Saturday 17 November 2012

Montane Spectr eVent Smock Failure

When you buy the lightest kit you have to realise there is often going to be some disadvantages regarding durability over heavier kit. This is particularly so with waterproofs and these garments should only be worn when it is actually raining. For the rest of the time a cheaper, and more breathable, windproof shirt is more appropriate. That’s exactly how the Montane Spectr Smock was used so it is disappointing that it only lasted 40 days, of which it was probably worn for no more than 20, and then only when it was actually raining.

I bought this smock in Sept 11 and it sat in my gear cupboard for 12 months until I used it on my Scottish Cycling Tour and Coast & Moor hike. The Spectr smock uses a unique rollover closure system, like you find on a drybag, and as I dislike zips any piece of gear that does away with that weak spot gets my vote. Secondly this also happens to be the lightest eVent smock available and was on sale at £120 (£220rrp). I couldn’t resist!

Lets start with the obvious fault, it leaks! The rollover closure system is fiddly but actually works well, except that it forms a gutter inside the smock for rain to flow into... This gutter area is supposed to be well sealed with heat tape but on my smock this has come loose leaving water free to flow into the smock.

Pack wear to the shoulders, but particularly the back and waist, is extreme for such little use. Even worse, the eVent membrane and shell material has delaminated in various places leaving 2 separate fabrics. None of these problems is causing any noticeable leakage yet… but it’s just a matter of time!

Finally, two small holes have worn in the elasticated tunnel cover around the waist. Again no noticeable leakage has been caused.

At full price of £220 I would be appalled if my waterproof wasn’t going to last more than 20 days. Even at a more respectable £120 it’s still a shockingly bad performance for the Montane Spectre eVent smock.

Be the way my homemade Pertex Quantum windshirt (58g), that was worn everyday under the pack and cost around £10 to make, shows no wear to the fabric making the Spectr’s performance even more embarrassing.