Woman in climbing harness and jacket

Review: Mammut Foraker Light Insulated Jacket

A super technical, insulated, lightweight and weather resistant jacket — made for the active adventurer

Climbers, bikers, hikers and anyone who is constantly changing layers to regulate your temperature, the Mammut Foraker Light Insulated Jacket is for you! This weather resistant jacket features lightweight active insulation that keeps air and moisture flowing whilst keeping you warm when you need to be. It’s technical, totally un-restrictive, highly packable and great looking. The outer layer you didn’t know you needed, and the perfect partner to your active adventures.

Mammut Foraker Light Insulated Jacket: The stats

Weight:290g / 10.2oz
Weatherproof:Water and wind resistant Pertex outer
Insulation:Polartec Alpha
Best use:Active adventures

Features of the Mammut Foraker Light Insulated Jacket

Stretch panels

Shoulder of jacketThe arms, top of the hood, cuffs and underarms of the jacket are not insulated. They are, however, made with super stretchy and air permeable fabric that allows for greater mobility.

Outer fabric

Fabric of jacketMade with Pertex Quantum Air, the outer fabric of the jacket is incredibly lightweight and soft to touch. It creates a highly breathable, windproof and water resistant shell to compliment the insulation.

Insulation

Close up of fabricThe main body of the jacket is insulated with Polartec Alpha panels — active insulation that regulates your temperature and deals with excess moisture as you move. It’s clever stuff that Polartec explains much better than me!

Hood

Hooded jacketAlthough not adjustable, the hood fits fairly snuggly  and has an elasticated edge. It also has a wonderfully high neck that comes over my chin. The hood is insulated up to the ears but not beyond. This design keeps it streamlined enough to fit comfortably underneath a helmet.

Hand pockets / stow pocket

Packed jacketThe two hand pockets sit high up on the jacket, and can just about be accessed when wearing a climbing harness. One of the pockets converts into a stow sack that can be zipped up for easy storage in your pack.

Chest pocket

Chest pocket of jacketThere is an external zippered chest pocket which is large enough for a phone, GPS, or a small map and compass etc. The zip is super discreet and on the front panel of the jacket.

Hem drawstring

Jacket hem drawcordAn elasticated drawstring runs around the hem of the jacket, with two adjustable toggles that sit discreetly on either side of the jacket.


Mammut Foraker Light Insulated Jacket Review

My initial reaction to this active adventurer type insulated shell jacket was one of doubt and confusion. When would I wear this thing? In what scenario would it be better than either an insulated jacket, a waterproof shell, or a combination of both? Is there really a place in my kit bag for a jacket that, on the face of it, does lots of things averagely and nothing brilliantly?

It wasn’t until I started using it for more than just hiking that I realised how versatile it is. And in the right conditions, it outperforms the aforementioned alternatives by a mile — even when hiking!

Harness over jacket

Best use

So when does this super lightweight, technically advanced jacket excel?

In any scenario where your body temperature is constantly changing and you need protection from the elements: climbing, cold weather trail running, hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking etc.

I’ve used it most for climbing on windy and exposed crags during the summer months. I love that I can belay without cooling too much — just enough insulation and wind protection — and then do a climb without having to take it off. Although my temperature certainly rises during my climbs, the jacket is wonderfully breathable, preventing me from getting sweaty and uncomfortable. The fit and cut is such that my movement is not restricted in any way.

The warmth, breathability and weather resistance also do a very good job at keeping me comfortable during cold, windy and drizzly runs. The fabric keeps air flowing well, provides great protection from the wind, and insulates my body where it’s needed most.

Woman standing on coast

The fit

Mammut call the cut of the jacket an athletic fit. It’s shaped really nicely to my figure without giving me hips that I don’t have (like the cut of many women specific jackets and tops). This also means that it fits really well underneath a climbing harness without having excess fabric gathering at the waist. And on the really cold or wet days, I can easily fit my down jacket or waterproof shell over the top of it!

Despite its slim fit, I can still fit a base layer and a thin fleece underneath if I need. But it feels best with just a single layer. It’s also very comfortable directly on the skin when wearing a vest top, unlike waterproof shells.

I really like the stretch of the no-fuss cuffs. At the start of a climb I can just pull my sleeves up, for a little extra freedom from the fabric of the sleeves, and they stay put for the duration of the climb.

What I love the most

It’s mega comfortable during activity and provides a ton of mobility. Even when I’ve backed myself into an awkward climbing position with limbs at angles that shouldn’t really be possible, I don’t notice the jacket — as it should be.

I also really love how lightweight and compressible it is without compromising on warmth, durability and breathability.

What I’m not so keen on

Having such a versatile, non-specific item in my outdoor wardrobe has taken me a bit of getting used to, in all honesty! Because of this, I’ve often packed it as a ‘just-in-case’ item. One that I may end up needing if the weather changes. I’m getting to grips with this now, and learning to trust that the water resistance is actually pretty good. And also that a down jacket isn’t the solution to all my layering issues!

Woman sitting on wall

Verdict

Yep, it may be a little on the pricey side. And it may be the sort of jacket that didn’t immediately jump onto my ‘need’ list. But the more I wear it, the more I realise that the Mammut Foraker is one versatile jacket. The combination of technical attributes means that this great looking outer layer is actually a must-have for active adventurers. It’s also an item that I’d now struggle to replace.

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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About Joey

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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