At the start of the 2013-2014 winter season I was in the market for a new midlayer. I had recently updated my Shell layer (From Paramo to Moutain Equipment Gortex Pro) and so needed to think about the middle bit!
I spent a good afternoon at the Birmingham Store and the staff there were fantastically helpful. They showed me the range of mid-layers available, letting me try them on, compare them and provided expert advice on their own personal experience using the various products.
In the end I went for the Triton II hood Jacket in orange and purple. So far I have worn this on several full winter days in Scotland, the lakes and Snowdonia and for a week skiing, snowshoeing and walking in Switzerland and I am very impressed with the jackets performance. The mixture of Polartec Thermal Pro and Polartec Power Stretch Pro means the jacket fits very well, moves with the body and is nice to the touch. The longer cuffs with the thumb loops help to provide insulation to the wrists (I've had problems with mid-layers riding up before) and the way the jacket sits across the neck and face (including the use of ventilation holes to ensure that googles don't fog) is excellent - one of the best fits from a mid-layer in this area I've experienced. But for me the hood is one of the best features on the jacket. I've previously not been a fan of hoods on midlayers as they just get in the way and when not being worn can sit uncomfortably around the neck. However, on the Triton II the hood is brilliant. When needed it is fits snuggly to the head and face (with out restricting your view) and sits well under a helmet or hat if required. However, it is when you are not wearing the hood that I really like the design of this product as you don't notice it is there. It sits comfortably at the neck and sort of folds in on it's self to be as unobtrusive and compact as possible. A really nice design feature.
If there are any down sides it would be that I think if it was really, really cold then I would need to add a second mid-layer, but I've not had to do that yet and as the jacket fits snuggly then it would not be an issue to add a second layer. Also wearing the hood up does make you look a bit sinister and so I am not sure it is a high-street fashion item! But as a functional mountain midlayer I give this top marks.