23 November 2017
+ Hilltrek’s Askival jacket blends traditional styling and heritage fabrics with modern waterproof technology. It’s supremely well-made, incorporating Ventile fabric – a weatherproof cotton made from long-staple fibres that expand when wet. Uniquely, however, Hilltrek also make use of the Nikwax Analogy system found in Paramo jackets. As such, the Ventile face fabric is backed with a mesh pump liner to direct liquid moisture away from the skin. Together it’s an effective system that keeps you dry while offering good protection in cold conditions. It’s also quiet, with none of the rustle of synthetic fabrics. The Askival’s construction incorporates reinforced shoulders and elbows – you could happily push through bracken and vegetation in this if necessary. You also get two zipped chest pockets, an internal map pocket and two zipped, fleece-lined hand pockets with storm flaps. The hood has a wired peak and three-point adjustment; cuffs are fully adjustable and there’s a heavyweight two-way main zip behind a double storm flap fixed with press studs. The very long length gives good additional coverage down to the mid-thigh.
- It’s a real heavyweight package – this is a classic hillwalking jacket designed to be worn; it’s definitely not one to carry around in your pack. The tough fabric feels a bit stiff, while the traditional cut and styling won’t appeal to everyone.
VERDICT: The Askival jacket pairs traditional design with Nikwax Analogy waterproofing and is hand-made in Scotland by a small independent company that deserves our support after a recent brush with the legal might of National Trust Scotland. It might not appeal to everyone, but as a classic hillwalking jacket, this can hardly be bettered.