As the name implies, Kathmandu’s Pinnacle jacket is targeted toward the higher end of the outdoor market. Even with the infamous Kathmandu sales, the XT Pinnacle is still a small investment. However, there some justification in the higher price.
The Pinnacle is essentially an updated version of Kathmandu’s XT driFILL jacket. The main difference in the two is the colour. The XT driFILL was bright orange – great for high visibility in the snow, although not exactly fashionable. The XT Pinnacle is a grey/black, so harder to spot when out in the elements, however is probably a little less conspicuous when doubling up as an urban jacket.
The 750-fill power DownTek goose down in the XT Pinnacle is kept dry through a double layer Pertex fabric. Unlike many other down jackets, this makes the XT Pinnacle waterproof. Seam-tapped box baffles prevent cold areas and ensure good loft. The hood is easy to adjust and pulls tight for a snug fit.
However, for Australian conditions, is the specifications of the XT overkill? The jacket is so warm that the natural question to ask is, how often will you really wear it? At 912 grams it’s not exactly lightweight either.
During a recent back-country skiing trip in Canada, when wind chill reached -20˚C, I stayed completely warm. However, during a similar back-country ski (albeit much warmer) trip in the Victorian high-country, I did begin to warm up. For high exertion activities, in warmer conditions, the jacket is probably overkill.
However, as a big bulky outdoor jacket, XT Pinnacle feels snug and well-fitting. For those really really cold days, where you need a jacket with some added durability, the XT Pinnacle works for me.