De Spitz hardshell by Haglöfsis now a classic and is all about ergonomics. The Haglöfs Spitz first appeared in 2007 and was innovative at the time. One of the first, uncompromising, technical hard shells for mountaineers.
In recent years, the Spitz has continued developing as innovations were carried through to provide an answer to the additional wishes of users and possibilities of new materials and technologies.
In the passed months I have used the Haglöfs Spitz hardshell intensively during a two-day trek in Norway, led by Jeffry Oonk (see our film “Walking with the dogs”) and during mountain walks this summer in the Belgian Ardennes and Austria.
I have used the jacket on numerous occasions in combination with a backpack of 20 to 25 kilos, on varying terrain, ranging from flat easy trails to rocky and steep mountain passes, the jacket regularly in contact with bushes and rocks. The durability has also been tested in a somewhat unorthodox way: by the paws and claws of very enthusiastic huskies! Not a scratch!
Temperatures during use varying from 5 to 19 degrees Celsius.
First of all, we’ll take a look at the material. As mentioned, the Spitz model is already a “veteran” of sorts within Haglöfs’s collection. But a very up to date one. In addition to some minor changes in the fit, the most noticeable update in the Spitz is the Gore-Tex material used.
The original used the first Pro Shell material, this version has the newest 3-Layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell laminate. The main difference is that the jacket now breathes significantly better.
For the “body” of the jacket, a 40D (= Denier) Gore-Tex Pro Shell is used and the heavier 70D for on the shoulders, hips and the outside of the sleeves where extra abrasion resistance is needed. Furthermore, the audible “cracking” of the jacket as you use it, (the toughest Gore-Tex laminates can be quite “noisy”) has lessened somewhat with this new fabric.
The Spitz fit
From the bat, the Spitz fit perfectly. I have rather long arms but the sleeves fall exactly as they should. The model is cut well and although the original is already 10 years old, it is definitely not a dated model. Far from that!!
The jacket also lines up well at the bottom and for me had the perfect length. What I noticed is that the jacket does not climb up as you use it; in some cases that can leave skin exposed what can be quite uncomfortable. Not with the Spitz.
On the other hand, some jackets are so long that, wearing a harness or hip belt of a backpack you get kind of a skirt. With the Spitz, a climbing harness or hip belt of a backpack can be worn properly, without this annoying skirt effect. Very good stuff.
An important element in this is the so-called “breathability”, that is, how well the material allows transport of perspiration moisture or body heat to the outside air. The idea is that during high-intensity activity you will sweat profusely. That’s the way the body ensures it does not overheat. The Gore-Tex membrane, which is a layer between the outer layer and the inner layer of your coat, has many, many micropores that are too small for raindrops to come in, but large enough for condensation to get out. This is also very good at the Spitz as you would expect with a jacket that uses the Pro-Shell laminate.
All in all, the Spitz is a good fitting, well thought-out hardshell. Although designed specifically for climbing, it is certainly suitable for multiple outdoor activities. The Gore-Tex Pro shell keeps you dry and warm, is strong and durable.
The Spitz has everything that a solid hardshell in this price range should be equipped with; two”Napoleon” chest pockets, a mesh inner pocket and a well adjustable hood that will fit a helmet underneath. Adjustable cuffs and hem in addition to zipped ventilation slits under the armpits.
Finally, the color is also a feature; The model I wore had a nice striking blue color, which really is a feature in situations you might not immediately think of. If, god forbid, something happens in the mountains that necessitates you being rescued, you will be very visible in the mountains.
The Haglofs Spitz hardshell is an all-round wind, waterproof and breathable outdoor jacket. Ideal for a variety of different outdoor activities, be they close to home or in the mountains.