Millet Polartec Premium Shield
Soft Shell Jacket
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Polartec Premium Shield Soft Shell Jacket
Colours: Black with orange trim, Orange with black trim
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Features to Note:
- Adverse weather and abrasion resistance
- Integral hood
- Central zip
- Side ventilation zips with mesh opening
- 2 waterproof zipped hand warmer pockets
- Waterproof zipped chest pocket
- Preformed elbows
- Velcro-adjustable cuffs
- Hem adjusts by elasticated drawcord and cordlocks
I've worn the Millet Polartec Premium Shield as both a mid-layer and on its own with just a base layer during a variety of high-mountain walking trips during late Winter and a cold early Spring in the UK.
A problem I've had with soft shells in the past, is that the wind-proofness is often achieved at the expense of breathability. This is certainly not the case with the Millet Polartec Premium Shield Jacket - even during high aerobic periods, I felt extremely comfortable. The fabric also feels quite a lot softer (and is definitely quieter) than is the usually the case with fabrics used in soft shells.
Temperature control is also helped by armpit ventilation zips.
It kept the wind out too. However during lower energy periods on colder days, I did need some extra warmth. The water-repellancy (even around the zips) is also quite impressive. It's not a full on water-proof jacket but it is remarkably water resistant and certainly did keep me dry through a variety of spring showers.
There's two nice big side/handwarmer pockets that are big enough for an OS map and are easily accessible over a rucksack belt. There's also a useful zipped valuables pocket on the front.
The integral hood is really good; it fitted me remarkably well and - when the jacket is fully zipped - the hood and face guard combine to give a really snug fit.
A minor gripe is that I felt that both the zip and the toggles on the fasteners could be a little more substantial for use with gloved hands.
The cut and overall fit were excellent and the freedom of movement it provided together with the jacket's light weight made it an excellent option for higher energy activities.
I've washed it in the same way I would normally wash any DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coated garment - so far it's retained both its look and its performance.
At over £200 the Millet Polartec Preimum Shield is certainly a premium product. Having said that it's a terrific option if you're an all-year-round walker who moves quickly across the ground or you're someone who 'runs hot'. It is particularly useful as an outer layer during autumn/spring when it would be a good alternative to traditional waterproofs during the occasional shower. It has rapidly become one of my favourites.
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