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.
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.