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Shell Jackets

Mountain Equipment Lattice

My Wife is having my head examined. "It isn't normal," she said, "to shower in a raincoat." She doesn't get that a shower is the acid test for determining whether a shell jacket is waterproof. I can say with authority that the Mountain Equipment Lattice jacket doesn't leak.

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Mountain Equipment Lattice | mountain-equipment.co.uk | $200 | ★★★★

 My Wife is having my head examined.

“It isn’t normal,” she said, “to shower in a raincoat.”

She doesn’t get that a shower is the acid test for determining whether a shell jacket is waterproof.

I can say with authority that the Mountain Equipment Lattice jacket doesn’t leak.

Big deal, you’re thinking, dozens of shells will keep you dry. What’s special about the Lattice?

Tipping the scales at just over eight ounces, the superlight Lattice doesn’t skimp on features, packs to the size of a breadfruit and is surprisingly tough. I wore it on oak-infested approaches, belaying and ice climbing, and the only injury it sustained after a year was a nick from an ice tool.

A “monolithic polyurethane membrane,” a poreless sheet 13 microns thick—a strand of spiderweb silk is 3 to 8 microns—keeps rainout and breathes
well enough. The jacket is seam taped and has a waterproof zipper with a flap and a garage. The flap provides a second water barrier, but snaps in
the zipper slider. I’d welcome a touch of fabric stiffening there.

Two zippered waterproof pockets are treasure chests awaiting gloves, cap, GU, map and my favorite: those fingery things on the end of my arms. The jacket wrists close with Velcro and convert into thumb loops to hold the sleeves in place when your hands are overhead.

Another deft tough is the hood, which fits well with or without a helmet. A wire in the visor makes a nice overhang to hide your face under, while three-way adjustments pull the hood off your gill and grip like a firm hand letting the hood swivel with you. I may find that especially useful when my noggin gets checked.

ABOUT THE RATING: Excellent and versatile performer, but one star deducted for the fussy zipper flap.