The wind is whipping ice into your face. Your mate is still only halfway up the first pitch and the mist swirls in. It’s getting frigidly cold, and wet. For times like this you need a jacket that will stand up to the weather and keep you warm.
The toughest jackets in the outdoors are the belay jackets – the workhorses of the jacket world that are the frontline of defence. They’re insulated with synthetic materials that maintain a warmth even when wet (even hydrophobic down won’t stand up to an hour at the bottom of a wet wall in North Wales). Many people even put them over the waterproof jacket when it’s very cold.
The new Prophet from Mountain Equipment, on early tests, is certainly tough enough. It’s also interesting as it uses a brand new Gore-Tex material, always something that garners a lot of attention. The British brand is one of the first to take the leap with Gore’s new fabric and incorporate it into their range.
Gore Thermium is a rain resistant membrane with an ultralight material that encases the insulation - it’s the first time that Gore’s “product portfolio" has addressed the “issue of insulation" and our testers thought it worked really well.
OK so the new Gore-Tex material isn’t fully waterproof, but it will hold up to wind, light rain and even brief snowfalls and this is made up for it by the insulation used in the jacket, which is also premium. It uses the excellent 80-gram PrimaLoft Gold, a synthetic material which retains some breathability while also being water resistant and packable – the whole jacket only weighs 510g.
“It’s getting frigidly cold, and wet. For times like this you need a jacket that will stand up to the weather and keep you warm."
Other features in this well-designed jacket include an insulated and adjustable hood with a stiffened visor, chest pocket, internal pocket, two handwarmer pockets, adjustable cuffs and drawcords at the hem. If you need an extra layer of warmth while you’re belaying, stopping to shoot photos, or just hiking on a very cold day, this is an excellent option.
The combination of its warmth, packablity and those exciting new fabrics makes this one of the gear highlights of the 2016 winter season.
Mountain Equipment Prophet Jacket Stats:
- Price: £270
- Weight: 510g
Shot on location in Chamonix
- Thanks to our accommodation partner Adventure Base