Ternua Four Winds Jacket – first look

I’ve been looking to replace my softshell jacket for a little while now, as my Mountain Equipment G2 Alpine jacket just wasn’t cutting it (pilling and bobbling from pack wear after only a couple of days, and black – I’m not a fan of black on the hills!), so when Sport Pursuit offered a flash sale of Ternua gear, it piqued my interest!

Ternua, as a brand, is not one I’d heard of before, but the jacket I was interested in was using known fabrics (in this case, Gore’s Windstopper Soft Shell fabric) which I knew and trusted, so I figured I would investigate further.

After a few fruitless searches (as they’re a Spanish company, and not generally distributed in the UK, information in English was sparse), I eventually found this post on Scottish Mountaineer, regarding a couple of their other products. Michael suggested that the build quality of the products were of a high quality, so although he’d not reviewed the specific jacket I was looking at, I decided to give it a punt – after all, it was still a Windstopper Soft Shell jacket, for less than £100. You just can’t argue that!

As is always the way with Sport Pursuit, I had to wait about a month before the jacket arrived (due to the way they do business – they only offer items for sale for a week, and don’t order from the manufacturers until the sale has ended. They clearly don’t ship to customers until they receive it!), which happened a few weeks ago.

OK, to get this bit out of the way… I know some people are not fans of Soft Shell, and prefer fleece, and I know a lot of people don’t like Windstopper, as they don’t find it good for the Scottish climate. (better for cold & dry, as opposed to cold & wet, they say). I quite like only needing one layer (besides the baselayer!) and as I tend to be a fair weather hiker in the colder months, the other complaints about Windstopper don’t really apply. Now, on to the jacket itself.

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Here’s the blurb from the Ternua website: Gore-tex® Windstopper® Soft Shell technical jacket with hood, three zipped pockets, armpit ventilation, toggle adjustable bottoms and Velcro adjustable cuffs. Comfortable windstopping, transpirable, waterproof that stays comfortable and offers the necessary freedom of movements to maximise performance while you carry out different activities in all types of climates. Very useful, ideal for trekking, hiking, classic climbing, ice climbing and mountain ski.

The interesting part from that is the bit where it mentions armpit ventilation. I had automatically assumed that would mean either pit zips or a different fabric mix under the arms. That isn’t the case for this jacket. In the photographs on the website, I saw the little hexagon shapes on either side of the torso. I’d assumed those were purely aesthetic. It turns out they’re not. They’re actually cutaways from the main fabric. I can only assume that these are the advertised ventilation. I have to admit, the jacket does seem to breath a little better than the Mountain Equipment one (with the core venting zips closed), but I’ll definitely need to give it more time to see how well these work in the long term, and more importantly, how resistant they are to the elements – I have a couple of concerns about having vents that can’t be closed, but we’ll see how it goes.

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I’ve worn the jacket a few times now, and I can confirm that the face fabric is definitely harder wearing than that of my old jacket. That’s a big plus for me, and I’m definitely more confident about using it.

So far, it’s been plenty warm enough when I’m walking, though definitely not warm enough for any prolonged stops, but that’s what down jackets are for. Another big plus.

I have to admit, I love the colours of it. Another plus

So far, nothing but plus sides, and one thing I’m not sure about.

There is, however, one negative about the jacket. The hood. There simply isn’t enough material for forward and back head motion. If you look down (which you’re gonna do!), don’t expect the hood to stay in place. It’s fine when looking side to side, and does a good job, but there’s not enough fabric at the rear of the hood to cope with any forward motion. For me, that’s really not a deal breaker. I tend to wear a hat on the hills, so will probably not be using the hood, anyway. If the weather turns bad, I’ll have thrown my waterproof jacket on, and that’ll be the hood of choice, anyway.

I guess we’ll see how it goes. I definitely prefer it to my Mountain Equipment soft shell, as it feels much harder wearing and more breathable. If the current cold spell continues, I suspect I’ll be wearing it more than I’d originally planned over the next few weeks (I’d expected to retire it to the wardrobe when daytime temps got to double figures!)

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2 thoughts on “Ternua Four Winds Jacket – first look”

  1. I like the colour and their idea for ventilation looks good. Do you feel cold air blasting throw the vents on a windy day? With a zip, you can vary the venting better I’m guessing.

    The windstopper comments are spot-on, it doesn’t breath well enough to be my go-to jacket for our winter hills, however, I love it in my trousers. My G2 ultimates have taken a battering this season and stood up to everything very well. The thigh vents are needed though or it gets a bit sweaty in there when working hard ploughing through the snow. Although windstopper is good at keeping you dry in snow and light rain, when it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry. Trudging through snow sees the bottom 6 cm’s or so eventually soak and retain the water. The internal gaiters on the G2’s keep the dampness away from your legs but when you take them off at night, they are often not dry in the morning when out in the tent.

    What I suggest you try is something like the Rab Vapourise line, or a Montane Krypton (my 2nd favourite winter soft shell behind my buffalo special 6) Marmot do one as well, Dri clime I think it’s called.

    The Pertex outer keeps the wind off, sheds the rain well and the lining will keep you warm and dry whilst wicking the mousture away. If memory serves me correct, Rab use Equilibrium which breathes really well but lets a wee bit too much wind through for me so I use my VR more in autumn\spring. I prefer the Krypton for winter as it’s Pertex Classic. Breathes a little less but keeps out more of the wind and sheds snow and rain better.

    Winter in the Scottish hills needs a Buffalo Special 6. They were designed and built for our weather. Mine must be 15 years old now and still going strong, it really is a great piece of kit.

    1. I don’t feel air blasting through it at all… it simply feels more breathable than the G2 jacket.

      Admittedly, I’ve not yet been out in it in strong winds, which is, I suspect, when I’ll feel it, if I’m going to.

      I think I’m one of few who like Windstopper. It has always suited me, but it’s all quite personal, really. It is definitely better now than it has been. It used to be awful, but the current incarnations of Windstopper are quite good.

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