Tuesday, 19 May 2020 11:27

Kathmandu Altum GORE-TEX Men’s Rain Coat tested and reviewed

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The Kathmandu Altum is a rarity. Marketed as the Altum Gore-Tex rain coat it's a rare example of marketing understatement.

There's a difference in perception between a "rain coat" and a decent hill walking jacket, the former usually having a more flimsy and fashion orientated image than the products we usually review. The Altum, however, is surprisingly well specced for a raincoat and with a decent set of features it can hold its own as a true multi-use jacket. 

 Kathmandu jkt 9

What Kathmandu say: 

Commute into the office, wander along city trails and visit your favourite bars – all draped in the Altum GORE-TEX Men’s Rain Coat. Comfortable and versatile, the Altum offers you wind and water protection. A sleek coat for your everyday outdoor lifestyle, it has a pack away hood and the performance to withstand the weather.

Features:

  • Water and windproof, breathable and durable two-layer GORE-TEX® fabric
  • Longer length for extra weather protection
  • Fully seam-sealed and lined to keep you dry and comfortable
  • Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish – which encourages water to roll off the surface
  • Adjustable hood that packs away into a high collar
  • Adjustable cuffs to help keep cold air out
  • Hidden chest zip pocket with a cord port for your media device
  • Two front flap pockets with soft, brushed lining

 Altum GORE-TEX Men’s Rain Coat on test:

Before commenting on how the Altum performed, a note about the images; the review jacket was black but the close-up images came out looking blue rather than black.

The style of the Altum is very much a travel coat with a long, straight, cut  and the classic two square handqwarmer pockets. Around town it would look anonymous with its plain lines and lack of any eye-drawing brand logo.

Kathmandu jkt 8

The two front pockets are big, easily swallowing a map and have a press stud closure on the flaps. It's an age-old design but it works when done well and the Altum's took everything the weather could throw at it - from all angles. In addition to the front pockets you get an inside, zipped, pocket for your phone with access for headphones.

Kathmandu jkt 5

 The full length front zip has a velcro closure storm flap with a press stud fastener at the hem.

Kathmandu jkt 2

Completing the protection are velcro and stud fastening cuffs and a hood zipped into the collar. If there's a shortcoming with the jacket, and that's debatable, it's the hood. There's nothing wrong with it and hoods that zip away into the collar are nothing unusual. The Altum's zip, though, feels a bit smaller than it could be and not quite close enough fitting for extreme conditions. This of course is judging it as a hill jacket rather than a town/country hybrid.

Kathmandu jkt 7

The reason why we've made the comparison with full mountain jacket hoods is quite simple; the performance. Prior to lockdown in the UK we managed to get out a few times in a mix of conditions. Most impressive was the way it stood up to a 4 hour downpour sat watching a fishing rod. The DWR coating worked flawlessly, beading the water consistently and the front pocket flap closure were put under serious threat.

The fabrics used give the jacket a sense of substance; it feels strong and tough enough to inspire confidence, and of course the Gore-Tex tag will give it customer recognition. The long fit is ideal for the UK and after 6 months now of very regular use from dog walks to fishing and pre-lockdown wanders in the Peak District it's become something of a daily go-to. As a raincoat it fits in anywhere from the pub to the office, but under more serious testing it proved itself to be a more than average performer. As a travel jacket it's a very good choice; a single jacket that will handle most conditions.

For more details check out /www.kathmandu.co.uk/

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