility in low light. Super compact, and weighing a scant 135 g (4.8 oz), the hoody stows into its own pocket for transport.
On Test: James MacKeddie
The Incendo Hoody is Arc’teryx’s windproof running jacket from their Endorphine range. Designed around fast movement, the athletic cut and minimal weight stands out immediately.
With a stated weight of 130grams (my scales read 129g), it is a light jacket, but not the lightest. Constructed from Lumin™ 100% nylon fabric it has an exceptional strength to weight ratio. The 20D ripstop is tear resistant, windproof, breathable and has a DWR treatment to help shed light rain. You certainly would want to either wear a hardshell or carry one if the skies were looking typically British. With a hood and small pocket, it is clear where weight has been sacrificed for functionality and versatility. Arc’teryx are known for their design, and the Incendo Hoody has several subtle touches.
Elasticated cuffs are nothing to shout about, if anything they are the norm, however they have increased the length of the material on the back of the hand, providing better protection and a more aesthetically pleasing finish.
A small pocket can be found on the left hip; which can be used as a stuff sac for easy stashing when using a back or hip pack. Additionally the pocket features a smaller internal pocket for a small iPod or MP3 player, as well as routing for the wire… No more need to route the cable from outside the pocket and back under the jacket. Not essential, but a nice touch.
The hood is not adjustable, but has a low, close fit profile and is designed to fit under a helmet if you plan on taking this ski mountaineering or climbing. The jacket also features a low profile collar, aiding to a more comfortable experience when the hood is not being worn. A small collar makes the difference between a comfortable run or constant breeze down your neck when not using the good. Another small but notable detail.
Articulated elbows prevent the arms riding up when the going gets vertical, and a one handed waist drawcord makes adjustments easy.
Now ventilation. One of the downsides of a windproof is getting heat out. Many manufacturers try different approaches; Laser cut holes under the armpits, ventilation flaps on the back and a more permeable materials are methods that are all in common use. To tackle this issue, the Incendo Hoody features a mesh panel under each arm. These large panels are brilliant for removing excess heat, however I found when reduced to walking, they were often too efficient. In winds of 25mph+ on an exposed peak in October/November, I found myself having to run to stay warm.
You could argue as this is designed for running, this isn’t an issue. Furthermore, it is the compromise you are making using such a lightweight piece of clothing. However as all runners will know, there comes a time where everyone walks, even the great Kilian Jornet. This and a hood which needs to be slightly tighter are my two issues with the Incendo. The hood fills with air under strong winds and numerous times I took it off as its effectiveness was compremised.
All in all the Incendo Hoody is a great jacket for fell use. Due to the mesh panels I would recommend it is more suited to summer conditions than winter. The styling is spot on, you could wear this down the high street and people wouldn’t give you strange looks. More over many city runners would find this perfect for side streets and parks of their concrete jungles.