Mitch in the Mont Austral rain jacket

The Mont Austral rain jacket is, basically, purpose-built armour for Australian bushwalking. This ¾-length, fully featured coat has served me well since I first got it a couple of years ago. The Austral has since become my go-to jacket for bushwalking and ski-touring.


Notable Features

  • The Austral uses Mont’s proprietary Hydronaute™ membrane. The jacket is highly waterproof, windproof and breathable, boasting a hydrostatic head (a unit of measurement for how waterproof a fabric is) of 30,000mm (very waterproof) and a Moisture Vapour Transmission Rate (MVTR – a measure of breathability) of 20,000g/m²/24h. Essentially this means that the jacket should perform in heavy rain. I have found this jacket to be plenty breathable enough for bushwalking in Australian conditions. If you’re after maximum breathability, then maybe consider the Mont Odyssey rain jacket, which has comparable durability but uses Hydronaute Pro™ with a breathability rating of 26,000g/m²/24h.
  • The burlier-than-most outer fabric is great for abrasion resistance. Despite my trekking pole technique and careful foot placement, I’ve taken many a crash wearing my Mont Austral, yet it looks barely blemished. Also, the heavy-duty fabric is ideal for pack-carrying. The robust outer fabric reduces the pressure on the membrane and therefore slows down wear and tear.
  • For me, the Mont Austral’s length is a blessing and never a curse. Being covered down to mid-thigh has a lot of benefits. When sitting on wet logs, I don’t get a wet butt. When the waist is cinched or when I’m wearing a pack, the lower section of the jacket resembles a kilt, allowing rain to just roll off. Also, if I’m expecting extended rain every day or snow, I pack the matching Mont Austral Overpant. Otherwise, the Mont Austral combined with a pair of waterproof gaiters such as the Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiter provides waterproof protection that covers most of my body.
  • The jacket has two cargo pockets and one chest pocket. The large size of these pockets makes them really user-friendly. On any given walk, these pockets house my snacks, my GPS, compass, glove system and hat or beanie. Also, due to the length of this coat, the two cargo pockets sit below my pack’s hip belt meaning I can functionally use them while walking.
  • When first trying on the Mont Austral, some people are taken aback at the uber-long sleeves. Never fear: this isn’t a design flaw but rather an intentional feature. Having a bit of length in the sleeve means that during three-season bushwalks, I don’t need to pack rain mitts and rather I just let the sleeves drape over my hands.

Other Features

  • The cinchable waist drawcord allows you to adjust the fit of the jacket.
  • The large, 3-piece hood gives you ample protection from rain and can be adjusted to suit your preference.
  • The main zip is protected with a button-down storm flap that runs the entire length of the jacket. I have the older model rain jacket that has Velcro attachments on the storm flap – the buttons are definitely an upgrade, because when skiing or moving dynamically, the Velcro can quite easily detach.

Potential drawbacks

  • At 730 grams, the Mont Austral is not the lightest jacket in the world. However, considering that the Austral is long-length design and made from heavy-duty material, I think the extra weight is put to good use. Additionally, when you’re bushwhacking in horizontal rain for a whole day, you’ll probably be grateful for the extra security the Austral provides. If weight is a make-or-break factor, then take a look at the new Mont Highplains rain jacket. This jacket definitely doesn’t level the Austral in terms of durability, but comes in at a nifty 340 grams. (It also comes in a women's cut.)
  • When skiing tricky or particularly steep sections, the length of the Austral jacket can inhibit sudden dynamic movements. If you want a jacket with comparable toughness but with more of an active fit; the Mont Supersonic could be for you. Designed for backcountry skiing/mountaineering, this jacket is helmet- and harness-compatible and enables greater freedom of movement.

Outro

If you’re looking for a robust, highly waterproof shell jacket that is up to the challenge of Australian bushwalking, then the Mont Austral will definitely do well by you. If you’re looking for a women’s version, Mont offers the Siena Jacket and Siena Overpant, both which have the same features as the Austral counterparts but with a female fit.

Often when hearing someone tell an ill-fated tale about a rain jacket that just couldn’t cut the mustard, I think to myself, "Should’ve got an Austral."


Mitchell Younes Profile Pic

Mitchell Younes,
Bogong Equipment


Like all rainwear, the Austral will perform better with some basic maintenance over time. See our blog about this here.



Mont Austral rain jacket sleeves

Mont Austral rain jacket waist cinch

Mont Austral rain jacket pockets

Mont Austral rain jacket full length

When you are deep in the wilderness, a tough jacket like the Mont Austral is what you need.



See our range of men's and women's rainwear.

Questions? Visit us, email us or call us (03 9600 0599).


More Articles