Mountain Equipment Lhotse/Manaslu (2013)

The Mountain Equipment Lhotse (men’s version) has previously been a firm favourite of mine and it’s regularly done well in Trail gear reviews. For 2013 this classic gets a few design tweaks as well as the new Gore-Tex Pro fabric, which boasts increased breathability over its predecessors. The jacket now has an ‘Alpine fit’, meaning it is closer-fitting than before, which is no bad thing as it had started to feel a bit ‘boxy’ compared with newer designs. But for me the new version is a bit short and I’d prefer a good 5cm extra in length. Like many modern designs the main zip is left exposed, with an internal flap to keep leaks under control, while the chunky nature of the zip itself should resist grit and mud easily. The three large chest pockets are ideal for hands, maps or guidebooks, while the pair of pit zips can be used to vent the jacket on the move. The hood is a typically good effort from Mountain Equipment, with a wired peak and excellent fit and movement making it a joy a wear. All that for 571g and £300 is pretty good by current standards, although for my money I’d like a bit more length to make it absolutely perfect when mountain walking, backpacking and scrambling. The Manaslu is the women’s version of this jacket.

Weight 571g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL (Lhotse)

Women’s sizes 8-16 (Manaslu)

External pockets 3

Can hood be rolled down? yes

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.mountain-equipment.co.uk

Verdict

A reasonable price and weight for a jacket that is generally well-designed for heading to the hills, unless you want a little more length on the body. The Mountain Equipment Lhotse/Manaslu won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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