Mountain Equipment Fitzroy Jacket Features:
The legendary Mountain Equipment Fitzroy offers reliable protection whatever the conditions. Virtually unaffected by wind, rain and snow, the ME Fitzroy makes use of Primaloft Gold to deliver exceptional insulation. Designed and shaped to be thrown over other layers when needed, the Fitzroy Jacket offers the ultimate in cold weather functionality.
Mountain Equipment Fitzroy (and compared to Montane Flux)
Mountain Equipment used to be my first choice in synthetic outdoor wear. First had a Cerro Torre jacket in 1979 with Hollowfil.
Comparing 2015/16 version of Fitzroy in black colour versus 2013/14 version in ocean blue, it was uncomfortable. 2013/14 was perfect fit in Large, the 2015/16 in Large had gone down at least half a size and gained a mesh internal pocket. It is good to keep gloves warm but although the pocket may be large enough to take a water bottle, there is no room in the jacket for me let alone the bottle. This is the reason why ME is no longer the go to brand for me. ME may have save a bit of cost in jacket material but by forcing me to look elsewhere they are loosing sales.
I always look for jackets with button or nickle coated pop studs to close flap over zip. However, cost cutting meant jackets started to have Velcro instead of buttons or studs about 15 to 10 years. The Velcro catches jumpers, gloves, and fleeces = unsatisfactory. Then more cost cutting meant we no longer have button down flaps any more. Just using a zip does not give me enough ventilation, but thankfully the Fitzroy has two way zip so that when I sit down to have a brew I could at least keep warm by zipping up and to raise the lower zip puller so that the zip does not get busted prematurely. So straight away you see the problem cost cutting has on the end user ? If there was a button down flap, if the I is busted, rendered useless in some way or just down right difficult to use as some zips are in getting jammed, there is no back up flap to close the jacket while you are in the middle of a climb. At least thankfully, I have found the Fitzroy zip to be easy to use, free from being jammed as compared to some jackets.
Comparing the Fitzroy versus the Montane Flux jacket, it has (theoretically) superior materials, at least the outer layer is lighter. I have not used either jacket in mountains yet, but hills. However I can attest to Fitzroy’s construction because I used it at sea. It withstood Force 8 gales, kept me warm enough while I stretch my legs on deck; kept the rain and spray off with the hood too. This is the 2013/14 version I am talking about. It is a proper belay jacket in that is is large enough to be put over other fleece or hard shell. Perfect fit. So glad I bought the 2013/14 Citadel the same year too. The Citadel would be my first choice if there is chance I am likely to get chilled, eg. Standing around watching kids playing football on a winter Saturday morning or really serious mountain outing in winter but these days I am more in deserts or at sea.
Having been disappointed by the current size of the Fitzroy I looked around for a similar I could use every day. Ended up with the Montane Flux. It is better value. Most people would not feel the difference compared to Fitzroy (which I am keeping for more extreme use to delay the day the zip finally gets busted). What Flux looses to Fitzroy it gains by having additional Napeleon pocket at the chest and better pocket positioning. It also has one internal pocket proper, and one mesh pocket large enough for small 500ml bottle. However the Flux is smaller cut and I have to use the XL size.
In summary, Fitzroy is good if you are willing to pay a bit extra but before deciding, try the Montane Flux also.
I did consider listing all of this jackets strengths, but rather than a quick review it became a book, so I'll keep this short.
The jacket is superb.