Montane Superfly Jacket

Manufacturer Description

The descendant of the first eVent shell from MONTANE. Built for the British mountains, from the Lake District to the Cairngorms, the Super-Fly was developed to work hard in pouring rain or to provide complete protection from a powerful snow storm. Features comfortable hand-warmer pockets clear of a rucksack hip belt, a large OS map pocket and a full coverage mountain helmet hood. The Super-Fly is super light for a mountain shell and has the critical features required for mountain walking and climbing.

Features

  • Exceptionally waterproof and breathable eVent Lightweight 3 Layer
  • Microtaped seams throughout to increase breathable surface area
  • Articulated arms for reach high movement and tailored specifically to reduce hem lift
  • Fully adjustable helmet compatible mountain hood with three point adjustment and wired peak
  • Internal tab to lock down and roll away the hood in windy conditions
  • Two deep hand-warmer pockets with YKK Aqua Guard zips positioned well clear of backpack or climbing harness belt
  • Map-sized Napoleon chest pocket for easy access to essentials whilst on the move
  • Internal zipped mesh security pocket
  • Full length, reversed and baffled two way YKK front zip for ease of use with a backpack or climbing harness
  • Adjustable waist and hem to prevent spindrift entry and heat loss
  • Adjustable cuffs with grab tabs for ease of use with gloves or mitts
  • As with all MONTANE clothing eVent fabric contains a Durable Water Repellency (DWR) as the first barrier to keeping you dry. Clean your garment in order to maintain this.
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 487 g (17.2 oz)
    • Pit to pit – 58 cm (22.8 in)
    • Sleeve length – 90.2 cm (35.5 in)
    • Center back – 73.7 cm (29 in)
  • Retail – $470

YMMV Review

I have been able to work with Montane to do a couple of reviews. As part of my series on Waterproof Breathable jackets, I tested the Superfly Jacket. Made of eVent, the Superfly is billed as an ultra breathable classic 4-season shell. If you have not heard much about Montane, they are out of the United Kingdom. They make lightweight breathable clothing for mountain climbing, running, and biking. Their clothing is high quality and function oriented.

View from the Front when Wearing

Testing

The Montane Superfly Jacket is a classic shell jacket. I tested it across a wide range of activities: mountain climbing, snowshoeing, alpine touring, and cross-country skiing. I was able to test it thoroughly and even had a friend test it on a climb for another opinion.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (25%) ★★★½☆

Construction (35%) ★★★★☆

Pockets (10%) ★★★★☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★½☆☆

Weight (20%) ★★★☆☆

The Montane Superfly Jacket is a classic 4-season shell. It is made of eVent lightweight breathable fabric. This fabric is a PTFE Membrane sandwiched between 118 g/m2 nylon ripstop outer fabric and softer nylon tricot inner fabric. Event has been treated with a DWR treatment to make water bead up a run off. This also helps keep the jacket cleaner from dirt and other soiling agents. The Superfly has been seam sealed with micro seam tape to make it a fully waterproof jacket. According to Montane, it has a waterproof rating in over 33,000 mm hydrostatic head and a breathability rating over 22,000 g/m2/24hrs. If you would like to learn more about waterproof breathable jackets, take a look at the knowledge base article with the link below.

The Superfly has longer coverage and many features that make it ideally suited for mountaineering. The jacket has four pockets. Two hand warmer pockets that are positioned high enough to still be usable when wearing a backpack with a hipbelt. There is one chest pocket that is oversized to be able to fit a map or any other large item you may need to store away. The last pocket is an inside chest pocket that is zippered mesh. The outside pockets have water resistant zippers to keep your contents dry. The main front zipper is not water resistant but rather has a wind flap behind it and a weather-resistant flap that Velcros in front of it. This creates a very weather-resistant package. The front zipper has two sliders to allow for more adjustability. The Superfly has an attached hood that can be rolled away when not in use. There is a Velcro tab on the inside of the jacket to secure the hood. The hood itself is large enough to fit a mountain helmet. There are three points of adjustment on the hood. These adjustments allow the hood to be adjusted from helmet size to head size depending on the need. There is a wire brim that can be used to keep the hood from dropping over your eyes and obstructing your vision.

Back View

The Montane Superfly Jacket has several features to help it fit better. There is a hook and loop Velcro closure at the wrists for size adjustability. There are also two bungee adjustments to change the fit through the torso. One is located at the bottom hem and the other at the waist. These can be changed to adjust the airflow and block spin drift (snow) from blowing up the jacket. Montane has designed this jacket with articulated arms and a tailored fit to prevent the hem from pulling up when moving your arms.

The Superfly Jacket is not made of sustainable fabrics. While this is slightly disappointing, it makes sense after reading Montane’s environmental statement. It basically says they are very aware of the impact and responsibility they have to the environment. For this reason, they try to make equipment that will last longer and not have to be renewed as often. Montane also tries to use renewable materials when an acceptable alternative is available. This is not always the case, but they are constantly looking for these alternatives. If you would like to read more about the company, it can be found at their website. This I can appreciate and I am glad they have addressed it.

