CGR tests the new all terrain, 3 season mountain fleece from Haglöfs
The perfect three season mid layer, created from an interesting mix of materials. Provides excellent performance for all demanding mountain adventures.
We here at CGR are fans of the Swedish company Haglöfs, I remember testing a very early softshell way back when they had just started importing product into the UK. I was impressed with the workmanship and performance.
The Haglöfs Triton II Hood didn’t disappoint, although it is marketed as a three season fleece, I’ve been using it throughout (the admittedly rubbish) winter for all my mountain activities, from rock climbing to winter climbing.
The fabrics are a combination Polartec PowerStretch Pro and Polartec Thermal Pro. These are known performers and most climber and mountaineers will have used jackets with these materials before.
The PowerStretch panels ranged from the well fitted hood, over the shoulders and down the arms. It also stretched from under the armpits, down and around the waist area. So all the areas that were going to be stretched for climbing were made using the very stretchy PowerStretch – this made for great freedom of movement when reaching up for those distant holds or that blob of ice.
The sleeves were articulated to further enhance the movement and the sleeve ends were finished with thumb loops. I like thumbloops, I like to have them on when the approach is just warm enough to not need gloves but the breeze is enough to chill your hands. They also, without doubt, help keep my hands warm in cold weather when deployed with gloves. So a real plus point as far as I was concerned. The design was neat and the crossover minimised the actual hole size and the sleeve ends were double stitched to help keep the sleeve tight to the wrist.
The fit was very athletic and body hugging which was great as I used it mostly as a midlayer that was worn under a hardshell, I used it with the very athletic Haglöfs Spire jacket and this was a great combination. The Haglofs Triton II Hood also had three pockets: two handwarmer and one stretchy chest pocket. The handwarmer pockets were fully accessible with a harness on so were great for stuffing gloves and a hat into, they had glove friendly zip tags that were bartacked for extra duarbility. The small chest pocket was made from a stretch material that had a laminated coating to make it more durable – it was big enough for some food bars, a phone or a small camera.
The hood was great, it fitted really snug and worked well under a helmet. As it was made from Powerstetch I had a full range of head movement. It zipped up to fully enclose my mouth and nose. The outside of the mouth area was laminated and had laser cut ventilation holes in it to help dispel goggle fogging. I was sceptical but it did actually work on the occasion I did using it – getting off The Ben in blizzard conditions. This feature would work really well in ski touring/mountaineering when you would be wearing goggles all day and it was well thought out.
All the zips were YKK coil zips that all worked well, the tags were glove friendly. They were bartacked in strategic places. The placket (the windguard that works behind the zip) was in the same laminated material as the chest pocket and mouth guard and worked brilliantly, it never got in the way of zip use or got caught. The large and easy to use hanging loop was on the outside which made it easy to hang in the drying room.
The rest of the Haglöfs Triton II Hood was made with nice and warm Polartec Thermal Pro, this is a great midlayer fleece material that was warm, durable and ventilated well. I could get quite sweaty in it on the approach and it dried out really quickly under a hardshell. It remained comfortable all day long whether I wore it for winter action, rock climbing in January or hiking and running.
The Haglöfs Triton II Hood has quickly become my winter staple and now that spring is approaching I can’t see it coming off any time soon. I’ve used it for all my mountain activities and now that my MIA working season is approaching I’ll be using it for that too.
Finally, it’s easy to balk at the price tag for these types of performance fleece (a quick internet search will bring the SRP down) but you have to remember these products are superbly made, designed to perform and will last years and are often more vestatile than a softshell and so it has been with the Haglöfs Triton II Hood .