Mammut Ultimate Hoody Review
When a company names a product Ultimate, immediately the performance bar is set pretty high. Mammut’s Ultimate Hoody is pegged as wind-proof yet breathable softshell jacket that can just about do it all.
In my testing I found that this softshell delivered on every promise. The fit is close to the body, perfect for alpine climbing, ski touring and backpacking. I found that it hit me just right in terms of the length of the arms and waist. I wore this with just a thin base layer underneath and a heavier fleece layer and the Ultimate worked well with both. The articulated elbows allowed for great freedom of movement.
The Ultimate has a combination of features and materials that work well together. The Gore Windstopper material does just what it says. I was caught in some high winds during a ski tour outing and felt nothing coming through. Keeping the wind out means keeping the warmth in. But the Ultimate also has several ways to vent that warmth when the weather changes or your effort heats you up. The underarm vents are the biggest I’ve ever seen. They start near the elbow and go all the way to the bottom of the jacket. A two-way zipper allows you to zip it down from the elbow or up from the waist. The front zipper is also a two-way zipper so you can zip the Ultimate open from the bottom. I used the Ultimate during a ski randoneering race and started out with the zippers about two inches down from the elbow. I quickly heated up so I grabbed the zippers at the waist and pulled up to allow for more venting. Immediately I felt cooler and as I crested the top, the winds kicked in and I simply pulled the zippers closed. I was surprised at how fluid the zippers worked. Many times you have to hold down the jacket as you pull up on the zipper. With the Ultimate I just grabbed the tabs and pulled. The ease of use of a zipper cannot be overstated. I don’t want to have look down and use both hands to actuate a simple zipper, especially while skinning up. I just want to grab, pull and not have to stop. This small detail was a huge plus to me.
I also used the Mammut Ultimate Hoody at A-Basin Ski Resort out here in Colorado, where I like to skin up for a few hours of aerobic work, and then hit the lifts for some fun runs. The Ultimate became my go to piece for these days. Because my temperature would be ranging from super hot while skinning to cold while on the lifts, I needed a piece that I could adjust quickly and easily. The Ultimate fit the bill perfectly. On all but the coldest and windiest days at A Basin I never was too cold. The ability to fine tune the jacket based on weather and effort makes it very versatile.
The hood has a pull cord on each side to adjust the fit. I found that it fit me very well, which is rare for me. I never really used the thumb loops and for me I could do without them. They don’t impede anything though so I have no complaint. The two hand pockets are a good size, but I did find myself wanting a chest pocket. When I ski tour I usually have a pack and the waist strap often goes over the hand pockets, making them hard to access. A chest pocket alleviates this, but again, it’s not a huge issue for me.
I used this piece while skiing at the resort, ski randoneering racing and ski touring. While it’s not quite warm enough for a full day at the resort in winter conditions, it’s great for spring skiing and any form of aerobic exercise. The strength of the Ultimate is it’s versatility, amazingly placed zippers, well thought out features, and quality materials.
For more information, please visit Mammut.com