Every once in a while, a new piece of kit comes along which gets us genuinely excited. For me, most recently, it was the Haglofs LIM Comp Jacket. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and, naturally, jumped at the chance to test one on the fells.
The jacket is made with the newer generation of GORE-TEX Active using their C-Knit backer inside (that's circular knit: lighter, softer touch and more supple than a standard woven backer) and a hard-to-believe-it's-really 30 denier face fabric, meaning it's light but will stand up to a bit of a beating while fighting through the shoulder-high bracken in late summer.
There's a well-fitted hood (none of this helmet compatible nonsense) with a laminated peak for stiffness which moves well with you, thanks to a face gaiter and elastic around the back of the head/neck. The main zipper comes up close enough to the chin to not gather a face-full of rain and leave you with a wet neck and chest. What I loved most, however, was the sound of big splodgy raindrops hitting the taut hood fabric; hard to explain, but immensely satisfying! Elasticated cuffs and two large A-line pockets with mesh inners for venting round up the features of this minimalistic yet well thought-out jacket.
I was genuinely surprised by the breath-ability. I've been testing it at a time when I'd normally forego a waterproof and settle for a wind shirt, if it's just showery, since my heavier jackets feel too stifling sometimes. Here I've kept feeling drier inside for longer, while the GORE-TEX fabric reliably keeps out any rain that can be thrown at it. The external water-repellency has impressed too for such a lightweight fabric. For the times when it's not raining the jacket packs down very small and light; if it's not raining, I don't want to wear a waterproof!
Essentially you won't see what makes this jacket worth the price tag, making a jacket lighter yet more durable is a costly endeavour and what impresses here is that Haglofs hasn't had to sacrifice features in the process.
*For all you car enthusiasts, yes this was Colin Chapman’s famous quote about Lotus design, but we think it works here too!