Hood Rolled Up and Unrolled

Fit ★★★½☆

Adjustability (10%) ★★★½☆

Arm Length (20%) ★★★½☆

Comfort Next to Skin (10%) ★★★☆☆

Cuffs (10%) ★★★☆☆

Ease of Movement (20%) ★★★☆☆

Hood (10%) ★★★½☆

Torso Sizing (20%) ★★★½☆

If you have been reading my site for a while, I like European brands because of their trimmer fit. American brands tend to have more bulk through the midsection which does not work to well for me. I normally test a medium in jackets, and that is what I tested in the Montane Superfly. The jacket fits me well. It is trim enough for wearing on its own but also has some room underneath to layer insulation. The jacket has two adjustable bungee cords in the torso to get the fit the way you want it. These can be tightened when you have light layers underneath and loosened to accommodate something thicker. These are located at the waist and the bottom hem. I really liked this as I could get the jacket to my desired fit. If the jacket does have to be cinched in a fair amount, there will be some fabric bunching to accommodate this, but in the mountains will anybody care?

Inside Mesh Pocket

The arms are nice and long, and I never felt like my wrists were exposed. Even when reaching for items the longer sleeves were able to stay in place. The hook and loop closure system works well to adjust the wrist cuffs. Since fabric has to fold over to get smaller this does make the wrists seem a bit more bulky when cinched way down. The hood is permanently attached but has a handy Velcro tab that can be used to secure the hood when rolled up. I have noticed this feature a lot more often in European jackets. It works well when you need to secure your hood, but I found it more comfortable to let the hood just hang back out of the way. The hood has three points of adjustment and a wire brim to customize your fit. It does a good job of reducing the volume when helmet less and can fit a climbing helmet when needed underneath. A large ski helmet was too big to comfortable wear under the hood for me.

Finally, the jacket is made to allow for movement of the arms without it pulling up the hem. I can say that since the jacket is longer cut, I did not notice it ever pulling up. Even during activities where I was using poles I never had any issues. The inside of the jacket has a nylon tricot backing which is soft next to the skin. It does not contain any insulation but is really soft, nonetheless. I did not wear it over a t-shirt that often but when I did I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it was.

Performance ★★★★☆

Adjustability (10%) ★★½☆☆

Breathability (25%) ★★★½☆

Durability (20%) ★★★½☆

Versatility (15%) ★★★½☆

Weather Resistance (30%) ★★★★★

The Montane Superfly was my first experience with eVent waterproof fabrics. I was not disappointed as the jacket proved just as waterproof as all my other high end jackets. That tends to be the easy part, and the breathability is much harder to fully accomplish. I tested this jacket on some highly aerobic cross-country skiing trips as well as alpine touring, and I must say it breathed very well. At times, I was able to break a sweat underneath but when I stopped for a moment, I dried very quickly and never felt like I overwhelmed the jacket. This is a great testament to the technology of the jacket. It truly does what it says. Since the jacket is 100% waterproof it goes without saying that it is also windproof. It is a great storm shell and made for the toughest alpine environments. The jacket breathes so well Montane did not put in any pit zips. I do miss those on occasion; I do like to sometimes open them up to get some cooler air inside the jacket. The front zipper can accomplish this as well, but rain/snow can get in through the front while pit zips tend to be more weatherproof.

Hook & Loop Wrist Cuff

I have taken the Superfly on several trips now and even loaned it out to get another opinion and the jacket is still going strong. I have not had any issues with durability and do not expect to. The Superfly seems very well-made and able to take on the roughest trips. One of the things you will notice with the Superfly is the main zipper. Since I test many different jackets I do not notice much anymore, but it is on the opposite side of most US zippers. Not a big deal but you may do a double take when you first put it on. I personally don’t even notice. I only mention it as some people freak out about this. I do find the Velcro front flap to be a bit of a pain when taking the jacket off or opening it up. It does a great job being weatherproof but adds difficulty and noise when opening the zipper. As with many things, this is a trade off. I really like the pocket layout on this jacket. The two handwarmer pockets are high enough to be over a hipbelt, and the one outside chest pocket is HUGE. It is made to accommodate a map if needed, but I used it more often to stuff in gloves or skins depending on the activity. The inner chest pocket is also nice for electronics; I just wish it had an audio out. Instead, I would just bring the cord out through the top of the zipper.

Water Resistant Zipper

Overall ★★★★☆

Overall, the Superfly Jacket is a solid classic shell. Montane has billed it as such, and it did not disappoint. It was 100% waterproof while also breathing really well. It will not substitute for layering properly but will keep you from overheating when you did get it right. The jacket has a great pocket layout. While it is ideally suited for hiking and alpine climbing, the Superfly is very versatile and can be used for any activity that requires a waterproof jacket. The eVent fabric seems like many other waterproof fabrics on the market but believe me; it is much more. I am disappointed it took me so long to try it out because it is a really nice jacket. If you are looking for a classic Alpine Shell that you can use for a variety of other activities as well, this is a good option. Especially if you are trimmer fit, you got to love the European brands. There have been many other new technologies in the market recently, and I think eVent is well positioned to take them on. The Superfly Jacket retails for $470, which is a premium price, but this is a premium jacket. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Slightly trimmer fit
  • eVent fabric breathes well
  • 100% waterproof
  • Great mobility
  • Liked the pocket layout

Cons

  • Premium price for a premium jacket
  • Inner pocket could use an audio cord out
  • Front Velcro flap adds difficulty when opening zipper

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Adventures

About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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