Mountain Equipment Centurion & Tupilak: Gore-Tex Pro vs Polartec NeoShell

Mountain Equipment Centurion and Tupilak (Gore-Tex Pro vs Polartec NeoShell)

Sam Shaheen Reviews the Mountain Equipment and Centurion Tupilak Jackets, Blister Gear Review
Mtn Equipment Centurion (with Polartec NeoShell)
Sam Shaheen Reviews the Mountain Equipment and Centurion Tupilak Jackets, Blister Gear Review
Mtn Equipment Tupilak (with Gore-Tex Pro)

Sizes tested: Medium (30” zipper length)

MSRP: Tupilak $500 USD

MSRP: Centurion $550 USD

Weights: Tupilak 530g; Centurion 480g


  • Centurion: Polartec NeoShell 4-way stretch (Centurion)
  • Tupilak: Gore-Tex Pro
  • Super Alpine HC Hood
  • Alpine fit with articulated and pre-shaped sleeve construction
  • Storm Construction techniques used throughout
  • 2-way YKK® molded Aquaguard® centre front zip
  • 2 large Napoleon pockets with YKK® molded Aquaguard® zips
  • 2-way YKK® WR underarm pit zips with laminated and bonded entry
  • Adjustable laminated cuffs and dual tether hem drawcords


Here it is, a direct, apples-to-apples comparison of the newest Gore-Tex Pro and Polartec NeoShell fabrics.

I’ve tested two jackets from Mountain Equipment that are exactly the same except for their respective shell fabrics; the Tupilak uses Gore-Tex Pro, while the Centurion uses Polartec NeoShell.

Both the Tupilak and Centurion are designed for tackling big lines in the backcountry, though the Tupilak is marketed as a pure climbing shell, while the Centurion is marketed to backcountry skiers and climbers alike.

I’ll relay my experience with the performance of NeoShell and Gore Pro fabrics individually, then weigh in on which fabric I think is better (and for whom), and end with an overview of the fit and features of the Tupilak and Centurion.

Fabric: Polartec NeoShell

The Centurion is made with a 4-way stretch Polartec NeoShell laminate. I reviewed the Westcomb Switch LT Hoody that also features NeoShell, and overall, the Centurion’s shell performs very similarly to the Westcomb.

NeoShell is one of a few new convective or air permeable membranes. These membranes are not 100% windproof – they allow a minute amount of air to pass through the laminate, though it is not noticeable when wearing the jacket. I have worn NeoShell in some very high winds and didn’t feel any wind come through the shell.

Even though NeoShell isn’t technically windproof, it is still waterproof. Polartec claims NeoShell has a waterproof rating of 10,000mm (for more on waterproof ratings, check out Outerwear 101), and my experience corroborates that 10K number. In relatively dry climates (like the central Rockies of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and even Utah and interior British Columbia) 99% of skiers and climbers won’t need any more waterproofing than NeoShell has to offer. I have never had any water get through a NeoShell piece I have worn.

The fact that air can get through the NeoShell membrane is a big deal, though. It means that now there is an additional mechanism for mass transfer across the membrane that traditional membranes don’t have. In other words, convective membranes breathe significantly better than their non-convective counterparts. (For more info on convective membranes, check out Outerwear 201.)

NeoShell seems to be the industry leader in convective membranes, and the NeoShell on the Centurion certainly breathes very well. The most breathable hard shells I have ever worn have been NeoShell, and the Centurion is no exception.

Sam Shaheen Reviews the Mountain Equipment and Centurion Tupilak Jackets, Polartec NeoShell vs Gore Pro, Blister Gear Review
Sam in the Mtn Equipment Centurion Jacket, Flattop Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park.

As I mention in my review of the Westcomb Switch LT Hoody, even though a hard-shell jacket with NeoShell breathes better than any other hard shell I’ve worn, a hard shell still presents a large vapor barrier for sweat trying to get out of the jacket. NeoShell is not infinitely breathable. Similar to my experience with the Switch LT, I’ve found I still have to take off the Centurion (or alternatively an insulation layer) during periods of high physical exertion.

