Montane Minimus Grand Tour Jacket Review
I began using Montane’s Minimus Grad Tour jacket when I hiked the Alpe Alpe Trail – 750km through the mountains of Carinthia, Slovenia and Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, from the foot of the Grossglockner to the Adriatic coast. I walked the route over several trips in 2015 and early 2016, while researching and writing the first English-language guidebook to the Alpe Adria Trail for Bradt, and a tight editorial deadline meant getting through the majority of the route before huts closed and winter snows set in, often walking double stages, and travelling as light as possible.
I tried out a fair amount of ultralight gear on the route, but without any doubt one of the most outstanding pieces of kit I carried was the Minimus Grand Tour. A superbly lightweight and breathable jacket, it shrugged off torrential downpours in the rolling hills of northern Italy, and with only a mid-weight base layer and synthetic vest underneath, kept me warm and dry when crossing the spectacularly rugged Nockberge mountains in Carinthia, in late October snow and bitterly cold winds. When not in use, it sat in my pack weighing under 250g and taking up no more space than a large orange.
Despite the fabric being very thin (Pertex Shield), it’s stood up well over multiple trips. This is still the jacket which goes with me on all summer hiking trips (as well as some trips earlier and later in the year – for colder weather, I take my Páramo Velez Adventure Smock instead), and the almost unnoticeable weight and bulk mean you really can afford to chuck it into your pack even when the likelihood of rain is almost nil. The cut is quite long, the hood is a good size, and the zips, while quite small, have not failed.
UPDATE (OCTOBER 2021): The Minimus Grand Tour is no longer made (unfortunately, I would say). However, the Minimus is – the cut of this is shorter than the old Grand Tour version (which may or may not suit you – for extended trekking I liked the extra length), the weight even less (an incredible 190g), and the jacket packs away into its own chest pocket rather than the small mesh stuff-sack which came with the Minimus Grand Tour.