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Could not fault this product!, 13 November 2015
By G-DKN (Lancashire, North, UK)
I've had this balaclava for nearly a year so now I firmly believe I can write up an honest unbiased review after using it. I used this balaclava heavily during the winter of 14 and into the new year of 15, still using it now for the coming winter months of 15 and no doubt, upto now having been subsequently worn several times already (on post on this review its early winter 15) for midnight field strolls and when its gotten nippy at times, and also mainly when still and no matter what, you are protected amazingly by such a versatile technologically clever matrix of well thought of fabric and design principle. This balaclava does a fantastic job at working as a barrier between you and the direct lash of the wind. Didnt feel a breeze 95% of the time. I say it out if humour, at times i could feel the air seeping through the top parts. I wouldn't call this failing in terms of product capability limits, but at this time, the wind was pretty staggering. I then, dont doubt that this review would still be the same weeks if not months down the line. This product is no stranger to love marks and ownership battle scars. Obvious wear and tear I will add. . Especially around the mouth area, which has I was told; specially stitched in vapour layer protecting fabric which I add, works perfectly! Now starting to gently fray though... Has lasted 5 or more intensive fabric washes...(washing machine, set to product washing guidelines no less..) without any of the core fabric keeping the product together fraying so this garment has been built properly unlike some I have seen from similar products. Some parts, the fabric is again starting to clump and fray in little hard lumps (fabric clumping togehter) combed by the everyday grind of my clothes and rucksacks, shirts etc.When wearing this, I got perfect streams of air from moderate exercise like walking and minor inclines/declines but come heavy labourous climbs continuously, the sudden urge to breathe without a fabric netting surrounding your mouth becomes more than an urge, for me anyway. So sometimes, the poor balaclava came off and allowed in all cases, for the mouth area to dry out (can get moist in there, during my peak use) And let me tell you, no matter what is said about this product from anyone or anything representing any company;
It's the best I've ever worn. Decided on a winter break (Post Christmas '14/Early '15) to grab out when out shopping for my next adventure. Ended up in the heart and grand open of Windermere for well over 5 hours I may add, geared up of course, and temperatures would of been at least 5 degrees Celsius, not a friendly temperature reading for fingers, toes and... Your head. Sometimes I even felt like this product was if anything, OVERKILL for the task I had purchased it to see me through. At some intervals when approaching moderate climbs or power walking/rambling, the balaclava felt a little constrictive. But I could point that down to me not being used to using this product. It could feel like wearing a motorcycle helmet, it will definetly take some getting used too if you wore it like me for the best part of 3 hours or so.Either way, I felt like I was overheating at times. So I'd unwrap my head from this great balaclava, get some air for about 30 minutes and then sling it back on. With good results no less. Just, this isn't the sort of kit your looking for if your off out into the local park p*ssed from Christmas Day night walking the dog. This balaclava is no short of capable for use in much more severe weather conditions, I'd put it up there amongst entry level contendership for the first port of call when it comes to mountaineering wind and elements protection apparel.
PROS TO CONCLUDE:
1. Well-built, unique skin-tight minimal structure
2. Stretch-fit so perfect for moulding to the size of any man's skull (I'd hope anyway!)
3. Kept me warm in very windy, mild stormy conditions with rain and snow, frost and delight in the bitter cold yet beautiful Winter period for which I'm 100% greatful for! Thanks Montane! 10/10!
CONS TO CONCLUDE:
1. More expensive then your 'run-of-the-mill' cheap Thinsulate "old-skool" SAS-style balaclava (cheap big thick ones, buy em for a couple of quid from any corner shop during winter usually..)
2. Not the right balaclava for you if the temperature doesn't stop below 5 degrees Celsius at the minimum. Overheating could be imminent, was for me on numerous occasions. Did reventilate and rehydrate but be warned, this isn't some cheap 2 quid ballie from previously quoted corner shop.
3. Abit weird to get used to? Perhaps others may find this problem out for theirselves. For me at times, I felt like a twerp. Perhaps because of the unique minimal skin tight design. It sure looks space age to me.
Get this product if you need something that will keep you warm in cold conditions. You will need to ideally have a coat with a hood as I'm not entirely sure if this product is 100% waterproof in its entirety. Although I could be mistaken... I put my hood up and the balaclava went well with the feel and combination with my gear. If worn that is, with the rest of my kit. It should be used as such; integral part of your camping trip if your facing bitter winds and climates.
5/5. Thanks Montane :) Happy customer!