Montane Spektr Smock Long Term Review
The Montane Spektr Smock is an ultra-lightweight hard shell that’s designed for fast and light outdoor activities. In reality – that’s running, backpacking and just about any other time you don’t want to be carrying any more than you have to.
The smock is constructed from eVent Super Lightweight 3 Layer and weighs in at a respectable 222g for a medium. To get that light – there are obviously a few compromises. There’s not a single zip to be seen – with Montane instead opting fot their own Tornado roll-closure system. This is basically a combination of vVelcroand hooks that works somewhat like the roll-top on a dry bag. It can be a bit fiddly to fix up, but you get used to it. The cuffs are also minimal; elasticated, that’s all there is to them. I’ve found them a tad tight to pull up while running. While it doesn’t feel substantial, it’s been used quite a bit over the last 12 months and is showing no signs of wear.
Montane also clearly get the weight down by making the Spektr one of the meanest, leanest jacket regarding sizing that we’ve ever seen. We reviewed the large – and we thought it was somewhat nearer a very tight medium. Montane market the fit as athletic mountain – close body fit, for use over lightweight underlayers. So trying this jacket on, preferably with the base-layers you expect to use it with, before buying is absolutely vital. Not only is it designed for fast and light abilities, Montane expect the customer to have the ultra athletic body to match. I won’t deny – this is probably the least flattering jacket going. It’s the waterproof version of skin-tight Lycra. If you’re going to avoid the latter – then you might want to think carefully about this one!
Neither is there a peak to the hood. I don’t really miss it as I only put my hood up when I really have to (and when I need to photograph the hood). Montane advise the use of a peaked cap instead, something I’ve found works well with this jacket.
In use, the eVent fabric makes the smock highly breathable – even when running, which has been the main use for this jacket over the last year or so. It’s not ideal for urban running, as it’s not particularly visible at night. For trail running it’s much better suited, especially as it packs down small and is just the sort of high performance shell you want in reserve if you get caught out when you’re an hour into your run with another to go before you finish.
Overall, the Spektr is a top notch hard shell for various mountain activities, trail running and owing to it’s unobtrusive size and weight is just right for carrying in your pack just in case. On those ultra-lightweight summer week-enders, it’s perfect. Just beware of the skinny fit design that’ll leave many of us going a size or two up from our usual sizing.