I had never felt the need for a Gilet in the outdoors so I wasn't especially excited to find them available to us. As they were there, I had a look at them and as I am now coming to expect from MHW they seemed well made. This piece in a dense stretchy hard face fleece with a subtle pattern in the weave. I thought I'll give it a go and see where and when I might actually use it.
Well, from never feeling the need for one, I seem to have been wearing this most of the spring and summer! Most days at work now seem to be days when the Desna just makes me more comfortable. From early morning briefings and windy belays to boosting the warmth of my Superchockstone jacket. It is a British summer after all!
So what can I say about a vest, a pretty simple piece of clothing you’d think. A zip fleece with no sleeves. Well yes and no I think.
While the concept is simple I think this is well executed here. The key for me was in the fabric and the fit. It is dense enough to keep wind off my torso without being either heavy or bulky and still breathable as any other fleece. The fit is close with no excess material anywhere but still good coverage. Again the length is good enough to stay in a harness and the arm holes are close without being tight. These things have struck me as crucial as I wear it to climb in. It also seems stretchy enough to go either over a t-shirt, under another jacket or over that too. I think the versatility is why I have been using it so much.
The two pockets are hand warmer style and to be honest I don’t really use them. In fact I think they could be done away with and save some weight. That may be a bit too far for most people who like somewhere to rest their hands or stuff odds and sods, both of which they would do just fine at as long as your harness isn’t on.
Something that I think I should mention here which seems to cross the new MHW range is the good strong coat hook loops made from a nice tape. Its the little things after all!
I cant really think of anything to fault this simple, useful, warm, well fitted little vest.
Neil Warren is an instructor at Pure Outdoor in the Peak District.