Light-weight Mont Bell rainwear is fully waterproof and highly breathable. The lightness of the jackets and pants means that they take up less room in the pack and are more comfortable to wear. Despite being light, Mont Bell rainwear is durable because of the fabric used. Indeed, if you are interested in light-weight shellwear, we would argue that it is critical to understand how waterproof materials are constructed. A jacket material ideally comprises three layers – a waterproof membrane sandwiched between an outer nylon layer and an inner protective layer. Manufacturers often reduce the weight of rainwear by replacing the inner layer with a light transparent coating, which greatly reduces the durability of the jacket (i.e., the jacket wears out from the inside). Such jackets are called 2.5-layer jackets. 2.5-layer jackets do have their place and are fine to use as long as you don't often carry medium-weight or heavy packs.
The Mont Bell jackets and pants featured on this page are made of 3-layer fabric, yet they are as light as (or lighter than) less-durable 2.5-layer jackets. This is largely because the outer (face) layer of the fabric is Ballistic nylon. Ballistic is 150% more abrasion resistant and 200% stronger (tear strength) than ordinary nylon because it has been heated and stretched, which aligns the nylon molecules. Hence Mont Bell rainwear can be made very light (by essentially using less nylon) without sacrificing durability.
Mont Bell Men's & Women's Ridge Walker Jacket - mountaineering, tramping and adventure sports
The Mont Bell Ridge Walker jacket is primarily an alpine tramper's jacket. It has heavier fabric over the shoulders for durability when carrying a heavy pack. The material of the hood and shoulders stretches for comfort when walking with the hood up.
Weight: 450 g (men's medium); 380 g (women's medium)
(top) Men's Ridge Walker Jacket NZ$350
Mont Bell Mont Bell Men's Rain Trekker jacket - light-weight tramping and adventure sports
The Mont Bell Rain Trekker jacket is primarily for lightweight tramping, adventure racing, and other adventure sports. Alpinists may wish to use the jacket if they are prepared to wear their helmet over the hood of the jacket in poor weather. There is no heavy fabric over the shoulders, so the jacket is recommended for trampers and climbers not regularly carrying heavy packs.
The jacket has pitzips for ventilation.
Weight: 365 g (medium)
Men's Rain Trekker Jacket NZ$285
Mont Bell Light Alpine Pants - mountaineering, skiing and tramping
The Mont Bell Light Alpine Pants are primarily designed for mountaineering and skiing, but they are equally useful for tramping and other outdoor activities. The pants feature large crampon scruff patches, internal gaiters that fit over mountaineering or ski boots, and an integrated belt. The full-length zips allow the pants to be put on/taken off when wearing boots, crampons, and even skis. The knees are articulated to provide good freedom of movement.
Weight: 448 g (unisex medium)
Light Alpine Pants NZ$335