Worn and tested by Trek Scotland in the Scottish Highlands whilst Multi Day Trekking through Spring to early Winter 2019.
The Chockstone Hoody is a lightweight softshell with a focus on unrestricted movement with the use of its 4-way stretch Chockstone fabric; a mix of 91% Nylon and 9% Elastane. To the touch, the double weave construction is certainly the most noticeable feature and it is obvious that Mountain Hardware’s concept for the Chockstone is for active adventures rather than for insulation.
In a size medium it weighs 398 grams, and we were quite surprised that the Chockstone had a weightier feel than the fabric might first suggest, whilst also appearing to be a tougher jacket than expected. The fit is quite long in the body with the arms similarly following suit. This sizing certainly eliminated the jacket riding up in any areas and exposing skin whilst on steep climbs, mountain biking, or working around camp.
The rest of the jacket is very basic in terms of features with elasticated cuffs, hem, and hood, and no tension adjustments. The hood is also non-helmet compatible and instead is designed to sit underneath any head protection. Two large hand pockets offer plenty of room to store large items including a full-size OS map and can just about be accessed whilst wearing a harness. There is also a smaller chest pocket that is great for items such a phone or compass. The colour choice comes in a variety from dark earthy tones to bright reds and blues. We really liked the shade of blue we received (Icelandic) and found the simplistic ‘single colour’ arrangement to fit in with the minimalist approach.
We used the Chockstone throughout the year and used it as either an outer layer when working hard or as part of a layering system when the temperatures dropped. Although it does not offer much insulation, we did find the Chockstone to be a surprisingly warm jacket. In part, this is down to the make-up of the fabric which, although it offers decent breathability, when damp, it struggles to dry out quickly thus reducing contained body heat. We found the DWR finish to be poor and anything other than light snowfall or rain would quickly soak in. We much preferred to use the Chockstone for protection as a wind breaker and pair it with a waterproof shell as part of a layering system where it performed very well. The hood placed under a shell jacket was comfortable due to its low profile and simple design.
The Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Hoody offers unrestricted movement and excels when you are most active. The generous fit and stretch of the double weave construction meant that the jacket did not ride up to expose skin and will work in a wide range of outdoor activities. We found the DWR finish to be poor and much preferred to use the Chockstone as an outer layer when the weather is more settled as, once wet, it will take a while to dry out. This doesn’t make it a bad choice for when the weather takes a turn for the worse as its simple design, eliminating tension pulls, allows it to fit comfortably under a shell jacket as part of a layering system whilst still offering decent breathability. The build is also very solid so there’s no need to worry about scuffing it against a piece of rock or taking it through a dense part of the forest.
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...