Were you ever on an outing when all of a sudden the weather changed for the worse? You may of
even had a rain jacket in your backpack... but wearing this you find out that you are completely
drenched from sweat by the time you remove it! If you need something lightweight, versatile and
breathable to protect you against the elements then Neige Cruise jacket by Mont-Bell could be your
Instead of GORE-TEX, this jacket uses an ultra waterproof 3 layer breathable material called
"Breeze Dry Tec". When I first opened up the package to feel this material, it felt like something
between GORE-TEX and Plastic. The first thing I noticed about the jacket was how light (13.5 oz)
Trying it on, I noticed there was no protective flap to cover up the front zipper like my biking
Jacket. The zipper runs all the way up to just above my chin. Reading the brochure that came with
the Jacket, I read that the zippers on the jacket were called "Aqua-tect" zippers with fully seamed
taped... they are supposed to provide "lightweight storm-proof protection". Unfortunately, Alberta
has had the highest temperatures on record, and I have not seen a drop of rain to test this. The only
test of water protection I can vouch for was when my kids ambushed me at got attacked by
snowballs.. and I stayed dry!
I put the jacket through a series of tests. Initially, I tried running during a cool Southern Alberta
December evening and the jacket did a remarkable job of cutting the chilly wind out. As I was
crossing the street in the dark though, I was almost hit by a car which did not see me. The Neige
Cruise jacket that I was wearing is dark blue, and does not have any reflective tape on it... so be
aware of this if you are wearing this jacket at night. At the end of my run during cool down, I
unzipped the long pit zippers which run from the elbows all the way to the side pockets. It takes a bit
of getting used to only having one zipper for both pits and pockets. I found the zippers where
initially difficult (sticky/tight) to use, but they loosened up after use. There is an adjustable cord
inside the pockets if you want the bottom part of your jacket tightened or loosened.
The jacket was worn on several small hikes without a backpack and by wearing a fleece and this
shell, I was warm and it broke any wind that was thrown at me. On a longer hike I brought along my
backpack to see how it fared. The material around the shoulders is stretchable, so I never felt
restricted. The arm cuffs are both elastic and Velcro.. and slipped over my gloves without difficulty.
The last test I did was mountain biking. The hood was large enough to accommodate my biking
helmet, and therefore would also work with a climbing helmet. I was able to look side to side with
the hood up. On top of the hood there there is a one-handed Velcro adjustment to adjust the hood to
adjust how far you want the front of the hood to fall. There are no pull strings at the front of the
hood but there is an adjustable pull string at the back of the hood. You can adjust this hood so that
only the front of your face is exposed.
The Neige Cruiser Jacket comes in Red or Royal Blue. It compresses into an included 4.4" by 8"
stuff sack so that you can easily add it to your backpack and pull it out anytime you need it.. and
you won't be disappointed when you do!
To sum it up, other than the initial sticky zipper and occlusion of scotchguard reflective material,
this very light jacket will protect your hide against the elements when it comes! The Neige Cruiser
jacket can be bought directly online from Mont-Bell for $249.00 US, or through Valhalla Pure on
the Canadian west coast.
Al Perreault - Alberta Editor