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.