To borrow from the Switch LT review:

Is the Westcomb Switch LT the most breathable hard shell I’ve ever worn? Absolutely.

Does Neoshell live up to all of the hype? Just about. Is it a perfect solution? That depends.

It’s important to be clear that even though I find that I have to take the Switch LT off during periods of high-exertion activities, I also have to take off traditional softshells in similar conditions. In high-output situations, sometimes a light breeze and a bare chest can still get clammy and wet. Any clothing that you put on acts as a vapor barrier to efficient breathability.

Neoshell is a smaller vapor barrier than other non-air permeable membranes, but it is important to remember that there is a lot more at play in the mountains than just the membrane in your hard shell: layering schemes (including backpacks/hipbelts) and weather (humidity, temperature) play a huge role in your comfort at any given output level.

There is no formula for determining that, “On hike A or skin track B, I will have to take my shell off because the temperature is Y and the humidity is Z and I am in shape X and using equipment W and the cloud cover is R and…”  What I can say though, is that if I start to sweat hard (i.e., my skin is damp, even dripping is some places) I have to take off this shell.

The bottom line is that Neoshell is a fantastic hard shell, but it is still a hard shell—and offers the outstanding protection of a hard shell. “Waterproof” and “Breathable” are two goals in direct opposition to each other, and NeoShell does a remarkable job of achieving both. But you may still have to take your NeoShell jacket off if you start hiking hard.

All of these points are equally valid when applied to the Centurion jacket. NeoShell makes a great hard shell, but no hard shell is supremely breathable.

The NeoShell on the Centurion has a soft hand feel, and it is quiet—more like a soft shell which is very refreshing when it comes to hard shells.

The 4-way stretch is one of the best features of this jacket. Working in conjunction with the Centurion’s excellent fit (more on that later), the 4-way stretch makes this one of the most comfortable hard shells I’ve worn.

I’ve worn 4-way stretch shells that are cut very slim, seemingly because the manufacturer can get away with a slim cut as the the fabric is somewhat stretchy. Personally I dislike the constant resistance to movement that these slim fitting stretch shells have. The Centurion uses the same cut as the Tupilak, but adds a stretch fabric. It is cut slightly more generous than other stretchy hardshells. I hardly notice it stretching, but I do notice how comfortable the Centurion is, especially when I switch back to the Tupilak and I realize how the jacket fits and feels without the stretch of NeoShell.

Sam Shaheen Reviews the Mountain Equipment and Centurion Tupilak Jackets, Polartec NeoShell vs Gore Pro, Blister Gear Review
Sam Shaheen in the Mountain Equipment Centurion, Terrain Park, Rocky Mountain National Park.

The only performance issue I have had with the NeoShell is a bit of soak through on the shoulders in a rain storm last week, right where the edge of my pack strap rubs on the collar of the jacket. To be fair, it is not uncommon at all for the DWR to wear out in high abrasion areas on hard shells like the shoulders, seat and cuffs. And even though I had a small amount of water soak through the DWR on the Centurion, no water made it through the membrane. I stayed completely dry.

I also have noticed that the orange fabric on the Centurion has been getting slightly dirty where the hip belt on my pack rubs on the jacket, but overall the jacket still looks almost new after 10 days of touring.

30 comments on “Mountain Equipment Centurion & Tupilak: Gore-Tex Pro vs Polartec NeoShell”

  1. Excellent review. As I own and use both these jackets, I thought I’d weigh in on how wind affects breathability in the Neoshell.

    On two occasions, I’ve been on long ridge lines towards summits in sustained winds with my Centurion. There’s no question that it breathed even better than usual, as a typical windproof shell would have had me sweating it up. I’d guess that the active air movement of the wind leads to better breathability in the air permeable membrane, and that might be something to test in the next go around.

    • I think you’re on to something, David. I’ve been A/B-ing two Neoshell jackets this season, and in mid-February to mid-March, making almost daily (high-exertion) hikes up to Taos’ Kachina Peak, I’d never take the time to take off my jacket. On sunny, warm, windless days, I’d be sweating, though still happy to be wearing Neoshell over anything else. And on warm, sunny days with any amount of wind, I’d feel quite comfortable.

