Martha our Taunton Store Assistant Manager let you know why this fleece is a go to:
The Montane Women’s Protium Hoodie is a technical fleece that works well as part of a layer system or by itself as an outer layer. It’s great for hiking and for more active use like climbing, fastpacking, and skiing. I have been lucky enough to put it to the test, and it has cemented itself as a year-round versatile layer in my wardrobe.
The Protium hoodie lends itself very nicely to a stretchy fit. Montane uses a 7% elastane construction in this hoodie (as well as 93% polyester), and it shows when wearing it as a mid-layer underneath a shell, perfect with the Montane Minimus Lite.
I found that the four-way stretch allowed me a comfortable fit no matter what base layer I was wearing underneath – Reducing empty space which would be useful in a fast-paced, lightweight environment. The stretchiness means that the arm cuffs don’t shift around when layering up – always a bonus 😊
The Protium Hoodie is part of Montane’s Active Mountain Fit series – A collection of gear designed to be close fitting and low bulk aimed at faster paced mountain activities. My one drawback with the fit is that I found the arms to be a little on the short side for my build. I would usually wear a UK 10 however found that the UK 12 sat on my wrists at a more comfortable level (I, for reference, am 5’7) – However this is down to personal preference as the jacket is designed to be an ‘active’ fit and therefore lacked that trimmer fit by sizing up.
Weighing in at 320g, it is not the lightest weight hoodie on the market but is by no means the heaviest and competes well in overall performance. I found myself feeling surprisingly warm given the weight compared to other midlayers that I have tried. The hem cuffs of the Protium are folded over, and this with flat locked seams on the inside and outside of the fabric increase the lifespan of the garment (not to mention that it reduces chafing and increases comfort).
The soft, brushed inner of the hoodie means that the Protium makes for a nice, soft jacket (particularly in relation to other high-activity fleeces I have experienced in the past. I have no issues wearing it all day (and even all night on those particularly cold camping nights). On our recent staff trek across Dartmoor, I don’t think I ever took it off. From the start to the end of the day, it was a loyal companion across all the elements. In the sunnier periods it did great to keep a light breeze off me and when the weather turned sour, it fit nicely under my shell. It kept me nice and warm when it needed to, but similarly helped wick moisture away.
The protium hoodie’s effective warming and moisture control abilities comes down to the Thermo Grid brush backed fleece. This aids in temperature regulation in both directions.
The grid shaped fleece means I can have that extra insulation and warmth without the extra grams, whilst also wicking away moisture under a shell. I found that it is relatively quick drying- great if caught in a shower without a waterproof. All of this is hugely beneficial when it comes to fast-paced activities.
As a hoodie, it features a full-length YKK VISLON® zip. That benefit of the full zip comes into play after walking for quite a while; as I warmed up, I was able to unzip it to further regulate temperature and allow a light breeze to cool me down. The hood of the protium is super warm. It nicely under a helmet and along with a snug collar provides a close fit.
The two zipped pockets are great size for stashing essentials (or hands!). One drawback is they do get covered by a hip belt of a pack but generally are good sized, and super useful when not wearing a big pack.
The Protium has been a staple for walking my dog on those cooler summer mornings and evenings, as an ideal outer layer and has accompanied me on a few scrambles and faster-paced hikes as the weather is getting warmer. If you want a trusty midlayer for those faster-paced activities, or even day to day life, then Montane’s Protium Hoodie is a simple yet ideal option that will not let you down – all year round. It is a versatile, technical layer, good for heat regulation and moisture wicking, whilst remaining relatively lightweight.