Mountain Equipment Supercell Jacket – first look

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

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

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The jacket as a whole can be seen below

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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.

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Now, for it in use… Apologies for the exceptionally ugly, grumpy looking model… I blame my parents! 😉

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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!

Photo below

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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

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14 thoughts on “Mountain Equipment Supercell Jacket – first look”

  1. Great review, just wondering how the material feels? Is it fairly flimsy or does it feel like it could stand up to some good usage?

    1. It feels much stronger than I thought it would when I bought it… the concern with Active Shell is apparently that the laminate gets worn down… which I’ve not experienced yet, but the jacket hasn’t had as much use as I’d have liked at this stage.

      1. Okay that sounds good! I just have this terrible image of wearing it out and catching it on a thorn and it ripping or something equally as terrible!

      2. It seems to be reasonably resistant to tears… I’ve brushed it off the edge of brambles and survived… The concern is more rucksac wear and the like…

  2. Sounds like an excellent lightweight jacket that seemed to tick all the boxes(for me) so I bought one and will wear it for my Spring/Summer trek around the SWCP. That should test its qualities. I’ll post the results on completion.

    1. I look forward to hearing the results!
      I’ll be using mine on a 3 day trek next weekend… if it rains! (I seem to be avoiding the worst of the weather!)

  3. Hi there
    How much longer is the jacket compared to ME usual mountain cut jackets? Looking at your pics it doesn’t look too bad but seems you have the drawcords tightened up. How is it holding up now after a good deal of use?
    Thanks very much in advance.

    1. When I compare it to my OR Furio, it’s got about 3″ extra length. You definitely do notice the difference.

      It’s holding up really well. I’ve had no tears or leaks as yet, and it’s still looking much like new… Even after surviving a trip or two in the washing machine!

      I’m still chuffed with it, and it’ll definitely be the jacket I reach for when backpacking 🙂

      1. Bill Wells
        I haven’t completed the SWCP due to ankle ligament problems but have completed 325 miles and am very happy with my ME Supercell jacket. I didn’t have much rain to contend with but on approaching Ilfracombe I met a monsoon head-on for two hours. It was a good test of its breathability and waterproofness. There was a very small damp patch in one pocket so be aware of this. I’m six feet tall with a long back and found the length ideal for me. I won’t be wearing any of my other jackets from now on (both are Paramor), it’s the ME for me.

      2. That’s a shame about the ankle problems, Bill!
        Still… 325 miles is more than I’ve done in a single walk, so still very impressive!

        I agree re the Supercell, though. It’ll be the jacket for me for as long as it survives! (Which it seems to be doing quite well)

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