  2. Hi Jonathan

    Another excellent review!

    I’m wondering if you could provide some advice, I’ve skied with a conventional soft shell, an insulated Oneil Jacket for the past 10 years

    It has served me well, and I’ve really had little issues, but on 20 minute hikes up hill, I tend to sweat like crazy and wondered if a high tech shell would have me sweat less?

    In researching these jackets, I came across a review where a fellow ran on a tread mill for 20 minutes with a Gore Tex hard shell, and was barely wet, compared to another jacket with water proof coating, and extremely so compared to running with a garbage bag taped to his body

    That made me think these high tech Jackets truly are breathable and a difference maker, but then I read your review, and a comment from another website, pointing out the opposite, that a hard shell will breath less than a soft shell, regardless of technology, correct?

    So I’ll sweat just as much, if not more with a hard shell, right?


    I’ve read all your reviews on the Cochise and was thinking of getting them to be my 2nd ski quiver to my 2005 94 mm Mantras, it sounds like Mantra is better in less than 12″ of snow, and if snow is greater then it’s Cochise, correct?

    That being said, my Mantras are great up to boot height powder, and only suffer above that, which is rare for me catch, that’s why I’m thinking of holding off buying Cochise since they are just as equal in crud, etc compared to my Mantras

    cheers in advance

    • Hey John, thanks for checking out the review!

      The softshell vs hardshell question unfortunately isn’t that straight forward. As a general rule of thumb though, softshells are more breathable than hardshells.

      There are a plethora of caveats though.

      1) Softshells are often insulated. Insulation is a breathability killer. The only part of a softshell that is intrinsically more breathable than a hardshell is the WPB laminate. The lining fabric and shell fabric vary enormously across fabrics.

      2) There are always trade-offs. Softshells are almost always less water and wind-proof than hardshells. There is not a good standard for measuring the waterproofing of softshells. The vast majority of manufactures don’t even list this. Not really relating to breathability, but something to keep in mind.

      3) There is a huge amount of variability in softshell fabrics. From thick fleecy farbics to Polartec Power Shield Pro which feels almost like a hard shell. On top of the variability in thickness/weight of softshell fabrics, there is a lot of variability in quality. You can go to Costco and get a softshell jacket for 25$ or get one from Patagonia for $400.

      I think the best thing for someone like you who is looking to decrease their sweating on short, intense hikes is to evaluate your whole layering system. I recommend a wool/microfiber wicking base layer. Thinner is better. An insulating layer, thick for cold weather, thin for warm weather. I really like the TNF Radium for cold weather and the Patagonia R1 for warmer weather. Both are super breathable. For the shell, weather soft or hard, stay away from insulation. Either of the ME jackets here would be excellent, or a thin softshell (I am reviewing the Patagonia Knifeblade which I’ve been really liking for high output days).

      The most important thing though is to remember that every layer you have between your skin and the elements is a vapor barrier. Layering is not necessarily a simple task!

      I hope that helps on your jacket search. I’ll have to punt the ski questions to Jonathan or Will as I haven’t been on either ski.


      • Thanks for the info Sam and the review (originally I thanked Jonathan, I guess I’ve been reading too many of his reviews haha)

        Well, I took the plunge, and bought a hard shell, mountain hard wear’s men spinoza jacket, only to realize it was for spring, 20D cloth versus 40 D, dry q Elite fabric!

