Monday, 9 March 2015

Review: Mountain Equipment Integrity Hooded Zip-T

- Product provided for the purpose of review, thanks to Cotswold Outdoor -


I don't know about you but I love wearing a hoodie, they're warm, comfortable and casual but they're also bulky and come with a low warmth-to-weight ratio. The Integrity Hooded Zip-T aims to dispel the negatives and offer a warm, low weight option for use out in the hills. 

Coming in with an RRP of £90, this jacket offers something between a fleece, softshell and baselayer - taking the best of each and combining to create a great all rounder. 

The Jacket: 
  • The Men's Integrity Hooded Zip-T from Mountain Equipment is a close fitting, super stretchy, low bulk hoodie that will keep you feeling comfortable and dry for longer during your favourite activities.

Features:
  • 100% Polyester
  • Delta high density stretch knit fabric
  • Low bulk
  • Rapid moisture transfer
  • Excellent abrasion resistance 
  • Low profile relaxed hood
  • Zipped chest pocket
  • Flat locked seams throughout 
  • Lycra bound hood, hems and cuffs
  • Active fit

Breakdown: 


A hoodie made entirely from man-made materials, with lycra around the wrists and hood to stop any wind getting in. Similar to a baselayer in terms of rapid moisture transfer, low bulk and the flat locked seams but the hood, chest pocket and high density fabric make this a much warmer, standalone piece of equipment for dry, cool days or part of a layering system when the temperature drops or the weather moves in. 


Field Testing:


As winter (slowly) becomes spring, the need for a jacket like the Integrity becomes greater. A few climbing trips and some walking on the South West Coast Path meant excuses to use the hoodie came thick and fast, intense hill sections on the coast and belaying on Dartmoor gave me a good scope of what the Integrity can do. 
The lycra cuffs help keep the sleeves in a comfortable position.

I'll start with the performance while climbing. Long periods of being stationary then bursts of energy, sweat and movement can push top of the range jackets but the Integrity handled it well, the close fitting aspect of the hoodie helps with heat retention, the high density fabric provides some great insulation for its weight and the rapid moisture transfer handled my sweaty climbing with ease. The length of the arms stop the jacket from riding up, although they seem long to begin with the lycra cuffs keep the sleeves from covering my hands, they also help keep the wind out by keeping the Integrity tight to my skin. A mix of features makes this a really useful piece of kit for climbing in - very impressive stuff.
The chest pocket - perfect for a compass or snack while walking.

Over to the South West Coast Path, I tend to generate a lot of warmth when walking which can cause problems with kit that isn't breathable enough. The Integrity however did well, as a midlayer it could have easily picked up a lot of moisture but it shifted it well and kept me dry under my hardshell. The comfort of the hoodie was great, along with the fit and cut too - things which can cause issues over a full day of walking. 








Each feature of the jacket works well, from the subtle zip guard on the chin to the fabric and how soft it is next to my skin. I really liked how tight fitting the jacket was while still keeping true to its sizing. By having the fabric come right next to my skin it minimises big pockets of air which can keep you colder for longer. 













The bottom hem of the Integrity is stitched with lycra too, this works with the extra length they've put in the back to keep the Integrity down around the bum, stopping it from riding up and letting wind or rain in. I like the yellow line detail too, it's a small way of keeping a clean theme throughout the Integrity. 








Long-term use:



As time wearing the Integrity goes on I've begun to really fall in love with this piece of kit, it's comfortable and warm, lightweight and packable, it's become a go-to piece of kit for the majority of the activities I do. 
The perfect mix of style and efficiency - Mountain Equipment have ticked all the boxes with the Integrity.
I'd definitely recommend the Integrity Hooded Zipped-T to a friend!

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I'd like to thank Cotswold Outdoor once again for providing the Integrity for review, to check out the product on their website click here

If you've got any questions about the Mountain Equipment Integrity Hooded Zipped-T then please feel free to ask me or contact Cotswold Outdoor through their Twitter or Facebook.









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