Millet Alpine X Celerator ReviewJuly 18, 2013
- Simple, functional design
- Packs small
- Helmet compatible hood
- Seals out bad weather
- No pit zips
- Fits thin people best
A good choice for fast and light alpine ascents, the X Celerator will also keep you covered if the weather turns nasty. One tester summed it up best: “this is exactly what a shell should be, light (so you bring it), simple (so its easy to use), no frills (less things to break), and ready to keep the shit out when a storm hits.”
Two hundred dollars is a good price for a shell that does everything well. The X Celerator registered few complaints from any testers and performed well in a variety of conditions.
The waterproof performance of the Cocona membrane is good and Millet’s DWR treatment is top of the line beading for hours on a soggy Cascadia day. Where the X Celerator shone was in truly nasty weather where we battened down the hatches, cinching the adjustable hood tight and zipping the high chin collar up, leaving only the eyes exposed. The front, water resistant zip let in a few leaks after prolonged use.
Cocona has been around for a while in baselayers; the carbon derived from coconut husks helps absorb and disperse moisture while resisting funk. In the last few years it has also proven itself as a component in waterproof-breathable membranes for some of the same reasons. It does a good job of absorbing moisture condensing on the inside of a jacket and then helping to disperse it through the membrane. But testers found the 2.5 layer used in the X Celerator only average, dumping sweat while maintaining a dry feel inside until the activity level spiked, when it started to feel pretty clammy. The lack of pit zips was noticed.
Everyone liked the simple design with just the right size, place and amount of features: two hand pockets, one breast pocket, three helmet adjustment points. The hood and collar fit well together. Anatomical tailoring and a slightly longer than normal torso and arm length kept the jacket in place even while reaching overhead while climbing. The trim fit made layering tough and tended to fit slim bodies best.
No complaints except the front zip which did leak a few times after extended use. The 2.5 layer fabric won’t stand up to abuse as long or as hard as the 3-layer jackets in this test.
The lightweight fabric helps keep overall weight in the take-anywhere range, 13 ounces, and helps make the jacket highly packable, about the size of a large grapefruit.