Montane X BMC Clothing line Review

Montane's X BMC range of climbing clothing balances casual comfort and technical cuts, making it equally suited to use at the wall or out on the crags. Made in collaboration with the BMC, 5% of all UK sales of the range will be donated to The Climate Project. This BMC Access & Conservation Trust (ACT) project supports the work of Moors for the Future, so purchasing these products is a small way to contribute to the conservation of our moors and help combat climate change.

Montane X BMC Men's and Women's range  © UKC Gear
Montane X BMC Men's and Women's range

The range includes legwear, t-shirts, hoodies and fleeces for both men and women, with complementary accessories (a chalk bag and a rucksack) in a variety of bright colours.

Through summer and autumn we've been using a sample of the range across the men's and women's models on offer. There's less to say about this sort of casual clothing than more technical mountain-oriented stuff, but we can say that Montane have done the basics of cut, fabrics and fashion very well. Overall impressions are definitely positive.

Men's Jam / Women's Groove Hoodie Pull-On £60

Groove Hoodie  © UKC Gear
Groove Hoodie

Jam Hoodie  © UKC Gear
Jam Hoodie

The range offers different hoodies for men and women, but both the Jam (men's) and the Groove (women's) provide the same level of comfort and full range of movement.

The Jam is a lightweight and reasonably technical-feeling hoody, including a generous chest pocket, thumb holes, and a 1/3 length YKK zip. Being just one layer thick, it doesn't aim to be a hugely warming layer, instead enabling full flexibility and breathability. The cut makes it feel very comfortable, especially with the hood up. And with the stretchy 12% elastane composition, we have found that it doesn't ride up during climbing even on the reachiest of moves.

Full BMC X Montange  © UKC Gear
Both hoodies fit nicely under a harness

Taking a more comfort based approach, the Groove is a zipless pull-on. Made of extremely soft Polartec Thermal Pro fleece fabric, without pockets, a zip or thumb holes, but with a stretch-bound hood, it's a simpler top than the Jam. The fit is flattering and the hoody warm enough to be suitable for winter bouldering, however we've found it lacks the breathability of the Jam and has felt too hot for warmer days or more intense sessions.

The main downside to these offerings is how much they differ. In fact, on different occasions, we have both been envious of the other's features, namely the chest pocket on the men's, and the cosiness of the women's. In an ideal world both models might come in both men's and women's versions!

Montane say:

Groove Fleece Hoodie Pull-On (women's)

Lightweight and versatile hooded fleece pull-on using POLARTEC® Thermal Pro® fabric. Designed for both indoor and outdoor climbing, the soft LYOCELL® yarns and stretch fabric allows for all day wearability.

  • Sizes: 8 - 16
  • Weight: 230g (approx)
  • POLARTEC® Thermal Pro® with soft Lyocell yarns
  • Relaxed, stretch bound hood
  • Low profile cuffs and hem

For info see montane.com

Jam Fleece Hoodie Pull-On (men's)

Designed for both indoor and outdoor climbing, the Jam Hoodie Pull-On uses thermally efficient THERMO LITE fabric which provides excellent warmth for its weight and is super stretchy for all day comfort at the crag.

  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Weight: 300g (approx)
  • THERMO LITE brushed back fleece with stretch
  • POLYGIENE® permanent odour control treatment
  • Lycra bound under helmet hood
  • 1/3 length YKK front zip
  • External zipped chest pocket
  • Low profile flatlocked seams
  • Low profile hem and cuffs for layering
  • Thumb loops

For info see montane.com

Women's Groove Hoodie  © UKC Gear
Groove Hoody and On-Sight Pants, dog not included

On-Sight Pants £75

When flexibility is key, you don't want your legwear holding you back. From an active cut and a bit of stretch, to all-day comfort, the On-Sight pants provide all the features one would expect with a decent pair of climbing trousers. Both versions feature 97% organic cotton, with 3% elastane for added stretch.

The cuffs on the men's version are easily rolled up  © UKC Gear
The cuffs on the men's version are easily rolled up

The men's and women's versions differ slightly in their design. The Men's take a more traditional chino-like style, with a zip fly, jeans-style pockets, rollable ankle cuffs and a fairly tight fitting waist. Though not as stretchy as the women's, we've never found them restrictive during bouldering, and they've proved comfy during long mountain walk-ins.

Women's On-sight Pants  © UKC Gear
Women's On-sight Pants

Conversely, the women's On-Sight Pants feature a high elasticated waist band with drawcord, which allows for all day comfort, even after a particularly good lunch. The cut is good for movement and the fabric is suitably hard wearing to deal with the odd scuff or alpine knee. We love the colour of these trousers (redwood in our case) and that combined with the forgiving waistband of these pants make them a current favourite pair of climbing trousers.

Montane say:

On-Sight Pants (men's)

Stretch organic cotton pants tough enough for climbing at the wall or on rock and styled for comfortable casual wear.

  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Weight: 375g (approx)
  • 97% Organic cotton blended with 3% elastane for stretch comfort
  • UPF 50+
  • Waistband with zipped fly and press stud and button closure
  • Belt loops
  • Two deep front hand pockets
  • Rear pocket
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Articulated knees
  • Adjustable hem volume
  • Twin stitched in-seam

For info see montane.com

On-Sight Pants (women's)

  • Sizes: 8-16
  • Weight: 320g (approx)
  • 97% Organic cotton blended with 3% elastane for stretch comfort
  • UPF 50+
  • THERMO LITE stretch waistband
  • Deep, stretch, wicking waistband
  • Waist drawcord
  • Two deep front hand pockets
  • Rear pocket
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Articulated knees
  • Adjustable hem volume
  • Twin stitched in-seam

For info see montane.com

Wearing both sets of trousers and hoodies at the mighty Coudy Rock  © UKC Gear
Wearing both sets of trousers and hoodies at the mighty Coudy Rock

Men's Crag Calls T-shirt £25 / Women's Mono T-shirt £32

Montane BMC Mono T-shirt  © UKC Gear
Montane BMC Mono T-shirt

The women's mono T-shirt is available in three colours, matcha green, paprika and charcoal. The material is a 'cotton blend' with Polygiene odour control, which is good for fast paced activities, being up to four times quicker drying than pure cotton, according to Montane. This T-shirt is great for a range of outdoor activities - I've used it climbing, scrambling and hill walking and can attest to its odour controlling properties!

