Montane Minimus 777 Hardshell
This ultralight hardshell is the lightest three-layer waterproof/breathable shell we’ve seen.
Model: Minimus 777 Jacket
How’d Montane manage to fit three-layer weather protection into such a wispy package? All three layers are ultrathin. The jacket pairs the new Pertex Shield Plus membrane with a barely-there, 7-denier tricot backer and a 7-denier face fabric. “Any lighter and it would be Saran Wrap,” says a tester who packed it in his pocket for rainy, windy hikes, trail runs, and bike rides in northern Arizona canyon country. Caveat: In truly horrible weather, the thin interior storm flap let driven rain sneak in through the water-resistant front zipper.
Even at this crazy-low weight, you get a chest pocket that fits a granola bar, a nonadjustable but effective elastic-framed hood, and articulated arms for better mobility. Semi-elasticized cuffs seal out wind or wet.
Very good, which is probably because of how thin the material is. “I stayed cooler in this jacket while running and hiking than in my heavier, nonwaterproof windbreakers,” a tester says.
The trim fit has room for a light midlayer underneath, and it’s cut long enough to keep our backs covered up when we bent over. Darts in the sleeves and hood further shave weight by reducing the number of seams.
Tissue-thin fabric means this isn’t the shell for off-trail hiking or climbing, but our sample held up fine to a season of hiking, trail running, and cycling.