Anti-Freeze Lite Down Jacket Review: Scottish Highlands

#TeamMontane mountain endurance athlete Aaron Tregellis tests the Anti-Freeze Lite Down Jacket in the Scottish Highlands. 

Aaron is a mountaineer, climber, skier, runner, and alpinist who is based in Scotland and often found exploring the rugged Highland mountains. With a day out on the Aonach Eagach Ridge in Glencoe lined up, this proved the perfect testing ground to put our Anti-Freeze Lite Packable Hooded Down Jacket through its paces. Moving fast on what is known to be the UK’s narrowest ridge was a great way to test this lightweight down jacket. 

Why is having a down jacket important?

Mastering your layering system is, in my opinion, crucial to being able to enjoy the outdoors. Whenever I am in the hills at this time of year, whether I am winter climbing, ski touring, ski mountaineering, or hiking, I essentially carry 4 layers; a moisture-managing base layer that helps move the moisture away from my skin; a fleece mid layer that works in harmony with the base layer to move moisture but also provides some warmth; an insulating mid layer such as the Anti-Freeze Lite to keep me warm when the temperature drops or I stop for a break; and a protective outer layer in the form of a waterproof and windproof jacket for when the rain comes in and the wind picks up. I have found that this layering system works for me whatever my objective, and a good quality insulating mid layer, such as a down jacket, is an important part of my system.

Montane mens anti freeze lite down jacket in scottish highlands

Testing the Anti Freeze Lite Down Jacket

Every gram counts when you are moving quickly in the mountains, especially as you have to carry it all uphill. The Montane Anti-Freeze Lite Down Jacket is by far the lightest and most packable down jacket I have ever used. It only weighs 330g, making it ideal for fast-paced activities where low weight is critical for performance.  

I used this lightweight down jacket on a winter ascent, with green in the glen and snow on the tops, so it was great to be able to pull this out of my bag for some extra warmth for the ridge itself when the temperature dropped. The comfort and insulation were noticeable immediately! Ideal for the Scottish Highlands. 

In my opinion, the Scottish Highlands is the ultimate place to test kit in the UK. You normally get all 4 seasons in an hour in Glencoe. On the day we went out, the Aonach Eagach didn’t disappoint, with sun in the valley and snow on the tops, as well as clouds blowing in to reduce visibility at times and the wind picking up as well. A good value day out. If your kit can pass the Scottish test then it will excel in almost any environment. 

Scottish highlands


I am 5’11” and found the medium jacket was perfect for me. When outside in the mountains during winter it is of course important to have your layering system nailed down. The Anti-Freeze Lite makes an ideal insulating mid layer. There was enough space for a base layer and a fleece layer underneath, but it was not too big to wear as a standalone piece in milder conditions. 

I can also say that this jacket looks just as good in the pub as it does on the mountain. A real versatile piece of kit!

 Favourite features

I absolutely love how light and packable this jacket is, whilst still being really warm. This is due to the high quality down that has been used. Normally lightweight jackets tend to be a little light on the insulation, which is the offset for it being lighter, but the Anti-Freeze Lite has 125g of water-resistant 750+ fill power down.

There are two ways to make a jacket warmer normally – more down or better down. It is the high quality down in this jacket that allows it to be so lightweight. Checkout this handy page from Montane about how fill power works for more info on this. This jacket is pure luxury and absolutely toasty for the weight! 

 Mens anti freeze lite down jacket | Scottish Highlands

I also really like the fact that the cuffs are elasticated and that there is a drawcord on the waist that cinches down to lock in the heat, to stop the wind from getting in when it picks up! The stuff sac allows you to compress the jacket easily, and there is also a pre-elasticated under-helmet hood as a bonus as well. Also, the colour of this jacket (‘Pebble Blue’) is new for this season and looks great as well.

Concluding thoughts

I paired this jacket with a Montane Dart base layer and a Fireball Lite Insulated Jacket as my fleece layer. It all worked perfectly together, wicking away moisture, and keeping me cosy. I carried a Phase XT Waterproof Jacket in my bag but didn’t need to take it out. A rare treat in Scotland in the winter!

This lightweight down jacket will be excellent for anything from fastpacking adventures to running remote trails. The Anti-Freeze Lite will be in my bag for everything from mountaineering and climbing to ski touring, in the Highlands, Alps, and beyond. I have lots of trips planned this year, and this lightweight, warm, packable jacket will definitely be coming with me!

Aaron reviewed the Montane Men’s Anti Freeze Lite Down Jacket, which is also available for women. Looking for more down jacket inspiration? Take a look at our buyer’s guide for down jackets to get started.