Mountain Equipment Morpheus 2011

The Mountain Equipment Morpheus is designed as a mountain jacket for walkers and climbers who prefer a shorter length for less restriction of movement and less weight. It uses Gore-Tex Pro Shell, the most recent addition to the Gore-Tex range of waterproof breathable fabrics, which boasts top-quality performance in the lab and proven performance on the hill.
 
Design
Pro Shell emerged in the autumn of 2007 as a new lighter-weight version of Gore-Tex fabric. The most important feature of Pro Shell is the Micro Grid Backer technology, which was described as the first lining of its kind in the world, and is made from a thin, low-denier and low-density woven fabric. This new lining structure is extremely breathable, abrasion-resistant and lightweight, and is designed to manage condensation inside the jacket. In breathability tests carried out by WL Gore, Pro Shell laminates achieve an impressive RET (Resistance of Evaporation of a Textile) 30, while other Gore fabrics such as XCR achieved RET 55, Paclite achieved 65 and Classic Gore achieved 75. Gore Pro Shell is now a common fabric in outdoor jackets and overtrousers so its performance is pretty well tried and tested on the hill. Gore-Tex Pro Shell does come in a variety of versions, including a 2-layer version with a mesh lining, but in the Morpheus you get the 3-layer version with Micro Grid Backer.
 
On the hill
The real test of a jacket is what happens when it is used on the hill, and Gore-Tex Pro Shell performs well in my experience. As with any waterproof fabric you can get some condensation when working really hard in some conditions, but I’d say there is little to choose between Pro Shell and the other fabrics tested here when used in normal hill conditions. As with other jackets we looked at, for me the main advantage of the Mountain Equipment Morpheus is the design of the jacket. You get three massive chest pockets, which means you can easily warm your hands and stuff a map or guidebook in the third pocket. These pockets are sealed on the inside too so it does not matter if they fill with water as they don’t leak into the jacket. As with most Mountain Equipment jackets, the hood is particularly good as it fits nice and closely, and moves really well with the head. The massive wired peak is ideal for protecting the face and eyes. This jacket is quite short though and personally I’d prefer something longer for mountain walking such as the £290 Mountain Equipment Kongur, which weighs 626g (size L). But the Mountain Equipment Morpheus is reasonably light at 474g (size L) and as long as you don’t mind wearing overtrousers it is a good option.
 
Outer 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s Morpheus); 8-16 (women’s Seraph)
Weight 474g (size L)
Made in Hungary
Stores in the UK 145
Stockist details – tel. (0161) 366 5020; www.mountain- equipment.co.uk

The Mountain Equipment Morpheus is a reasonably light waterproof jacket; three massive chest pockets; excellent hood; fabric offers good level of breathability. But it has a relatively short design, so overtrousers are needed often. It’s an excellent mountain walking and mountaineering jacket, but walkers may prefer something with a longer body.
 
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2011