        After reading reviews on the tight fit under armpits and chest, I completed the ensemble with a form fitting Eddie Bauer First Ascent Accelerant Primaloft Down Jacket as my mid insulative layer, it’s received rave reviews for warmth, breath ability and comfort

        Now hopefully, my short intense ski hikes will be more comfortable, and hopefully easier with better breath-ability, and cooler body temp, etc., that was the catalyst for the purchase,

        otherwise i spent a lot of money on something i don’t need, since my old insulated jacket does fine all other times, time will tell

        • Hi, John – if you’re thinking about a 2 ski quiver, I’m not sure that I personally would be too interested in a Mantra + Cochise. Seems like a bit too much overlap, though it’s perfectly understandable if you’re actually looking for that overlap – i.e., don’t need / care about a ski for deeper days. I regard both the Mantra and Cochise as good ‘challenging’ conditions skis, not excellent ‘good conditions’ skis. So you’ve got your Mantra, what about pairing it with the ON3P Wrenegade – a much better pow ski than the Cochise that still works well in anything soft, or a V-Werks Katana, also a better pow ski than the Cochise. Just some food for thought. Obviously, I love both the Mantra and the Cochise, just want to make sure you’d be really happy with that combination.

          • Hi Jonathan thanks for the response

            First off, I truly prefer a one quiver ski, for simplicity and cost, and 95% of the time, my 94mm underfoot Mantra, with no early rise tip, does the job for virtually all conditions, including mid calf POW if snow is light and not heavy

            Second, living 4 to 6 hours from the mountains, makes it difficult to catch freshly fallen POW, and if I do, skiing more than boot high POW is rare, and typically the snow is light not wet, making the Mantra more than suitable

            Also, skiing something more than 100 mm underfoot is new for me, and being used to a camber ski, I was concerned about getting something either too different or too wide

            The Cochise seemed like a great choice, being early rise in the tip and 108 mm underfoot, it has to be better than my Mantra for POW, especially deep heavier POW,, which is too much for my Mantras.

            knowing you love the Mantra spoke volumes, especially by the fact you love the Cochise as one ski quiver too, and all the great reviews out there, made the Cochise very attractive, so I took the plunge and bought a new pair 2013-14 brand with new Marker Griffon bindings.

            Had I seen your posting earlier, I might have thought twice, and considered the ON3P Wrenegade it does appear to be what I’m looking for just wider

            In any event, I suspect it would be very challenging to get the ON3P Wrenegade for a similar price as my Cochise

            Hopefully I find the performance of the Cochise to be significantly better than the Mantra in deeper POW too justify the purchase, otherwise I might have to consider ON3P Wrenegade

          • Hi Jonathan,

            I just skied the Blizzard Cochise, a day after 48 cm had fallen at Nakiska Alberta Canada in 72 hours,

            First off what a light weight ski!

            My original Mantra 2005 circa 94mm are tanks compared to the cochise

            It was so funny, when I went to pick up the Cochsie, i was instinctively bracing my self for carrying a heavy weight, only to realize instantly, despite the Coshise, being a much larger surface volume of ski, they are much much lighter, light years in comparison to a 2005 Mantra

            However, they never chattered which surprised me, but they are fast, wow!

            And i always felt my boots needed to be tighter since the ski was so light in weight

            but once I got used to them, they just rocked, they never dipped into the POW, my Drift Ghost-s proved that on video, and they really are a remarkable ski

            They handled heavy soft chopped POW fairly easily, still a bit of work, but the skis made it easier and enjoyable, the 94 mm Mantra would’ve struggled, and made it far more work in those variable conditions

            thanks for your reviews, they Rock, and they helped!

  3. Great stuff, Sam. I just stumbled on your articles, and before I was halfway through Outerwear 101, I knew I was reading material written by another Chem E. Nice to know I’m not the only engineering geek in the mountains. Keep up the good work!

  4. I have seen some issues with Polartec Neoshell. This PDF ( shows that after 20 washes the membrane degrades to 5000 mm waterproofing. Considering that the threshold for “waterproofness” is 10,000 mm, wouldn’t this mean that after just one wash the membrane isn’t waterproof?

    I have a pair of Flylow Compound Pants (made of Neoshell) and haven’t been too impressed with the durability. I sent them back twice this season for repairs already. I ripped a hole in the shin and also ripped the back of the pants somehow. Flylow has been great with repairs and their customer service is awesome, but the fabric durability is not great.

