Before I worked at The Great Outdoors I bought a Mountain Equipment Morpheus based on a Chris Townsend review – and it still remains one of the best waterproof jackets I’ve tried. It is pretty boxy, but I loved the hood, the chunky zips and it proved durable over several years. I was very much looking forward to trying the Lhotse – and I wasn’t disappointed. Most recently I wore this while doing my Summer Mountain Leader Training for a week in the Cairngorms up at Glenmore Lodge and the weather was, well, Scottish and the Lhotse stood up to everything the plateau could throw at it.
It uses the new Gore-Tex Pro which, as I’ve found with Arc’Teryx and Adidas jackets as well, is noticeably more breathable. I felt very well protected throughout – nothing gets through it. It’s also lighter and more durable, but it’s still crinkly. But that’s nothing unless the jacket isn’t any good. It is. It’s an excellent all-rounder, and light enough to carry throughout the year .
The hood is helmet compatible, but fits very well (as you’d expect from Mountain Equipment) without a helmet thanks to a good volume adjuster and drawcords. It has a stiffened and really strong wired peak – absolutely essential in my opinion. It moves well with the face.
The fit is much improved from some earlier ME jackets. It’s slimmer and tapered to the hips, with articulated sleeves and arms, and fits me much better than my last one. It’s also a tad longer than similar jackets.
There are three pockets: two huge side pockets that sit above the hipbelt and another massive chest pocket on the left handside. I loaded it with maps, gloves, a hat and phone without too much problem. I find large chest pockets more useful anyway, and would have liked to have seen two if I’m being picky. The YKK zips are chunky and rarely caught and there’s a storm flap behind all the zips, including the pockets. The cuffs are laminated and tightened with Velcro. There are also pitzips with two-way zips.
This is a superb all-round jacket, and one that has sifted its way to the top of my wardrobe.