SNUGPAK | MML 3 Softie Smock

by Pascal Rohé

The more I pursue my passion for the great outdoors, and all the things that comes with it, the finer my tastes and my selection of the right equipment becomes for my adventures out in nature.


In the past, I thought that a good rain jacket could only be made with Gore-Tex, that a winter jacket had to be massive and stuffed to bursting with down. But with time and plenty of visits to trade fairs and product tests, I have slowly refined my personal preferences, and learnt much about functionality and materials.


A trend that also matches my own preferences—staying on the topic of winter jackets—is the move in the outdoor clothing and supplies market towards using synthetic fibres instead of down feathers.


Down of course remains the master of storing body heat, and when it comes from a certified source, there is not much to fault, but when compared to the advantages of synthetic fibres, down often comes across as a relic from the last century.


As already mentioned in my review of the Snugpak Softie 15 Discovery sleeping bag, Snugpak is a specialist in the use of synthetic insulation. This tradition goes back to the 1970s. You could say the Snugpak team recognised the advantages of synthetic fibres a long time ago and has since proven their visionary qualities.


What better opportunity, then, to introduce and test another of Snugpak’s well thought out products: the MML 3 Softie Smock.


There are three models in the MML line. The MML 3 (0°C comfort range), MML 6 (-5°C comfort range) and the MML 9 (-10°C comfort range).


Straight off the bat, MML stands for Military Mountain Leader and it really was developed with input from professional navigators, mountain leaders, climbing instructors and military personnel, the group of professionals most exposed to extreme weather, as well as physical, conditions and who rely on good and functional clothing.


The background to the development of the MML 3 also explains its military look. Particularly characteristic of the smock is the large chest pocket and the Velcro patches on both upper arm areas and the front pocket, for IDs, Morale Patches as well as Group and Organisation Patches.

There’s more to tell about the chest pocket as it’s not just an ordinary pocket but hides a few special tricks. In fact, there are three separate pockets. First, there is a large pocket in the middle for larger items like drink bottles, maps or gloves. Then, attached to the front of that are two smaller pockets, both large enough for a smartphone, pens or a GPS unit. The two smaller pockets can be closed and secured with vertical security tabs. Further, two D-rings allow you to quickly secure items like keys, flashlights or a compass.


A hood was left off the design on purpose to maximise the flexibility of the smock, for example, to prevent it getting in the way when wearing the smock as a mid-layer under a hard shell—a sensible decision.


Another nice detail are the water-resistant YKK zippers on the front as well as on both side pockets. Actually, the two side pockets are connected to form a muff-pocket and are useful not only for keep your hands warm but serve also as extra room to store things. Every available space has been optimised for use. The combination of the chest pocket and the side pockets is enough to replace the need for a small backpack. At least, I didn’t need one for my things.


Thumb holes can be found in both cuffs and in mild temperatures can be used instead of gloves.


The MML 3 is made up of three layers of material which have all been carefully thought through. It consists of Snugpak’s mix of these three components:


The outer fabric: Paratex
The Paratex fabric is lightweight, windproof and water-repellent. And on top of that, it feels very soft and comfortable.


The inner fabric: Paratex Light

Paratex Light is a very lightweight, highly windproof and water-repellent fabric that is exceptionally breathable and able to wick moisture away from the source.


The filling: Softie® Premier
The Softie® insulation, rich in tradition, is exclusive to Snugpak. Softie® Premier has the special property that it retains heat even when wet. Also Softie® is durable, washable and has a natural soft touch. Randomised fine filament fibres create extra voids and loft to trap more warm air whilst keeping the same weight as standard insulation.


Though the three-layer-system sounds heavy, the MML 3, at 560g, is actually very light for a jacket with this level of warmth. I’ve used the smock in hikes at 0°C to 3°C as well as on two cycling trips at, when you take into account the wind chill factor, about -5°C. It was almost too warm on the cycling trips under the smock despite the icy conditions and relaxed pace. I see it as a good sign that the stated 0°C comfort range seems to be accurate.



Knowing the background of the development of the Snugpak MML 3 Softie Smock definitely gives it that extra kick of authenticity. Also for the ‘normal’ outdoor enthusiasts, here you get a lot of bang for your buck. The workmanship is, as I expect from Snugpak, flawless. And the cut is classic enough that the MML 3 could be incorporated into normal streetwear. The Velcro patches clearly give the smock a military look, and with it, a certain cool. But more important is that the MML 3 delivers on its promises. In temperatures between 0°C and 5°C, the smock is a good choice as an outer layer, and in cooler or damp conditions, it functions well as an insulating mid-layer.

  • Windproof and breathable Paratex Micro fabric
  • Softie Premier insulation
  • Packsize: 33 x 18 cm
  • Temperature Rating: Comfort: 0°c, Low: -5°c
  • Weight: 560g
  • Large Chest Pocket, with Internal D-Rings, Large & Small External Pouches
  • Available colours: Olive, Multicam
  • Made in UK