“12 years in the making, our fully waterproof and breathable Definition Jacket is engineered to cope with whatever you, the mountains, and the weather can throw at it.”
Well, that’s the Alpkit blurb behind their Definition shell. But is that a fair description, or is it all just marketing nonsense? I asked them to send me one to test over the winter so I could make my own mind up.
The first thing that strikes me about this jacket is that nobody seems to know what it’s made of. Well, Alpkit do of course. They tell us “Its face fabric and backer are manufactured from tough nylon for superb durability. Sandwiched between these is a waterproof / breathable PU/PTFE membrane; the result is the best combination of durability and breathability available in heavier weight 3 layer fabric. It is our most durable jacket yet.” So, not Goretex, not Event, or any other name-tag you might want to put on a jacket. But I like that. I actually don’t care what tag you place on my outdoor clothing, but I do care if it keeps out the wind and the rain, and I can testify that the Definition does that, and does it better than most.
I love the fact that this jacket is one tough cookie. I’ve worn it in cold, harsh conditions, demonstrating ice axe arrests in whilst wearing it, and battling up iced-up gullies, and it hasn’t let me down yet. I’ve worn it on the wettest of days, and apart from a bit of the usual moisture-creep up the sleeves and down the neck that you get from absolutely every jacket on the market, the Definition has kept me dry.
I like the pocket sizes and positions (clear of rucksack waist-belt or climbing harness), and I like the waist closure system. The hood is ideal for wearing over a helmet, or without, as it is easily adjustable. My one little gripe is that the main front zip on mine can be a bit stiff sometimes, requiring a fair bit of upping-and-downing to get it past what is an obvious problem point. This is almost certainly just a defect in the one I was sent to test though, and doesn’t stop me reaching for the Definition every time I head for the hill.
The Alpkit Definition is available at £210, which easily makes it the top of the league of mid-priced shells in my opinion. Check out the Alpkit website here: Alpkit Definition Mens Jacket