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Rock Climbing Clothing

Mountain Equipment Earthrise Jacket

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MSRP: $190

BEST FOR: All-around mountain use: winter belaying, ski touring, hiking

You have to respect ROOTS.

Mountain Equipment was established in the U.K. in 1961 and boasts partnerships with the venerable Plas y Brenin national mountaineering center and the Scottish Avalanche Information Center, which knows its cold weather.

“We all had early duvets,” says the brilliant Himalayan climber Doug Scott in “50 Years in the Mountains” (and that was seven years ago), a retrospective film the company produced using current interviews and its own archives. He recalls exciting early days of exploration and hitchhiking and dossing any old where, including—in Martin Boysen’s case for months—a former chicken coop that was ME’s first office. It was a world of horizons expanding—to the Alps, the Greater Ranges—and early big walls in Yosemite. Or Patagonia. Later in the film we see footage of Heink Zak’s second-ever solo of Yosemite’s famous Separate Reality, in 2005, and the bold Dave MacLeod talks about instants of decision.

New in the long Mountain Equipment line (now distributed in the USA)  is the Earthrise jacket, the first 100 percent recycled down jacket in the collection. Its filling of “reclaimed” duck and goose down is removed and cleaned from post-consumer waste from a company in France, with recycling occurring in a solar-powered facility in Hungary. The lining and outer shell are also fully recycled, according to the manufacturer.

The Earthrise is a nice, solid, light jacket—only 320 grams/11.3 ounces, with a narrow baffle construction. Very stowable, the jacket packs into its own pocket, which has a loop for hanging on a harness.

I wore the women’s model, and like the Rampart (310 grams / 10.9 ounces, $135) from Mountain Equipment, this one is trim and fitted, with a tapered waist rather than straight sides. It is exceedingly comfortable and a warm layer for a whole variety of mountain sports: cold weather hiking, ski touring and winter belaying. This tester is usually a medium / 10, but with these jackets a size 12 is perfect, equaling the American 10. In contrast to the Rampart, the Earthrise has no hood, which is fine by me and even preferable since I layer a lot, but I do miss the handy interior pocket in the Rampart.

Comes in four colors including a rich purple aptly called Opulence and my own fave, the misty green Moorland Slate.


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Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.