Outdoor Research Mithril Jacket
This is an awesome soft shell for winter activities.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $97
This is an awesome soft shell for winter activities. If it were not for this jacket, I would be stuck inside during this very cold—and extremely windy—winter season. I've been using it for snowshoeing on the prairie and it hasn't even come close to letting me down.
- Wind proof
- Lightly insulated
- Great hood
- Material is stiff at first
- Size M is a little long for a 5' 2" person (zippers fall under pack belt)
Before I reviewed this jacket, I wanted to try it out in various conditions, temps, and moods, to make a good assessment. I have been using and will use this jacket in the winter as an outer shell for snowshoeing, so I am basing my review on that activity.
If you asked my husband, he would tell you that I have a few too many jackets. He would also tell you that this is my pride and joy. I talk about it all the time. It is tough to find a jacket that works in all (cool to cold) conditions, and this does it all. It is windproof, waterproof and breathable and is of excellent quality and durability. I guess I am a pretty good salesperson, because he ordered the men's version for himself.
I have used this jacket when it's been anywhere from -15 degrees (F) to 30 degrees. Typically, if I'm working, I can easily get by with one or two thin base layers underneath, even if the wind is blowing 20 mph. If needed, I wear a fleece, vest, or lightweight jacket underneath as a mid layer and it is a comfortable fit.
The thing that stands out to me the most with this jacket is the windproof quality and the hood. It makes it possible to have a life outside during the winter months. Wind does not penetrate this jacket. It just doesn't. We have had crazy wind this winter with crazy low wind chill temps and it doesn't even phase this jacket. The hood stays put where I want it, even with long hair, a hat, Buff, goggles, and earbuds tangled around my head.
Other features I find awesome: taped zippers and seams, elastic/Velcro cuffs, bottom hem drawstrings, and drawstrings around the hood. The zippers stay where you want them and the pulls are easy to grip with gloves or mittens. The inside zipper pocket is super handy. I always wear this jacket with a pack and the jacket shows no wear in the expected areas.
Notes about myself...I am about 5' 2" and about 115 lbs. I have a size Medium and it fits nicely by itself and with two to three layers underneath. It could be just a hair shorter so I could access the pockets a liile more easily when wearing a pack.
This jacket lives up to OR's summary. Overall solid…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
This jacket lives up to OR's summary. Overall solid performance. Good go-to jacket for cool weather, damp conditions.
- Decent DWR in drizzle/light rain
- Big hood, goes over helmets
- Good wind performance
- Sheds snow
- Excellent layer piece
- Too many seams
- Seam tape separates from jacket
- Wets out in moderate rain
I have two jackets to use as a basis, mine and my daughters.
She is 5'7" with medium build, and I am 5'4" with a medium build, and the jacket fits both of us really well. In fact, I liked hers so much, I bought my own.
She uses hers heavily at college, so it is her primary outdoor coat. I use mine for my winter outdoor sports and my go-to winter coat. It is sturdy enough for serious outdoor wear and attractive enough for professional attire outer wear.
The only discomfort I have found in wear-ability is the way the zipper/hood under the chin fits. It feels bulky when zipped all the way up. And the garment gets 4 stars because of the seam taping coming off my daughter's jacket in two places.
When the fabric is washed and retreated with DWR repellent, the coat works best. But we have both noted that in heavier/steady rain, the coat will wet out. So, if you are looking for a rainproof coat, this isn't for you. But, if you want a versatile one-coat-does-lots, this does a good job fitting that description.
This coat layers great. My only caveat with that is my arms can get cold if I just have one layer underneath.
My daughter has had her coat for over three years. She is also a geology major. She has had to really put her coat to the test. The coat has had to be out in the field, deal with downpours, shuck snow, travel hard over brushy terrain, and it has held up. We have both taken our respective jackets on backpack trips, snow sport outings like snowshoeing or snowboarding. She says she stays warm all day on the slopes with her coat.
Neither coat has not peeled or abraded. The only issue my daughter has had is the outer seam tape coming loose in a couple of places. We have not had an opportunity to learn what it will take to repair it, and since the rest of coat is still performing well, she is very reluctant to move on with a different coat. I have only had my coat since the beginning of fall, and I have had no issues, but I do not need to demand as much from my coat as she does.
All of the zippers, drawstrings, velcro, cuffs are still in good shape. I like the pockets and zippers fine, but I would like if the coat, besides having an inner zip pocket, had an inside drop pocket and/or a sleeve pocket, too.
This coat is quite comfortable. I don't even notice wearing all day, like I have with some jackets. The cuffs are really adjustable, so they can be cinched down if it is rainy, or relaxed to fit over heavy gloves.
I think it says a lot about OR's product when I spent quite some time tracking down *just* the right garment and color because I liked my daughter's jacket so much.
It is well made, well designed, and when used in the conditions it was designed for, functions well. The jacket has taken a beating, traveled hard, and still gets the job done. She and I would both buy this jacket again.
Atop Mt. Adams
This is an awesome jacket. I used it all last winter…
Price Paid: not recall
This is an awesome jacket. I used it all last winter ice climbing and above timberline in brutal conditions in the mountains of NH. The material breaths, it stretches it's really great.
I had originally assumed since it was a softshell type material that it wouldn't block the wind sufficiently for those -10f, windy days spent on Mt Washington guiding. But it does, and is still breathable. I don't understand how it works, but I don't have to.
It quickly became my go-to peice for almost any cold day whether I was climbing steep ice or walking on snow.
I am typically a size large, and this fits me perfectly. Great hood, great arm length.