    For comparison, I also bought a Arctery’x Stingray Jacket (made of Gore-Tex 3L) a week after the Flylow pants and I haven’t had any issues with it. I’ve skied nearly the same amount of days in the jacket and it still looks brand new.

    • Just because the HH is under 10000mm, doesn’t mean the jacket will suddenly, magically leak; it is a totally arbitrary threshold. My local legal standard for a waterproof claim on a fabric is more like 3000mm, IIRC.

      As regards durability… that’s been a bit of a flaw of marketing. There are a dozen or more different flavours of the Neoshell fabric, and many different face fabrics. Problem is though, they were all just called ‘neoshell’ when it came to selling the garments, so there’s no way to tell what you were getting. Lots of bits of gear made from the cheaper or lighter-weight versions of the fabric were sold and treated as if they were any other robust hardshell, and unsurprisingly wore out. The heavier, less stretchy, more expensive grades of neoshell survived much better. Gore keep their customers on very tight reins and are a little more careful with their branding, so this sort of problem was much less likely to arise with their fabrics.

  5. Hey Spencer, thanks for your comments!

    For those reading this who didn’t click the link you provided, it’s Polartec’s generic NeoShell marketing flyer, which is actually a great read (although obviously a bit biased).

    To address your questions/concerns:

    1) It is easy to get membrane durability confused with fabric durability. It is also easy to get membrane performance and DWR performance confused.

    When Polartec says it will be 5K waterproof after 20 washes, they are talking about the membrane performance. Meaning that the membrane will slowly break down as you wash it. After 20 real world washes, the DWR will likely be gone entirely so no water will bead on the jacket anyway. My recommendation is to treat your WPB garments with finesse and understand that washing is a tricky business. Washing a jacket with dirt on the outside in the proper technical detergent can reinvigorate the DWR, but it will always weaken the membrane. The best answer is to try to keep your expensive outerwear clean so you don’t want to wash it often.

    When you get holes or tears in your 3L outerwear, that is almost exclusively a function of the face fabric durability and has very little to do with membrane performance or durability. Generally, companies will pair lighter weight face fabrics with more breathable membranes because heavier face fabrics will limit breathability. Most NeoShell pieces are on the lighter side of 3L garments and their durability should reflect that. Personally, I haven’t had any durability concerns in the few jackets I’ve worn.

    2) Like I said in the review, I think NeoShell is best suited for jackets rather than pants. Pants almost always take more abuse than jackets and the burlier face fabric and more robust laminate of Gore Tex Pro is a better choice for pants all around.

    Personal sidebar, the “softshell” fabric used in the Stingray is pretty sweet eh? I really dig the hand feel of that jacket. It’s a bummer more companies aren’t using it. I haven’t been able to get out in a Gore soft shell yet, but I’m chomping at the bit to do it!

    Thanks again for taking a look at the review!

    • Thanks for addressing my questions/concerns! I see what you mean about the difference between membrane durability and fabric durability. For my next set of pants I’ll probably go with a Gore Tex Pro offering, per your recommendation.

      I agree with your comments on the Stingray jacket fabric. It has been super durable but not “noisy” like a lot of other hard shell fabrics. I found that it breathes pretty well, but I the Neoshell pants I have definitely breathe better. Hopefully a company will pair a heavier duty face fabric with the Neoshell membrane- it sounds like you would get the best of both worlds (durability and breathability).

  6. I have used the Westcomb Switch LT and have been surprised that
    It has been pretty durable.
    It is a lightweight fabric but has withheld ragged and sharp
    Ski edges on the shoulder. I kept looking for damage, but none was there.
    In moderate to beginning to be warm weather, I think I opened the pit zips
    Once or twice during hard skiing. And that might have been out of habit as much as need.
    I felt that I was able to layer lighter, due to not overheating and getting wet (if that makes any sense).
    This “1st generation” Switch has too big zipper bodies on the pit zips, which feel catchy when moving the arms. I see they have changed this.
    I have yet to wear in typical “supercold” JH January weather, maybe the general burliness/thickness of Goretex is a crutch. For I have been in high winds with Neoshell and not felt the chills.

