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Macpac Summit Anorak Review

Updated: Jan 7

To be honest I was wondering just how long the lightweight material of the Macpac Summit Anorak would last as I thrashed it in Patagonia. I can confirm that I was suitably impressed with the durability and breathability of the 3 layer Event fabric, having forced it against granite rough enough to remove the skin from numerous places on my body. Even after a month of constant use and multiple pitches of chimney climbing the 3 layer Event fabric has held up well.

High abrasion areas such as the shoulders have held up well to multiple long approach walks and load carries. The freedom of movement in the arms allowed me to climb vertiginous ice for long periods in comfort, and the roomy hood fit easily over my helmet without becoming an uncontrollable flapping wing that obscured all vision. The half zip was plenty to allow easy ingress into the garment on route, and helped contribute to its lightweight 400gm mass. It also allowed me to tuck the anorak in under my harness without any added bulk or stiffness.

For alpine climbing I see little need for a full length Zip as the outside rain shell is only worn during high wind or rain. In either of these situations you usually have it zipped fully up. In light snow, wind or rain one of your other layers usually does enough to keep you warm and dry. The hood and neck of the jacket can be adjusted with ease. The toggles are also positioned suitably so that when sleeping with the Macpac Summit Anorak on you don't notice an annoying plastic lump digging into the back of your head. I was pleased to even return to my bivvy after climbing Exocet on Standhardt with a dry top-half after numerous abseils in the rain.

The Summit Anorak is one of those garments that I go back and grab another of before it gets discontinued because its too much of a good thing! Choosing the right overall size for your jacket is also an important consideration. For alpine climbing its good to size at least one full size bigger than the jackets you would use for activities like biking and running. This allows your jacket to fit comfortably over multiple layers like soft shells and down jackets. In terms of where this jacket sits in the alpine hard shell market I would say it fills the position of a long lasting, light - mid weight jacket. There is always a compromise when going for the lightest hard shell. Bearing in mind that 200g - 250g ultra light weight shells are now quite common as an alpine shell the Summit Anorak is just light enough that you are happy to pack it each trip but not so light that it shreds on its first encounter with a hard surface. The Macpac Summit Anorak is a great all round alpine jacket.

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