/ Alpkit - waterproof jackets
Does anyone have experience with the Alpkit waterproof jackets? (Balance or Definition as current models, they do appear to be ridiculously well priced.
Any thoughts appreciated
Balance is very good. I have bought 2. Shredded on Skye slightly, but for walking or climbing elsewhere, great. It is durably waterproof and very light. Breathability is good (though that's a very subjective thing). In winter I go for my chunkier gore Tex pro jacket, but I doubt I'll ever need to look for a different jacket for the rest of the year. It just works.
They get good reviews but I'm currently waiting on word from Alpkit about the Balance I returned. I wore it twice in steady rain and both times it started to leak within 40mins. It was definitely leaks rather than water wicking or running in from hems/hood or condensation. It didn't bead very well on the arms which were the first bit to leak. I'll wait and see what they say (they tend to be very good in that regard) but I wouldn't be very confident in it if the fabric is that dependent on the DWR for its water resistance. The cut and design were pretty good, more tailored than some other Alpkit stuff I've had which can tend to be a bit baggy.
I've had a balance for a year or so and for the money it's pretty good. Mine's not had problems with leaking, the hood's good (even with glasses) and I like the cut. My only quibble is that the cuffs aren't great and absorb some water so end up a bit clammy and damp.
I've had the Definition for 2.5ish years and have been very pleased with it. Good, solid, no issue with leaks or any other problems. It could probably do with a wash and recoating now though.
I was very impressed with the balance however I only paid £120 for it when they first came out. I'm not sure it (or any other jacket) is worth nearly £200 though.
I’ve got both the Definition and the Balance jacket.
The Definition is very waterproof. It’s kept me warm and dry during some pretty gross Scottish Weather. The pockets aren’t perfect for winter climbing.
It seems as breathable as any other three layer waterproof I’ve used.
I’ve had two Balance jackets. The first was only waterproof in a notional sense, even when new. It also wasn’t very tough. The second (current version) which has an burlier face fabric is a big improvement. It is tougher and much more waterproof. I really rate this jacket as it is incredibly versatile. It is light enough to stuff in your pack on an alpine rock route, waterproof enough to keep you dry in a prolonged downpour, and touch enough that it doesn’t fall apart the first time you climb wearing it.
(Full disclaimer: Alpkit supply me with gear to wear, but I’ve been honest with my assessments of these jackets.)
Im sponsored but I did put the definition through its paces in foul weather in scotland and norway, trying to break it, and has performed very well. Only one season though, the real test is doing at least 3 seasons, which is what you'd expect to get out of a piece of kit that expensive. The first edition balance had a wierd cut and the zips weren't great. It's got much better now, but I just use the definition.
I might be salty, but I don't have much expectations after receiving a pair of waterproof gaiters which had... plastic tags pierced through them. 4 tiny holes in total before you even put them on!
I`ve got a Definition; Great piece of kit, except for the zip which is a bit of a struggle sometimes.
Used in full winter condition and in very "Welsh" weather for 2 seasons now, without any problems.
Thanks, I’ll be placing an order later 😃
I bought a Definition a few weeks ago. I wasn't certain of the fit as it seemed a bit large on me so I took it into the Hathersage store to try on the smaller size. The guy I spoke to was really helpful and assessed me trying them both on. He thought I should stick with the larger size (definitely the right call) although he agreed that the sleeves were an odd fit on me (way too long - my ape index isn't so great) which once cinched in leave a little bunching/ballooning on the forearm.
I wore it for 2 weeks at the end of August in Scotland (it rained every day) and I felt like it was a great investment. Great breathability (for a tough winter jacket), obviously no leaks - great beading and the adjustability is great. Agree that the pockets could finish a little higher when wearing a harness and for me the sleeves could do with being 4 inches shorter but other than that It's perfect.
Hope that helps.
During summer 2019, more than 200 ascents of Corbetts were made by around 70 volunteers in aid of hillwalkers' charity Mountain Aid.