    • I agree with your thoughts on the Switch, surprisingly durable. I like that the face fabric is supple as well and not stiff. It’s quiet and comfy, a great combo. It’s one of my favorite and most versatile shells!

  7. I own a RAB Polartec Neoshell jacket and at first I was very impressed by the breathability and it seemed better than my previous Goretex Proshell jacket.
    Last winter was very mild so no cross country skiing for me and no heavy backpacks. I used it mainly for daily commuting on my bicycle. After about 8 months of use I went for a 1 week kayaking trip and it was raining daily. I did not wear a rucksack but my shoulders and neck got wet and I was cold too. I could not understand it at first (it is an expensive jacket, top brand, first months were great). After coming home I looked at the jacket more carefully and I thought if the membrane would leak then also light would leak through! So I held the jacket against the light and to my surprise the upper part (neck/throat) looked like a mosquito net. There was also some light penetration on the upper chest part near an end cap of an elastic band (for adjusting the hood). The rubbing of the cap clearly destroyed the membrane.
    I took pictures, send it to RAB and they were directly replacing my jacket. Still I feel that durability is an issue and that it is a design problem. So I contacted a friend who has the same jacket (bought at the same time) and he too had the same problem and it is something you clearly notice with the light test.
    So I am not that happy because I am afraid I have to send it back again in a few months time. For comparison, I my old Goretex jacket is delaminating but the membrane is still intact.
    I did not wash the jacket because this could affect the membrane (see other posts). However the distributer advised me to wash it regularly. They are even suspecting dirt from my skin that may have attacked the membrane!
    So my question to all of you: please hold your jacket against the light and report what you see! I can send pictures of the fabric if you want to know how mine looked like!

    Regards, Bert (Wageningen, The Netherlands)

    • Hey Bert, Thanks for your comments!

      There are definitely some people that are experiencing durability issues with NeoShell. Unfortunately I can’t comment too intelligently on this topic because I haven’t had the chance to put multiple years into a jacket (I am always wearing new jackets, a curse and blessing).

      However I can say a few things. First, none of my NeoShell pieces show any damage when held up to the light. I have read (though not from Polartec directly) that the initial NeoShell runs did exhibit some physical damage/delam that has since been addressed. I do not know the timeframe for when these jackets were produced though. I have not experienced any membrane damage on my jackets however.

      I would love to hear how your replacement jacket from Rab holds up, this winter I will likely be putting in the majority of my days on the Centurion — If I have anything useful to report we will definitely update this article.

      One thing to remember is that these membranes are extremely thin, lightweight and porous. They are fragile. There is no perfect membrane, but the bigger the pores, the better it breathes so it follows that the better it breathes, the more fragile the membrane is.

      I hope your new jacket holds up better! Let me know if you have any other questions,

  8. I enjoyed the reviews. Not too many which do comparisons!

    If i may respectfully mention, usually when a review goes on the topic of sizing (e.g. too long arms, too tight in the chest), there is no mention made/ definition of a baseline set of body measurement for readers to compare themselves against i.e. height/weight, chest, sleeve, waist – 29 in'” that popped out for me etc. My 2 cents thanks!

    • Hey Axe,

      Thanks for your comments. Making comments on sizing isn’t an easy thing! We typically try to base our sizing judgments on average body proportions. For instance, I know that I have pretty average length arms and torso for my build, but that I have a small waist. So if I say the arms feel long or short, that is relative to my “average” build. But i typically don’t comment too strongly on waist proportions because I know I have a girly waist.

  9. I can see through my Marmot Neoshell at the hood, shoulders, and arms. It lost its waterproofness after about three months of wear, but it is so comfortable that I wear it as my daily jacket all year. I wash in DWR every six months.

  10. There’s no contest really. Gore-Tex is like wearing a plastic bag, and the Pro is actually the least breathable of their membranes.

    Neoshell is the best thing to happen to outdoor gear since humans discovered wool.

