I'd heard that the chaps planning head off to Changabang had been talking with Macpac about a new light hardshell jacket for technical mountaineering, and was pleased to see the Nazomi hit the shelves. After the discontinuation of the 'Hightail' ultralight hardshell jacket, the Nazomi reclaims the top perch of lightweight high performance jackets in the Macpac Alpine Series line.
I picked up the jacket (I paid for it) shortly before heading into the West Matukituki where we made a fun first ascent of a sweet alpine ice route. The weather conditions were primo and we knew the line would be pure ice climbing. There was no need for a heavy, durable softshell, but with lots of fresh snow and cold dry conditions I knew a hardshell would be essential.
The Nazomi is for sure my new favourite jacket - it's just the right weight for an emergency piece, but also durable enough for sustained alpine ice routes and has tested well on a miserable bike ride to work in the rain. It's definitely more waterproof (and powder snow proof) than the Hightail because of the snug fit of the hood, whether one is wearing a helmet or not. And, the zip curves away from the mouth, making it more comfortable to keep zipped all the way up. I sustained some pretty major spindrift while climbing and none of it made its way in. I liked the anorak-style of the Hightail for weight saving but let's be honest, a full length zip is better. And it means the pockets can be put in the normal place rather than being front and centre. However, the built-in pouch for storing the jacket seems to be too small, or too fiddly, for me to rapidly use it. This is a bit of a hassle compared to the Hightail which stowed away perfectly. Maybe I just haven't figured it out yet.
The Nazomi is a high performance piece of kit with good-quality Pertex fabric. It's light (only 230 g Mens M) and currently comes in a very fetching red colour sure to stand out in photos!