This morning I received a new jacket in the post. It was a Mountain Equipment Supercell jacket, in Light Ocean.
I’ve been looking for a lightweight jacket for summer use for a while now, as my Outdoor Research Furio, although bombproof, isn’t really light enough or breathable enough for the summer for my liking.
The Supercell jacket uses the new Gore-Tex Active Shell membrane, which has had really good views from a number of sources – though not everyone is a big fan. Terrybnd, for example, has a bit of a love/hate relationship with it, noting that he didn’t find it much more breathable than Gore-Tex Paclite. At the same time, FionaOutdoors loved it to bits, and found it exceptionally breathable.
I guess the only way to find out for myself was to try it! I don’t have the luxury of getting freebies to test, so I’ve had to buy the jacket all by myself. I reckon if it’s at a worst case scenario, no more breathable than Paclite, it’ll still be pretty good for me.
The jacket is advertised on the Mountain Equipment website as
Definitive fully featured lightweight mountain jacket for fast moving trekking and backpacking
That sounds like me! (though maybe not the fast so much!)
The big concern I’d had about Active Shell is the constant marketing of done in a day use, implying that the material simply wasn’t going to be durable enough for extended use. As its a relatively new fabric, there’s little to no information out there about the longevity of the fabric.
What Mountain Equipment have done with the Supercell is to reinforce the high wear areas (shoulders, lower back, elbows and lower arms), with a slightly different fabric.
The difference between the two fabrics is shown below
The jacket as a whole can be seen below
It comes in at 390g, in an XXL, which is pretty good for a jacket that size!
It packs down reasonably small – the photo below shows it compared to my Montane Lite-speed and a regular orange, to give an indication of scale.
Now, for it in use… Apologies for the exceptionally ugly, grumpy looking model… I blame my parents! 😉
It’s a pretty good fit for me, with enough space underneath to layer up with a micro fleece, etc if I need to. The reinforcements look to be in pretty much the right areas to prevent wear from the pack, too.
The hood is very good, as is normally the case for Mountain Equipment gear. It fits well, and moves with the head when’s closed down. I’m pretty confident the peak will keep the rain out adequately, too!
Obviously, having only arrived this morning, I can’t really comment on the jacket’s waterproofness or breath ability, but I’m quietly confident that it’ll be a winner for me. It’s got plenty length to it, the fit is about right for me… Not too figure hugging, but not overly baggy, and the reinforcements might just mean that it’ll last a few years. After all, being advertised for backpacking use, I’m hopefully that it’ll survive it!
I’ll update on it as I’ve had some proper use, so keep an eye on the blog for updates!
Update: I’ve now been out and made use of the jacket over the past few weeks, and an update can be found on my post HERE