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Latest Gear: Mountain Equipment Dewline Jacket - Resurrecting A Classic

The ideal balance of warmth & pack size for weight conscious trekkers and ski mountaineers

Featured in: | Andy Malton, Latest Gear Reviewer | Published

Mountain Equipment have a long and rich history when it comes to designing and manufacturing down products. They pretty much led the way in the 60’s and 70’s when they supplied many of the big Himalayan expeditions at the time, including the British Everest South West Face expedition in 1975, when their jackets featured in the famous images of Doug Scott and Dougal Haston on the summit.

Decades later, and although materials and equipment have moved on somewhat, down is still the best insulator we know of for use in cold climates. Mountain Equipment have had both the Dewline Jacket and Dewline sleeping bag in their range on and off over the years. Both have always been characterised by simple designs and construction methods that are aimed at using the down to its full potential. The new Dewline range for 2015 / 2016 is no different.

Down works by lofting and trapping air that can then be warmed by body heat. The more the down can loft, the more air can be trapped. A down garment with lightweight lining and face fabrics along with a simple feature set will help to maximise down loft and thus increase the garment’s insulation properties. The new Dewline Jacket looks to do exactly that. The Helium 30 face fabric is very light, yet also strong, and the simple stitch through construction produces baffles that can expand to their full potential. The 700 fill power down fill has a water resistant treatment so will stand up to moisture better than non treated down a bonus in damp environments or on multi day trips when it might be difficult to dry gear.

Features are kept to a minimum exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. The whole point behind the Dewline is simply to let the down do its job a job is does very well indeed. The best thing about the Dewline however is that it fills the gap between the ubiquitous super light skinny baffle down jackets that are so popular these days and heavier, warmer down garments. Often the super light jackets don’t provide enough insulation, whereas many heavier jackets can be overkill. The Dewline really hits the sweet spot of warmth vs weight vs packsize in down jacket design for the mountains. It’s going to provide meaningful warmth on a frigid alpine bivy, but not weigh you down when you’re climbing. Perfect for fast and light travel in the mountains whether it’s on foot, skis or bike. Never too heavy to leave behind but always warm enough to make a difference.

The Dewline comes in 3 styles for winter 15/16 a hooded jacket, non hooded jacket and vest. As is often the case with lightweight insulation, I think the hoody and vest are the two key styles. The hoody comes in at a very light 440g, the vest at 285g. Both pack down incredibly small and provide huge warmth for their weight. 

RRP:

Dewline Hooded Jacket £180 / €245
Dewline Jacket £160 / €220
Dewline Vest £120 / €165

Mountain Equipment Mountaineering Clothing

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Read more of Andy's reviews back in our news feed - search 'Latest Gear' or visit his website

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