Designed and developed in Switzerland is the mantra of the Mammut Company. It must be, it says so on the label alongside ‘Made in Turkey’. Like so many companies they outsource some of their manufacturing in order to keep costs down. As long as it’s ethical and not a substitute for quality I for one don’t have a problem with it. And I can tell that they haven’t taken their eye off the ball because the Shirko jacket we have here is anything but inferior in construction or quality.
Constructed from Gore-Tex active shell which is a three-layer fabric made from polyester, polytetraflourethylene and polyamide laminated together to offer maximum breathability and weather protection. The Shirko is a hard shell with a soft touch finish that makes it comfortable to wear. The fit is generous enough to allow good layering underneath and the active shell fabric has a small amount of stretch in it which will give you a good range of movement. Even the sleeves are shaped to complement the fit. All the seams are taped to ensure complete waterproofness. There is a good sized fully detachable hood which can also be stowed away into the collar as preferred. It has a stiffened peak for unobstructed vision in the rain and an easy to operate drawstring adjuster to keep out the elements. This hard shell jacket has no inner lining to help wick any moisture so condensation may gather between the shell and your under layers if you are working hard.
Weighing in at a little over 390g in a XL and folding down to a very manageable size the jacket will be hardly noticeable in your back pack.
Mammut has used a water resistant zip in the front of the jacket with a storm flap behind to ensure weather resistance. The zip is one way and has a soft feel fabric and a shroud at the neck line to prevent any discomfort in this area.
The hem has an elasticated drawstring with glove friendly adjusters which will complement the fit and stop any draughts getting inside. The sleeves have a really long length with spacious cuffs which will allow rolling back for cooling as well as a Velcro fastener to seal them over gloves if needed.
I have to say that Mammut has scrimped in the pocket department. There are only 2 side pockets which are quite low down and will restrict their use if you have a waist belt on your rucksack. They do have weather resistant zip closures and are big enough to accommodate a folded O/S map. But I would have liked to see a chest pocket for smaller items making them accessible and another one inside for more vulnerable items like a mobile phone or Mp3 player.
In conclusion the Shirko is a fully waterproof, breathable and comfortable jacket that performs well in bad weather and packs away to a manageable size when conditions improve. Another pocket or 2 would have been nice though.
In a Line: The Mammut quality has not been sacrificed by outsourced manufacturing.