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Mammut Ultimate V SO Hoody Review

a trim softshell jacket that features Gore Windstopper to give it above average wind protection, but few features and a large price tag make it hard to recommend.
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Price:  $279 List | $194.73 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Form fitting, lightweight
Cons:  Poorly executed features, expensive
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 10, 2019
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53
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Weather Protection - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 6
  • Mobility - 20% 4
  • Weight - 10% 7
  • Features - 5% 4
  • Style - 5% 5

Our Verdict

The Mammut Ultimate V SO Hoody is made entirely of Gore Windstopper fabric, a three-layer membrane that does an excellent job at keeping out gusts while engaging in aerobic mountain activities. The trim, athletic fit pairs well with a thin base layer, and a hood aids in weather protection and warmth.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Trim fitting and featuring Gore Windstopper  the Ultimate is a reasonable choice for cold fall day hikes.
Trim fitting and featuring Gore Windstopper, the Ultimate is a reasonable choice for cold fall day hikes.

Weather Protection


The Ultimate Hoody uses a 3-layer Gore Windstopper membrane that is known across the industry for providing excellent wind protection while still remaining breathable. Treated on the exterior with a DWR coating to help shed water and keep it from soaking through, it withstood 20 seconds in the shower test before wetting-out.

While the wind resistant fabric is good for breezy conditions  we would rather look at the water than be pelted by it while wearing this jacket.
While the wind resistant fabric is good for breezy conditions, we would rather look at the water than be pelted by it while wearing this jacket.

The hood can seal around a small climbing helmet, but with only two adjustment cords is not as customizable as those with a third on the back of the hood. We found the short length and lack of a hem adjustment cord to allow the back of the jacket to ride up and create an exposure along our waistline.

Breathability


The heavier, layered Gore material used for the shell breathes reasonably well. Two large underarm zippers allow for extra ventilation, which we found to be awkward to use - read more in features.

During high output activities  the Ultimate breathes ok  but the Windstopper does not breathe as well as many other jackets.
During high output activities, the Ultimate breathes ok, but the Windstopper does not breathe as well as many other jackets.

Mobility & Fit


The stretch woven Gore Windstopper fabric is highly mobile and allows for good freedom of movement, especially when only worn on top of a thin base layer or a t-shirt. The elastic cuffs stay in place when reaching overhead, making it friendly for climbers, although the zipper along the side does not feel very good under a harness.

This jacket is stretchy  but when paired with a midweight base layer we felt like the fit was too tight.
This jacket is stretchy, but when paired with a midweight base layer we felt like the fit was too tight.

The fit is athletic, in this case meaning tight. We could not fit a mid-weight layer or an insulated jacket underneath without feeling very constricted.

Weight & Packed Size


Weighing in at exactly 1 pound, the Ultimate V SO Hoody is reasonably lightweight, and for being a Windstopper jacket which tends to be heavy and bulky, packs down to a nice compact size. Stuffing this into the bottom of a pack for later on when the wind picks up on your hike would certainly not weigh you down or take up too much room.

Features


The Ultimate features a hood, though it only barely fits over a standard sized climbing helmet, and is adjustable on the sides with two cords. There are no cuff closures, but the elastic fitted cuffs provide a secure fit around a wrist, though it is quite difficult to fit a glove under the cuff. The thumb loops are tight-fitting and usable, but are only spandex type material and are not very robust.


What we were the most perplexed by were the full-length side zips. Underarm zips for ventilation, great! But two-way zippers that run all the way to the hem are unnecessary, and when wearing a pack led to fabric bunching up and pinching under straps, and the two-way zipper would sometimes start creeping up. All in all, this feature was poorly executed.

The bottom zipper on the two-way underarm opening is unnecessary  and its use created some comfort issues when carrying a pack.
The bottom zipper on the two-way underarm opening is unnecessary, and its use created some comfort issues when carrying a pack.

Style


The fit of the Mammut Ultimate is definitely athletic, on the verge of tight. Wearing much more than a thin base layer underneath would not allow for much mobility. Strongly consider one size up from your typical size.

Value


With a retail price of $279, this is an expensive softshell jacket, but it does not come with the value that similarly priced high-end jackets include. Better performing jackets can be found for $100 less elsewhere in this review.

Conclusion


The main selling point of the Mammut Ultimate V SO Hoody is its wind protection, thanks to its wind-resistant shell. Overall, we were less impressed with this jacket than with others that offered better wind protection and did not suffer from some of the inadequately designed features that this model does.


Ryan Huetter