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Alpkit Definition jacket review

This incredibly tough rain jacket with an outstanding level of waterpoofing is a great option for mountaineers, rock climbers and hill walkers.

Our rating 
4.2 out of 5 star rating 4.2
Red rain jacket

Our review

Excellent value for such a technical jacket. Extremely hardwearing, storm-proof shell for hands-on adventuring.
Pros: Very high waterproof rating and really windproof.

Hardy outer makes the jacket ideal for rough and tumble adventures.

Large hood with wired peak is helmet-compatible.

Good pocket design, size and positioning.
Cons: The large hood is great for climbers and mountaineers, but if you don't plan on wearing a helmet it may feel a little oversized.

This is one tough jacket. When you first pull on the Definition, its rigid fabric and thick zips feel a little old-school, but it’s this robust design that makes it such a reliable hard shell for wild winter climes.

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Alpkit describes the Definition as a ‘fortress of a jacket’ for alpine climbing and year-round Munro bagging. On review, it’s just that. The three-layer construction – developed by Alpkit – is highly waterproof (30K HH) and the hardy nylon outer means you can scramble over rough rocks and through dense forests without risking a rip in the material. It really does feel untearable. It’s windproof, too, yet at the same time breathable thanks to its relatively modest weight (525g, men’s medium), zippered side vents and fabric layering.

The cut, which falls nicely just below your bum, is intentionally roomy, partly to avoid the jacket from riding up in times of exertion, such as reaching for climbing holds, and partly to allow a generous amount of space for under-layering, which you’ll need if conditions are cold – the jacket design is less about warmth and more about protection from wind and rain.

The main zip is water-resident and has an internal stormflap, which stops rain from seeping in. For added protection from the rain, tighten the hem cords and cuffs (these fit over or under gloves). The hood, with wired peak, is large enough to fit over a climbing helmet – for non-helmet users, this does mean there is quite a bit of excess material around the head, though the hood can be tightened using three elastic adjusters to reduce the volume. Fully tightened, the hood fits closely around your head and the wired peak is substantial enough to keep rain out of your eyes.

Another sign that this is a jacket made for epic adventures is the pocket design and layout. The main chest pocket is easily large enough to fit an OS map and other essentials, and is set high enough on the jacket to be clear of a harness or rucksack hip belt. There are two more large side pockets and one small internal pocket, ideal for quick-access valuables.

Definition jacket specifications

  • Weight: 525g (men’s medium).
  • Material: high performance three-layer fabric, Nylon inner and face fabrics with a ‘bi-component PU/PTFE membrane.
  • Maker’s waterproof rating: 30k HH
  • Breathability: 20K MVTR
  • Hood: A large hood is sized to comfortably fit over a climbing helmet, with a wired peak and three elastic adjusters that allow you to really batten down the hatches when the weather rolls in.
  • Pockets: The OS map-sized main pockets and chest pocket have been designed to sit clear of your rucksack hip-belt or climbing harness. One more small, internal pocket.
  • Sustainability: PFC-free water repellent treatment (DWR)

Available in chilli red and Nemo blue for women and men. The women’s version of the Definition varies only in cut and colour. The rest of the jacket shares the same features at the men’s version.

Blue rain jacket

Also consider

Helly Hansen Odin Huginn Pant

Billed as all-season, these technical trousers really come into their own between autumn and spring. The softshell fabric is windproof and yet it also achieves Helly Hansen’s maximum rating for breathability. It contrives to feel really substantial while remaining reasonably light at 570g.

There is plenty of stretch, and some neat articulation to help you flex knees comfortably on uphill stretches. The elasticated waist can be tightened using Velcro tabs. I like the hook on the hem, which allows you to attach the trouser leg to your boot laces, in lieu of gaiters, and the cuffs, which can be secured neatly around your boot-tops.

Zips on the lower leg allow you to pull them on and off without removing your boots… handy if the weather turns warm and you want to switch to shorts. The three pockets are zippered – two at the hip and one thigh.

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The designed has a couple of mildly flamboyant touches that bring to mind garments for the climbing and snowboarding fraternity: the fly is set at an angle and finished with a pair of poppers; and the lining at the waist is florescent yellow.

Walking trousers