Why we chose the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell: Incredibly waterproof, incredibly breathable, and less expensive than some of its rivals in the ski touring jacket world.
Price: €399 / $471
It was Will Renwick, the editor of Outdoors Magic, who initially got us switched on to Cortazu. Until he spoke to us about them, back in 2019 we think it was, we’ll confess that we didn’t know too much about them. In our defence though, the brand was only founded in 2017 so maybe you can forgive us for taking our eye off the boil on this one.
They might be based in Amsterdam, which is two metres below sea level, but the passionate skiers behind Cortazu have their hearts and minds very much situated in the mountains. Built on a simple, yet difficult to nail, vision of creating premium sustainable clothing at unprecedented value Cortazu have been quietly building something pretty special. Their technical clothing has been doing jobs for outdoorsy people everywhere from the Himalayas to the Rocky Mountains.
When it comes to materials on the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell, it’s all about the Dermizax EV 3-Layer fabric. In the breathability stakes, it’s got a properly excellent rating of 25k. The waterproofing is, it’s well worth mentioning, equally excellent (25k rating as well). This genuinely high level of breathability and waterproofing is right up there with the best in the industry. It’s a twin factor that will ensure you stay dry and comfortable in the stinkiest conditions, and most active of mountain days.
“In the breathability stakes, it’s got a properly excellent rating of 25k”
The fabric is also exceptionally windproof, and has a DWR finish to keep wind and water where you want it (on the outside of your jacket). It’s also nicely stretchable, meaning it’s perfect for ski touring and active outdoor types.
In terms of sustainability commitments, 50% of the shell fabric fibers here are recycled. On top of this, for each product sold Cortazu is looking to re-green 50m2 of land. Cortazu also claims their products are really built to last. To be fair to them, this is a very well made bit of kit. Their dedication to durability, as far as the brand is concerned, means that you’ll be buying less, buying better, and making less of an impact on the environment as a consumer.