We’ve taken the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody to a few hikes and outdoor adventures and came back with mixed feelings. A jacket that has good specs on paper but a few quirks in real-life conditions.
We’re looking at a Windstopper hooded jacket made for high-output activities like trail running, hiking and climbing. Mammut is a well respected brand and the first impressions of the jacket were good. The face fabric had a nice feel to it and the Ultimate Light Hoody came in an attractive bright yellow and black colour combination. I started using it to commute to work but quickly took it outdoors. We climbed the Pic del Canigo together, one of the highest summits around here. The jacket packs small and only weights 319g on my scale in size S.
The 3-layer Windstopper fabric of the Mammut Ultimate Light hoody offers great weather resistance. Totally windproof, it can also be used comfortably in a light drizzle thanks to the DWR treatment of the face fabric. Windstopper laminate fabric tend to be better at handling rain than other softshell fabrics. I used the hoody during light precipitations and a few heavy- but-short showers, none of which got the jacket wet through. I expect this to change after a longer period of use, when the DWR treatment will wear off. The Mammut Ultimate Light hoody is not insulated so you will have to use it as part of a layering system for cold adventures.
Considering what we just said about weather protection, the following should not be a surprise. Windstopper does not breathe much better than a hardshell. Yes it is sold as an “High-output activities” fabric but the truth is, it’s not. Even just hiking up-hills quickly got me soaked on the inside. I cannot see this jacket working for trail running. Now Mammut made the sensible choice to include the Ultimate Light Hoody with underarm zips. They proved very useful while hiking, to get rid of the excess heat.
The 3-layer construction of the hoody has good two-stretch to it. The mobility allowed for active exercises like scrambling and very easy climbing. However it would need to stretch even more to be considered comfortable for real climbing. The cut, although athletic, is not the best we’ve tested for maximum range of movements.
Apart from the shortcomings highlighted before, the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody is a comfortable jacket for hiking. The two roomy side pockets and the ‘multimedia’ chest pockets are convenient. We would have liked the chest pocket to have been fully waterproof. This way a phone would truly be secured inside and it would help justify the difference in colour (at least on the yellow version). All the zippers glide effortlessly open and shut. The thumb hoops are soft and comfortable but the cuffs could be greatly improved if made from the same material. The face fabric is soft too. It is also very quiet.
On the down side I personally hated to hood. Too small, without any draw cords, it failed at providing my face with any protection against the rain. It can be attached at the back using a small hook, not sure how often that would come in handy.
In this price range at around €200 / £190 / $250 it is hard to recommend the Mammut Ultimate Light Hoody. There are other similarly specced jackets for less money or better crafted ones for the same. Fixing a few details like the hood and cuffs and making it more suitable for activities like climbing would help. And maybe change the fabric to something that is more relevant in today’s market, because Windstopper does not feel it is anymore.