  11. p.s. I’ve never sweated up under my Neoshell, but Gtx has me soaked within minutes in any kind of intense activity, or mild-but-wet weather. Although it feels softer, I’ve found Neoshell to be very durable. My jacket is a Montane further faster Neo, and I had a pair of Rab Neo Stretch pants which I returned under warranty – seam issue not the Neoshell itself, and have swapped them for some Nexus pants. I wouldn’t consider anything other than Neoshell in future. I do have an Arcteryx Gtx jacket, which is my throw-on, stuff-away jacket, but it’s not a good as the Montane. I haven’t experienced soak through in the Neoshell (that I’ve noticed), and as they say, there’s no point in just locking in the sweat with Gtx.

    I think the durability issues people are having with Neoshell may be related to the manufacturer’s application of it, rather than the Neoshell itself. Although it’s relatively new so I’m sure it’ll improve, it’s too good to not stick around. I do know that Rab are dropping it though – I get the feeling they have a cheaper deal with eVent, or are developing their own membrane.

  12. Hi there. This is a great review. Many thanks. I am convinced that Gore Tex Pro is the choice for me due to the better durability. However @Sam, as of 2017 which would be the best Gore Tex Pro jacket to your opinion? There are so many manufacturers Mountain Equipment, Mountain Hardware, Arcteryx, Patagonia, and many more?

    • Hey Martin,

      When it comes to what jacket to pick, all of those companies make great, high quality jackets. The most important thing to consider is how you’re going to use the jacket, what features you want and what sort of fit you’ll need. The best Gore-Pro shell for alpine climbing and ski touring won’t be the same jacket.

      I recommend going into a local shop and trying on a bunch of jackets once you figure out exactly what you want your jacket to do.


  13. Wow, great review here! I’m thinking about getting this jacket, but I can’t decide whether to size-up to allow for cold mountaineering layers. I see that you tested a medium that fit you and your 29″ waist well. Just based on the size chart, I would also get a medium, because my measurements fit with that size. Still, I’m leaning toward a large, because I have a 32″ waist, and I wan’t enough room for insulating layers. Do you have any suggestions? I wish I could try it on, but no one carries Mountain Equipment in the Pacific Northwest.

    • Hey Luke, I would probably recommend sticking with the Medium, as long as your mid layers are pretty slim fitting. The more bulky your midlayers are, the more likely I’d be to size up. I have a friend with the Large, he’s 5’11” with a 30″ waist and he was able to layer enough under that jacket for a Denali summit, for reference.

      • Thanks Sam, I bought a Lhotse in Medium, and it fits GREAT. Never had a jacket that fit so well. Plenty of room for a couple light layers AND a medium underneath. The sleeves are super long, but that’s okay. Thanks for the info!

  14. Seems to me that buying a outer layer that has many choices in ventilation, like long pitzips to put your arms totally through when necessary is best. Seems gore Tex and it’s more durable and possibly better warranty and customer service is best. I think any outer layer that is waterproof is going to be hot compared to a more breathable and less or or not waterproof shell. So buy a jacket with 2 way main zipper, pit zips, ventilation pockets, adjustable cuffs and waist or bottom of the jacket that enables keeping the vents open and letting air circulation in and or up and down is best. I often open the pitzips and stick my arms through so that the are fully in the open air and out of the sleeve.
    QUALITY ZIPPERS is also HUGE in happiness with a shell. To often zippers get caught on fabric/deform/ break and are difficult to open and close.
    I am curious about all the latest features of new shells c-knit backer, different names of Goretex etc. I called Gore the other day and the person seemed to not know, much of anything about their products!!, I knew far more than they did!! The Gore person had no clue of Infnium and had to look it up. I asked is there someone I could contact at Gore that knew the products and they said no. I asked if there was another phone number I can call to get information, he said no.
    It It’s very disappointing that far too often companies today, hire people and give them zero training on their product or services. There seems to be far too many unintelligent and unexperienced people working at companies. I have been told that Gore-Tex products do not have the DWR/durable water repellency treatment, NOT TRUE. There is a lot of ignorance out there about facts and real world application.

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