Wednesday, 20 July 2011

OutDoor show Friedrichshafen 2011 - Mammut Eiger Extreme

One of the things that caught my eye most at the show was Mammut's new range for Autumn 2011 called the Eiger Extreme series. The range has been constructed to celebrate 150 years of Mammut, and I have to say I was very impressed. The range features a number of items; jackets, boots, hard shell's, soft shells and more. The whole range uses every fabric and technological advance available to create a no holds barred set of technical clothing. First off I love the colour scheme, I think the orange/blue/black combination looks incredible, if a little similar to Adidas's new gear...

The first product that really impressed me is the Gipfelgrat Jacket. (right). The jacket is one of the first to use the new Polartec Neoshell fabric, I was very impressed with the demo going on at the Polartec stand, which showed the waterproofness and breathability of the fabric. The jacket itself feels incredible; the fabric feels tough and is exactly what I expect from a softshell jacket. There are 2 large front pockets that are high enough up that wearing a rucksack shouldn't reduce the effectiveness of the pockets for hand warming. All the zips in the jacket are waterproof. At nearly 800g this jacket is by no means a lighweight option, however it is my idea of what a perfect softshell should be, and if the claims Polartec have made about Neoshell turn out to be true then this jacket could represent my dream of a perfect jacket! At £390 this jacket is very expensive, but compared to Arcteryx for example...this is fast becoming the standard price tag for high end technical jackets.

Next in the series is the Nordwand TL boot. This boot was nominated for an OutDoor industry award, and when holding it I can see why! The boot is very well designed and includes an integrated gaiter similar to that in the Scarpa Phantom. It has a strap around the top of the boot to give addition security, a diagonal waterproof zip, and loops inside the boot to aid with putting it on. Of course these are first impressions, but to me the boot felt like an excellent B3 mountaineering boot, however I expect the price tag will reflect the quality of the build! But overall I really liked the Nordwand TL and hopefully will get chance to try them on at some point in the not too distant future!

The last item from this series that I liked was the Felstrum smock. The jacket uses the new Gore Tex fabric ActiveShell. The jacket is a lightweight alpine smock, featuring a half zip, a helmet compatible hood, pit zips, and a bright orange colour ideal for use in bad conditions. The fact that Mammut have constructed a jacket that uses ActiveShell as well as one that uses Neoshell really does show they are making uses of all the current innovations to create a varied collection of technical clothing. I spent around an hour looking at the whole series, and I have to say that in my opinion there wasn't a "weak link". All the collection has been built to an incredibly high spec, and there have been no compromises on quality at all. However they are likely to have high price tags attached. Do I care? No, I have already started saving up to get a Gipfelgrat jacket, as it was without a shadow of a doubt my favourite piece of gear from this years show.

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