Apparel

First Look: Switch Jacket by Mountain Equipment

The Switch, by Mountain Equipment, is light, soft, comfortable and breathable. It works well as a base layer for all-day expeditions or as a stand alone.

Switch Jacket by Mountain Equipment
Material: Trunk: 20D RS Nylon outer fabric / Arms, shoulders, side panels: Pontetorto® Tecnopile 187 fleece / Insulation: POLARTEC® Alpha®
Weight: 8.6 ounces
Price: $77

Best Features: Soft and warm on the skin, lightweight, high-quality materials and zippers.
Room for Improvement: The lining can stick against the skin if a base layer is not worn underneath.

The Switch jacket (women’s here, men’s here) feels immediately cozy and has a fitted style. The lining of the sleeves and side panels is fleece, making this a comfortable shell to wear over a tee shirt or tank top. The collar is the perfect height for running when zipped completely up— not so high as to chafe the neck or chin.

This piece makes for an on-point layering system. It can be worn with a lot or a little underneath because of the stretchy yet fitted style, and makes a great base layer because of the breathability. The Switch works best for a runner like me who starts off very cold, but heats up quickly and sweats a lot. The Switch wicks the moisture and keeps the wind and chill out.

The lining (located on the interior front and back panels—not on the sleeves) can, however, stick against the skin if the jacket is worn for a prolonged time while sweating. 

Mountain Equipment was recently awarded “Leader” status by the Fair Wear Foundation because of its dedication toward fair working conditions. According to their website, “In order to reach Leader status, Mountain Equipment achieved a monitoring percentage of 93% in the FWF Brand Performance Check for 2017. In these annual reviews, FWF verifies member brands regarding their progress in implementing labour standards and improving working conditions. This marks a significant achievement by the business as only around 10% of FWF member brands manage to fulfill the requirements to be awarded Leader status.”

—Megan Janssen is the Associate Editor of Trail Runner magazine