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(The Gear Loop) - There’s a burgeoning trend at the moment that involves fashion-conscious folk laying down huge sums of money for highly accomplished, technical gear that very rarely sees little more outdoor action than a stumble home a nearby nightclub.

Speak to your average Joe on the hill and they will exclaim that it’s all getting a bit silly, with brands like Canada Goose and Arc’Teryx ramping up the activity by partnering with fashion houses, celebrities and musicians to create garments designed purely with draining bank balances in mind.


We may live to eat out words, but Swedish mountaineering expert Klättermusen seems to be sticking to its guns and focussing on kit that’s designed to survive the harshest conditions and perform in places where humans aren’t supposed to tread. Not merely placate the wardrobe demands of pap-hungry pop stars.

The Gear LoopKlättermusen Draupner review photo 3

The Draupner is a waterproof, three-layer Cutan shell jacket that weighs just 864g in a men’s medium size, yet still manages to exude the air of a heavyweight that will happily withstand a scramble and slide down a rocky escarpment. In terms of alpine-ready outerwear, things rarely get more serious.

Our quick take

The Klättermusen Draupner commands a serious chunk of change and will likely be out of reach for many occasional walkers, but it’s a fantastic garment that is designed to perform in truly extreme conditions.

We may not have summited K2 in it, but the rain in North West Wales was incessant and we didn’t once feel that the jacket would be breached. The hood also performs phenomenally well and even though field of view might be limited, the entire head stays dry… all day.

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It’s also tough as old boots and after several months of wear in numerous conditions, we can’t see how it would ever start to give up the ghost. Every thread and every seam is reinforced in some way, which means it will probably survive a lifetime of abuse. That's how we justify the lofty asking price, anyway.

Klättermusen Draupner review: a tough, waterproof jacket that can tackle anything

Klättermusen Draupner

5 stars - The Gear Loop editors choice
  • Brilliantly weather-proof
  • As tough as they come
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Fit won’t suit all
  • Adjustable sleeves don’t stay put
  • The emergency compass is a bit rubbish


Fit and features

The Draupner is fairly true to size and this reviewer typically takes a medium, but sometimes finds outdoor clothing either clings like a needy toddler or unflatteringly sags and hangs in all the wrong places.

Klättermusen has got it right here, with the jacket plenty loose enough to slide over technical thermal layers, but not so baggy it looks ridiculous. That said, the sleeves are cut longer for weather protection and you’ll find the rear of jacket is deliberately elongated to protect backsides from getting wet.

The Gear LoopKlättermusen Draupner review photo 5

Features-wise, it is absolutely packed to the rafters with clever little details and high-tech materials. The Cutan outer is about as waterproof as they come, with raindrops simply beading up and running off the thing when the skies open.

Klättermusen also incorporates Duracoat reinforcements to the lower arms, hips and shoulders, covering those high impact areas and ensuring it will last a lifetime.

There’s also an enormous 3D-adjustable hood with a "Windvisor" for sealing heads (even those in helmets) away from the worst of the weather. In fact, it’s possible to hike the hood and chin piece up to the point it almost makes a fabric tent over the wearer’s head, keeping faces dry even when it’s raining sideways.

The Gear LoopKlättermusen Draupner review photo 8

There are two easy access (and impressively deep) chest pockets, underarm ventilation in the form of a two-way zippered opening, safety toggle closures at the top of the jacket for a secure fit even when the front is opened for air flow and an emergency compass on the sleeve. Although it rarely points in the right direction and feels jarringly cheap.

Performance in the wild

As previously mentioned, the jacket fits brilliantly and we tested its mettle when out on the damp hills of Snowdonia, and during a freezing foray to northernmost Scotland, finding it would happily throw over bulkier thermals and mid layers.

The chest area is arguably the only place where things get a little snug, but otherwise it promotes plenty of movement and would be particularly well-placed for climbing and scrambling adventures.

The Gear LoopKlättermusen Draupner review photo 3

Decked out in a suitably moody Raven colour way (let’s call it black), it wasn’t exactly the most attention-grabbing thing on the hillside, but then Klättermusen avoids that retina-singeing hue of rival (read cheaper) stuff for a slightly classier approach to outdoor gear. There are reflectors on the top of the hood, if you’re worried about visibility, which is a fair concern if you ever find yourself in need of rescuing.

All of the zips and toggles are really easy to operate with gloved hands and we never once found them jamming or getting caught. Even the underarm ventilation points are easy to reach and the enormous front chest pockets are great for stashing maps, compasses, gloves and more.

Call it a design feature or a clever technical addition, but the six attachment loops on the front not only look neat but they also work, even if you aren’t scampering up the Dawn Wall.

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We found ourselves looping a compass string around one of these before sliding it in a chest pocket, to ensure we didn’t drop it when navigating in the pitch black. Alternatively, it’s a super easy way to hang gloves, attach a small torch or even drinks bottles and canisters.

Everything is easy to operate with gloved hands and that three-dimensional hood is something else. When fully cinched up around the face, it’s possible to adjust it further with a cord at the rear that essentially completely seals the face away from adverse weather.

Perhaps the only thing we found slightly annoying was that the adjustment toggles around the cuffs often worked their way loose during long hikes. This is likely down to the fact they have oversized grips and toggles for use with gloves, but they can get caught on the jacket and eventually work their way open.

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That, and the "emergency compass" on the sleeve rarely knows where north is and would be about as much use in an emergency as a pedal-powered wheelchair. But hey, it looks cool.


To recap

Built like a tank, the anti-abrasion qualities of this true alpine mountaineering jacket are enough to see it operate in a league of its own, let alone the numerous other clever details that make it so arresting. Yes, it’s a huge investment for most, but if you need the last word in weather-proofing and something that will withstand the abrasion onslaught of a technical mountain climb, this is the place to look.

Writing by Leon Poultney.