The material is light, the cut flexible and the fit flattering. My initial reservations as to the matcha green colour were unfounded, turns out Montane knows what suits me better than I do. There is a vest and a long sleeved version of the mono t-shirt available in the same range of colours.

The Men's Crag Calls T-shirt is a bit less techy and a bit more casual, with a looser cut, and coming in 100% organic cotton instead of the cotton blend of the women's. It's a bit cheaper, but then it's a bit less suited to all-round outdoor use than the Mono. If men want the benefit of that odour controlled and quicker-drying cotton blend, then they need to go for the Trad T-shirt, which basically looks like a men's version of the Mono (also at £32).

So while men get two short sleeved t-shirt options, women only get the pricier Mono. This is a shame since they miss out on stylised design on the Crag Calls, which features a topo of Crag Lough on the reverse (a cool crag, but perhaps not quite 'iconic' at a UK level, as Montane suggest!). This is a shame as the designs used in the men's range are arguably unisex.

The Crag Calls, but it's Windmore End, not Crag Lough  © UKC Gear
The Crag Calls, but it's Windmore End, not Crag Lough

Montane say:

Women's Mono T-shirt

High quality, lightweight and quick drying t-shirt that combines a DRI RELEASE® cotton blend with POLYGIENE® permanent odour control.

  • Sizes: 8 - 16
  • Weight: 125g (approx)
  • DRI RELEASE® cotton blend with POLYGIENE® permanent odour control
  • Dries 4x faster than regular cotton
  • Relaxed fit with scoop neck

For info see montane.com

Crag Calls

High quality organic cotton t-shirt with crag topo graphic.

  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Weight: 150g (approx)
  • 145g/m2 100% Organic cotton
  • Modern crew neck cut with a semi-tailored fit
  • Taped inner neck seams
  • Cover stitch on sleeve and hem

For info see montane.com

Rock Up 20L pack £55

With a neat design and plenty of useful features for the price, the Rock Up 20L is a great little pack for evening cragging, bouldering, and the wall. It's not huge though, so if you're climbing routes then it's probably better for sport than trad, as you won't fit much rack in there along with your sandwiches! The pack is streamlined and unfussy, avoiding an excess of unnecessary features and focusing on catering for the quick session.

Big enough for sport at a short walk-in  © UKC Gear
Big enough for sport at a short walk-in

Fits a surprising amount if utilising all its clips  © UKC Gear
Fits a surprising amount if utilising all its clips

Being only 20L, the Rock Up's top rope strap comes in useful, as there's really nowhere else to carry a rope. The limited capacity means we often find the exterior attachment points useful for other bits and bobs too. When clipping stuff to the outside of the pack some thought has to go into the choice of attachments to use, as it can easily become heavy in the wrong places, causing the non-rigid back support to bend awkwardly. Luckily, due to the range of hoops and loops, it is easy to get into the habit of using the ones best suited for your gear.

The internal daisychain could be a useful to aid in digging up gear from the bottom of the bag, though we've found it's not intuitive to separate off all your draws and attach them individually to a daisychain.

For a small pack with no internal frame, the carrying system is pretty comfy, with a removable waist belt and enough padding to protect you from pointy pack contents. With a mesh cover, it's reasonably unsweaty too. Overall, it's a likeable little pack at a decent price for what you're getting - but with the emphasis on little.

Montane say:

Rock Up 20L Climbing Pack

With a sleek, low profile design, a climb specific feature set and fit the Rock Up 20 is designed for carrying equipment to and on multi-pitch climbs. Equally suited to the indoor climbing wall.

  • Capacity: 20L
  • Weight: 440g (approx)
  • RAPTOR Dynamic 300 denier main fabric
  • CONTACT Air Mesh Plus on harness and back pad
  • HALO lining
  • Ergonomic climb specific harness and fit
  • Off-centre Montane Click and Go chest harness strap
  • Harness compatible, height adjusting, removable waist belt
  • Streamlined shape for unrestricted movement and access to chalk bag / gear
  • Asymmetric drawcord opening with Cord Lord quick release adjustment and bivi flap
  • Top rope strap with easy open buckles
  • Side compression straps with easy open buckles
  • Multiple gear clip loops and external attachment points for additional gear
  • Internal hanging daisy chain gear loop
  • Internal zipped organisation pocket with key clip
  • Hydration bladder compatible

For info see montane.com



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8 Jan

Ah! Not the kind of BMC clothes line I was imagining. Thinking more of teenage Joe Brown rope...

ps. not my dislike, by the way.

8 Jan

Aaaaarrrggghhh.

Why on earth are women not allowed to have a chest zip pocket? Its so useful.

And before you say "just buy the Mens" I often do but the sleeves are 5" too long so this is just hopeless.

I despair sometimes.

14 Jan

I'm not going to lie, I love my Jam hoody. But I am also envious of the cosy looking simplicity of the Women's Groove model. Definitely a case that both should have a version for the opposite sex as the article suggests!

14 Jan

BMC Clothing Line - I thought it was a advert for a cheap rope :-)

Chris


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