Haglofs certainly raised our interest when the V Series Mimic hooded jacket arrived at our base in the Cairngorms for the upcoming winter season. Although the micro baffle appearance might resemble that of any other regular lightweight insulated jacket the materials used certainly set it apart from the norm.
The most notable design feature is the 166 grams of Mimic Platinum Ultracluster Graphene synthetic fill that is used to give near down qualities in terms of feel, warmth, and loft. Graphene appears to be making its way into a lot of outdoor clothing/footwear of late although the slight difference with its use here is that instead of being part of the lining it is instead mixed within the fill itself which Haglofs claim “conducts your body heat and spreads it throughout the garment.” In terms of warmth, we seriously underestimated the performance of the V Series Mimic. The warmth to weight ratio is remarkably impressive, and from a synthetic fill jacket the closest we’ve had to a down fill for providing instant warmth, making it a great choice for our autumn and winter activities. In temperatures which reached around -10 we used the V Series Mimic on steep climbs in the Cairngorms and surrounding mountain areas. We cannot confirm that we noticed the graphene element spreading our body heat throughout the jacket although it’s noticeable that with graphene being a super conductor that once on the warmth is generated it stored with great efficiency.
In a medium size with a weight of 348 grams the V Series Mimic fits into a bracket for us of the type of lightweight insulating jacket we would look to use all year round. Breathability and the ability to work with additional layers is key to a jacket with true multi-functionality. It was great to see Haglofs using a 7D Pertex Quantum super light fabric face, from prior use of this fabric we expected great breathability and decent resistance to snow fall, light showers and a buildup of dirt, and we certainly were not disappointed. Gore-Tex Infinium lining has unusually been placed on the inside of the jacket acting as a second barrier. This extra layer may have been placed inside to add extra protection against strong winds due to the make-up of the Mimic Platinum Ultracluster being small, ball-like shapes. We are not too sure, but it certainly keeps the elements out with no cold spots. Placed next to the skin it’s not the most comfortable of linings but it stood up to wicking away sweat and at all times didn’t become saturated or clammy.
The build quality is impressive with robust stitching that never felt weak or was pulled apart. As with most lightweight jackets, the thin fabric will require an aspect of care but after much use in harsh cold conditions, and a few washes in our machine at home, the V Series Mimic looks to be a solid piece of kit.
As with all insulating jackets we test we give them a good soaking to see how they perform, a bug bearer in Scotland is that we often have very damp cold weather which is not the best friend to a down fill jacket. The V Series Mimic just kept performing even when quite heavily soaked in, which was a massive plus point for us. There is one issue we did find and that was when wet, the Mimic Plantinum Ultracluster fill does take a while to completely dry, so this is defiantly a jacket for when heavy showers hit a waterproof jacket needs to be added.
The fit is on the snug side with a couple of thin layers being able to be placed underneath. Length in the arms and back are just long enough for our guide of 173cm although overall we agreed a size up would give a slightly more relaxed fit which would have complemented more layering and better movement throughout. The hood follows suit with the rest of the jacket including a similar fill and baffle structure and includes a stiffened peak. We found the hood great for adding instant warmth, although with basic adjusters it can be easily blown out of place as the wind speeds increase. It also should be noted that placed over a helmet the hood is a tight fit. A bit of extra room and an extra adjuster would have been much preferred.
Hand pockets are generous in size although placed slightly lower than we would have liked as they cannot be fully accessed while wearing a waist strap or harness. The redeeming feature is the chest pocket is large and can accommodate a map, compass, and any other bits you need whilst on the move. Zippers have large, robust teeth, and all have extra-large pulls which are easy to use whilst wearing winter gloves.
Elastic is used around the waist and cuffs, this minimal approach makes for a more comfortable wear when used as part of a layering system and with the already snug fit of the V Series Mimic we didn’t find any problems with a draft coming through these areas.
The colour choice of ‘true black’ with the yellow strips along the zippers makes for a striking contrast and overall a decent looking piece of kit. A few variants in colour choices would be great to see, as this appears to be the only one available, with something bold and bright being our preferred choice for winter.
Haglofs have not held back producing a jacket with some of the highest performing materials currently available. Mimic Platinum Ultracluster Graphene is the standout feature on this jacket and for good reason. Having all the great attributes of a down fill but with an eco friendly approach that keeps the insulating properties even when wet. The V Series Mimic worked well throughout the autumn and winter months maintaining a comfortable temperature, working as a stand-alone jacket or part of a larger layering system. Dare we say Haglofs have created a near perfect jacket for the Scottish mountains. There are a few flaws in that the fit, we felt was too restrictive and short in the arms, the hood is missing a bit of extra room and needs to tighten down better, whilst the Gore-tex Infinium internal lining wasn’t the most comfortable placed directly against bare skin. These aspects aside, when it came down to pure performance, Haglofs have created possibly the best synthetic insulating jacket we have ever used.
Trek Scotland is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...