I thought I would take the time to write about one of my favourite pieces of kit: my Mountain Hardwear Super Chockstone jacket. This jacket has been with me since October 2015, and in that time we have been through Scottish winter, many quality mountain days for my Summer Mountain Leader assessment, as well as my assessment itself, rock climbing days, a number of Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and out and about as casual day wear. It is safe to say that I hardly ever take it off.
The Super Chockstone is a lightweight soft-shell with a durable but stretchy fabric giving you great flexibility. It has two massive side pockets allowing you to easily fit maps, big gloves and even a couple of bottles of ale (if you so wish). There is also a great smaller chest pocket which I have used for my compass, small maps and my phone (not at the same time as my compass!). The whole jacket can be packed into this pocket, bringing it down to the size of a potato and making it easy to pack. The hood fits snugly to your head and is great for keeping the wind or the sun at bay.
My only complaint is that there has been a fair bit of bobbling on the underarms and now it’s creeping across the chest. This is purely cosmetic, so has not affected the performance of the jacket at all and other than that there’s not a scratch on it.
I love this jacket, and not just because it has orange zips, but because it’s a good fit and the stretchy fabric allows me to move freely. Furthermore, it keeps the wind off, performs as a great mid layer during winter, is superb over my base layer in spring and summer and it looks good. I reckon I will be wearing this jacket until it either becomes one big bobble or falls apart (which I don’t think it ever will) and then I will just buy a new one!