An article posted in 2015 caused someone to comment. I was contacted about my jacket, a waterproof PHD Alpamayo. Last reviewed on the 15th December 2015. A staggering 5 and a half years ago. I wanted to reply to this, and try to demonstrate that I do listen and respond to comments, so here we are. The jacket, PHD the waterproof-ness and would I buy it again?
Click here to see the article. https://www.audi.co.uk/audi-update/the-explorer.html Check out LASTPOLE please donate to me…click link….
Having many jackets, so many in fact I do think I have a bit of a problem, I purchased the jacket to replace an amazing ageing Rab Event jacket, a then relatively mid-level waterproof. One I still have today-(seen in this article). I wanted it to be my best jacket, one that would protect me when the going got tough and wet.
Nearly 6 years after the purchase of my PHD jacket, having travelled around the world with me. From northern Wales to South America. I can say that it is GOOD. Here is my thoughts and experiences.
I have worn the PHD jacket in some truly horrendous weather on Dartmoor repeatedly. I‘ve been carrying heavy packs that puts a significant strain on the jacket at the shoulder, and the jacket has done well. I keep it well looked after and regularly clean and proof it with Nikwax-(this stuff is good). The jacket once proofed looks like new, and beads up like a champion.
The jacket is very very lightweight-currently the latest smock is 330g. That is seriously light, it also compresses like a champion and fits in a small compression/waterproof bag. The only issue with the compression is the substantial peak to the hood that has a large metal wire in it. That said it still fits and it is malleable , so does fit.
The hood is good, however I always find with all hoods that they never do exactly what you want. It has a tighter on the top to reduce volume and it has draw chords to bring the jacket in around your neck. After some tightening and loosening you do manage to find the perfect position, and the coat just worked. It feels like a jumper. It really really doesn’t have the confines of a rigid Goretex-pro jacket like the Changabang or Kongur MRT. Certainly a different experience. That said when I was training for my ML in Wales, when you are using rope around the body to increase friction, the PHD lets you know there is rope causing friction.
The jacket uses PHD’s HS2 fabric( The latest use their new HS3 fabric). Like a soft silk-type it fits well, slightly larger than size-this is so one can don warm jackets underneath. The jacket has a waist cord, and mine I had equipped with pit zips. The pit zips are good, and allow excellent venting, however as the jacket is so incredibly light the zips are quite obvious and almost intrusive when wearing. I say almost, I still want them, and would feature my new jacket with them definitely.
The jacket is undoubtedly waterproof, and this has been put well and truly to the limit. After falling in a bog on Dartmoor, the jacket did an amazing job keeping my top half dry. Almost like a dry suit. I remember getting to dry ground, and my jacket was drenched, my boots were full of water, and trousers wet-but under the jacket I was dry. As I was out on a multi-day wild camp this was really impressive. It kept me from having to change all my clothes and shorten my potential survivability in the wild.
In Conclusion. The jacket is expensive, and when its priced in similar price points to gore-tex pro jackets such as the Changabang by mountain equipment it does make you question the validity of spending so much on a somewhat unknown branded jacket.
To put your mind at rest PHD (Peter Hutchinson designs). Is the brain child of the then inventor and owner of Mountain Equipment. he removed himself from the company as was worried about their direction, and thus started his own brand. There is no advertising for it any washers (they don’t need it). Their stuff is handmade in England. They can customise anything. Their sleeping bags and down coats are simply the best. Their waterproof jackets are somewhat different to the traditional mountain Gore-tex jacket, but if you are worried about weight, want something VERY waterproof that is light weight, fast drying and comfortable then this is the one. It goes into my pack in as tiny compression bag, and the weight and size make it stand out. Is it worth the money? Yes.