Mountain Equipment Prophet Jacket
Size Tested: L
Stated Weight: 510 g
Blister’s Measured Weight (L): 514 g
Front Zipper Length (size L): 74 cm
- Fully seam sealed
- Mountain HC insulated hood with stiffened visor
- Alpine fit with pre-shaped and articulated sleeves
- 2-way YKK molded front zip with insulated baffle
- Adjustable cuffs and hem
- 2 Zippered hand warmer pockets
- 1 Napoleon chest pocket
- 1 Internal zippered mesh chest pocket
- Shell: 10D Gore Thermium
- Insulation: PrimaLoft GOLD (80g throughout)
MSRP: $384 USD
Reviewer: 6’0”, 180 lbs
Test Locations: Jumbo Pass, BC; Teton Pass, Togwotee Pass, Grand Targhee, WY.
Days worn: 15
Back in November Gore announced they were rolling out a new material, Gore Thermium, to be used in insulating layers. The Mountain Equipment Prophet jacket is the first piece we’ve reviewed that uses Thermium, and we’ll dig deeper into what exactly Gore Thermium is later on in this review.
When I first saw Mountain Equipment’s Prophet Jacket at Outdoor Retailer, I thought to myself, “Cool, but I’ve got my layering system pretty dialed, so I don’t really see the need.” But my first day in the Prophet changed all that, and because of it, I’ve completely rethought my layering strategy for ski touring.
I’ve used the Prophet jacket while ski touring this winter in British Columbia and the Tetons, and I’ve found it to be such a versatile piece that I plan on using it extensively through the spring and summer, so I’ll be reporting back with a long-term durability update later.
What is Gore Thermium?
In rather typical fashion, Gore hasn’t released much information about the membrane Thermium uses, or what exact performance characteristics it’s supposed to have. However, after a fair bit of digging, we’ve come up with this overview.
Thermium is Gore’s newest laminate, and part of a rebrand / overhaul Gore is making which differentiates Gore-Tex, Gore Windstopper, and Gore Thermium. Here’s the breakdown:
“Gore Tex” encompasses: Gore-Tex Pro, Gore-Tex Active, and Gore-Tex C-Knit, all membranes that stick to the traditional Gore mantra: “Guaranteed to keep you dry.”
“Gore Windstopper” is now available in two flavors: (1) Light Rain Resistance and (2) Insulation Protection, and is meant to be windproof but breathable.
“Gore Thermium” is a two-layer, water- and wind-resistant, breathable membrane. It is water resistant to 15,000 mm, and Gore mandates that any garment using Thermium must be fully seam-sealed, which contributes to weatherproofing.
(For an in-depth breakdown of what that waterproofing rating means, check out Sam Shaheen’s excellent Outerwear 101 piece.)
Mountain Equipment says the Prophet has an “Alpine Fit,” and while that may conjure up images of a slim, very European fit, I actually found that the size Large was cut more generously than any of the insulators I’ve worn recently, including the size Large Patagonia Nano Air, Patagonia Down Sweater, and the Large Trew Kooshin.
That said, I’m not swimming in the Prophet. It still fits well under most of my shells (although it’s definitely a bigger fit than the Trew Wander Jacket), but is big enough that it also fits easily over most of them, something that hugely contributes to its versatility.
The Prophet’s hood is the best I’ve used on an insulating layer. It easily fits over a climbing helmet, and can fit over a ski helmet as well (although it is a little snug). The wire brim does a good job of keeping the hood out of your field of vision, and it adjusts easily, and stays secure if you’re not wearing a helmet.
I’m used to the hoods on packable pieces like this being very minimalistic, and thus, not that useful, but Mountain Equipment has done a great job with the Prophet.
The Prophet uses a molded YKK 2-way zipper on the front that is easy to adjust even with heavy gloves on, and is handy if you happen to be using this jacket over a harness.
The pockets use lighter coil zippers, and they have also been easy to use so far as well.
The Prophet’s hand pockets are big enough to stow a pair of gloves or goggles, and the right pocket doubles as the jacket’s stuff sack.
The Napoleon pocket fits a phone or wallet and a pair of sunglasses, while the inner mesh pocket fits goggles or snacks easily.
The right hand pocket of the Prophet has a double-sided zipper, and it doubles as the stuff sack. This stuff sack compresses the jacket much tighter than any sack I’ve used before, something that I came to appreciate. While this means that it takes a little longer to stuff the jacket, it also packs down smaller than I’d expect from a synthetic insulator. In fact, in its stuff sack, the Prophet is a little smaller than the Patagonia Hooded Down sweater I’d been using before.
All in all, the Prophet is impressively packable, especially given its well-thought-out features and useful hood.
On the Mountain, Breathability, Etc.