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Mammut - Ultimate Light Jacket

posted Nov 17, 2013, 3:10 PM by GoOut Project   [ updated Jan 23, 2014, 4:11 AM ]

In certain situations out there it's hard to decide what to wear: a Hard Shell would be too much and a Soft Shell wouldn't be enough. So what to wear? ... What about a Windstopper jacket? 
Mammut had a nice Windstopper jacket in catalog (the Ultimate Light Jacket) that really teased us and, of course, we couldn't resist testing it out there.

Technical Description

Entirely made of Gore® Windstopper® Active Shell 3-layer laminate.
The Ultimate Light jacket features:
  • One laminated chest pocket with zip 
  • Two side pockets 
  • Large underarm ventilation apertures
  • Thumb holes on the cuffs 
  • Wind-resistant central zipper
  • Elastic cuffs and hem (no adjustments)
Weight: 318 g (Size S)
Breathability: RET 6

Our Test

We used the Ultimate Light Jacket intensely for 4 months over the summer: we used it for climbing, trekking, mountaineering, skiing, trail running, cycling, and mountain biking in a range of temperatures between -4°C and 25°C, mainly in dry weather conditions, but we also got caught by a spring snowfall and a few showers.

First Impressions
Here are a few of the first comments of our testers:
  • "The cut is great, no extra bulk whatsoever! ... When I climb
    nothing bothers me or gets in the way and I always have a free view towards my feet"
  • "In days of good weather it's great for glacier hikes"
  • "When running on the trails in the mountains with low temperatures and strong winds I always felt protected"
Lightness & Packability
Despite the three pockets, the two large ventilation zippers, and the quite elaborate cuffs, weighting only about 300 g the Ultimate Light is certainly one of the lightest Windstopper jackets on the market. It also takes up very little space: more than a baseball, but much less than a football!

Cut & Fit
The Ultimate Light has a fairly tight fit. Apart from a baselayer, there is little room for extra intermediate layers, a lightweight fleece at the most. The jacket fits almost perfectly and despite the absence of an adjustment cord on the waist, it always maintains the correct position. When using the thumb holes on the cuffs, the wrists are
always well protected and freedom of movement is always good, even when the arms are stretched to the max.

The jacket is ergonomic and comfortable. Stretchability and flexibility are limited, as in all garments with a membrane, but the well studied
cut compensates for the lack of stretch and flex. Overall, the freedom of movement is good.

Weather Protection
It doesn't fear wind, not even a storm! And even a short heavy shower causes no trouble. Of course after several minutes of continuous exposure to heavy rain, the jacket lets the first drops of water in. The wrap-around collar and cuffs with elastic bands leave cold air outside, but if a couple of centimeters were added to the body length on the back that would have been very appreciated in many situations (whenever bending over or when riding a bike).

The Ultimate light is a laminated garment with a membrane and, as
in all garments with membranes, breathability is obviously limited. It is definitely more breathable than a waterproof Hard Shell, but not enough to let your sweat evaporate in a 1h-running session. However, the ventilation zips under the arm pits help excellently to regulate the ventilation. The degree of protection and breathability are both good, but Go Out Project doesn't stop dreaming of something better!

We tried it in a very wide range of situations and outdoor activities and the Ultimate Light jacket has never disappointed us. It is well suited for all the most dynamic and fastest sports. It performs at its best in windy, sunny-to-moderately-rainy conditions and it is also well suited for intermittent ("stop & go") activities.

Although we used it and abused it for several months, it didn't show any sign of wear or failure. Despite being quite smooth and soft, the outer face of the fabric has a good resistance to abrasion. The
elastic bands on the edge of the cuffs, neck, and waist provide a good protection on all those critical points that usually tend to wear out more quickly.

Our Verdict

The very good cut, the well chosen fabrics, and the high-quality finishes all contribute to make the Ultimate Light jacket a really good garment. Lightweight and performant are the two adjectives that probably best describe it. It may be not an essential garment in the wardrobe of an athlete, but it is very useful in many situations out there in which speed or wind may steal your body heat quickly.

+ Excellent Fit
+ High wind protection
+ Good abrasion resistance

- Limited waterproofness
- Limited breathability

 Lightness & Packability  9/10
 Cut & Fit  9/10
 Comfort  8/10
 Weather Protection  8/10
 Breathability  6/10
 Versatility  8/10
 Durability  8/10
 Total Score 8.0/10

Daniele Geremia
Marco Martino

Mammut - Ultimate Light Jacket