The Mammut Kento HS claims to be a hard-shell jacket that is ready for changing conditions in the mountains. Weighing in at 452 grams in a size medium this can be considered a mid to lightweight jacket. It packs down small so made for an easy addition to our kit for days when the weather could not quite make its mind up.
The fit of the Kento HS backs up the go anywhere, ready for anything, style of jacket. Deemed to be an athletic fit, for us it wore quite loose, with lots of extra room, especially noticeable in the arms and back. This is fine if you intended to have the Kento HS in your pack ready to fit over any layers you might be wearing, but if you are looking for a tighter fitting jacket then choosing a size down would be advisable.
The main fabric is made from DryTechnology Pro 2.5 which has a HH of 20,000 mm. We can certainly vouch for its resistance against heavy downpours and increased wind-speed. Many hours spent in tough conditions high on the Monadhliath Munros are testament to this.
The stretch of the material is fantastic with no fabric riding up whilst reaching high on a climb or bending down working around camp. Compared to most hard-shell jackets the Kento HS is very easy to wear. It's soft to the touch and feels much more like wearing a softshell. The face material being made of Polymide, although very pliable, is remarkably tough and will withstand quite a bit of abuse.
The hood is possibly the best designed aspect and is testament to Mammut's continuing strive for perfection in this area. We spent many hours in heavy rain, which can often be the point in which a jacket that seems great in other areas can really start to fail. The Kento HS is a true wet weather companion. The hood is helmet compatible but also tightens down without and offers a solid fit without restricting head movement and vision.
On the inside is where things start to change. The Polyurethane has a rubbery texture which feels strange and sticks when placed directly on to skin, not the best for long days spent in warmer but still wet conditions. You would think this would also make for an issue in breathability but surprisingly we found quite the opposite. The DryTechnology Pro fabric performed extremely well and outmatched most other jackets we have used. Travelling on foot or two wheels, working hard on a steep ascent the Kento HS kept moisture from building up and becoming an issue. The underarm ventilation with waterproof YKK Aquaguard 2-way zipper, offered a quick option to dump heat and regulate warmth, although the zippers are awkward to use and are prone to the odd snag.
Two front pockets and a single chest pocket offer a large amount of space with ample room for a full-size map, gloves, snacks, mobile phone, GPS, etc.
After a few months use we did notice care was needed to maintain the DryTechnology fabric in order to keep the performance. Like many fabrics of a similar style it is a good idea to re-proof regularly. If not treated the Kento HS is prone to the fabric bunching rather than water beading off and although it never wetted through to our clothing beneath, there was a significant reduction in breathability.
Another area which could be frustrating was the main YKK Vislon 2-way front zipper. Although the pull is large and can be used wearing gloves it’s a pain to initially function. Causing issues especially when a sudden shower is approaching and you’re frantically trying to join the zipper.
The Mammut Kento HS turned out to be one of the best jackets for its price we have ever used. For a jacket that we thought would only come out now and again for spells of bad weather, it turned into a jacket for full day use. The DryTechnology Pro 2.5 fabric is soft, tough, and with a fantastic stretch makes it comfortable to wear. The rubbery feel to the inner is the exception to this and on particularly hot days will often stick to the skin. Breathability on the other hand matches up to, or surpasses, some of the big-name fabrics on the market, with underarm ventilation to further mitigate moisture build up and regulate body temperature. The hood is very well designed with long days spent in wet weather not an issue. The Kento HS does have some limitations, the first one being that it is certainly a jacket that needs re-proofing on a regular basis. The fit will also be a factor for many with us finding the jacket to be quite loose and disproportionate in some areas. We received the Kento HS in a bold yellow colour (Freesia), the design is simple but functional. This follows through with the narrative for rest of jacket being a solid jacket that lends itself well for many outdoor activities.
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...