As part of the Haglӧfs Less Is More (L.I.M.) range, the Flex Hoody weighs in at a miniscule 290g (for a size large) and packs down to less than a handful. As such, I thought it would be ideal for a multi-day backpacking trip and so took it along to Corsica for a traverse of the GR20.
The first thing to notice is that the jacket is indeed very light. I have a Haglӧfs Lizard jacket from a couple of years ago and even just holding them you can tell the Flex is considerably lighter. On the trusty CGR kitchen scales the Flex weighs in just below its advertised weight at 260g while the Lizard is a mighty 450g even without a hood. Because of its small pack size, I found that I could always squeeze it into the last bit of space in my sack.
The jacket is made of three layer softshell fabric which is made up of a very stretchy knit face and backer layers laminated to a PU membrane. I found it to be very weather resistant – more or less windproof and shedding light showers without issue thanks to the DWR treatment. In high winds and cloud near the summit of Monte Cinto I found that I was perfectly comfortable in the Flex. The hood makes the Flex much more versatile and while I found it wouldn’t fit over a helmet as it is quite snug fitting, if necessary it would fit quite well underneath.
A few nice design features add to the appeal of the Flex. There are no seams on the shoulders, sides or inner sleeves in order to reduce wear and supposedly avoid chafing; I can see the benefits for avoiding wear and tear on seams but I have no say I have never had any chafing issues from a jacket! I guess when carrying heavy loads it could be an issue and it’s nice that the designers are thinking outside the box.
The sleeves are articulated for freedom of movement and are just the right length (on me) to use the thumb loops. The elasticated hem is dropped at the back which is good for keeping the jacket tucked into a harness or for comfort on a bike.
The only two pockets are very large and mounted on the chest. The zips can act as vents too as the pockets are mesh lined. Speaking of the zips, both the pockets and the main zip are on the stripped down side. The metal parts are tiny and the pull loops are very thin. So far I haven’t had any issues with this but it will be interesting to see how long they go on for. I suppose if you want the light weight, you need to use light components.
There is a L.I.M. branded hanging loop on the back of the jacket (rather than in the neck) which took a bit of getting used to but I guess it’s not a problem.
As always seems the case with Haglӧfs apparel, the Flex jacket I had is a very vibrant colourway – yellow and green – I won’t be getting lost in it! Other colours available are Gale Blue, True Black and a grey/green combination (Magnetite and Ginko Green), so something to suit every taste.
All in all, the L.I.M. Flex Hoody is a great lightweight softshell for climbing, walking, biking or just about anything really. As it weighs basically nothing, it will be kept in my bag at all times, just in case.
- RRP £150
- Visit the Haglӧfs website