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Mountain Equipment Citadel Jacket

rated 0.5 of 5 stars
photo: Mountain Equipment Citadel Jacket synthetic insulated jacket

First time used in extreme weather at least three zips snagged on their inner linings. Zip pulls "pulled off’"in frustration—winter gloves being worn.


  • Lifestyle garment, when it fails the consequences are minimal.


  • Pocket zips snagged, credibility of the jacket lost; brand new, first time out. Was recommended by a teammate who had a Citadel and incidentally one of his zips had snagged and was broken but he went with it.

Snagged zips, broken zip pulls—steer clear of this jacket, the construction is irrelevant as the zip construction completely compromises credibility.


Negative and frustrating experience—stay well clear.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £300

Super light, extremely warm winter sports jacket. Allows great articulation for complete freedom of movement. Primaloft insulation provides the warmth in a wide range of conditions.


  • Primaloft insulation keeps you warm and dry
  • Helmet compatible hood
  • Lots of pockets
  • Water resistant
  • Excellent body coverage


  • Not 100% waterproof

Billed as a full function extreme belay jacket, the Mountain Equipment Citadel Jacket is that and much more. When the Citadel Jacket arrived for testing and review I initially thought it was insulated with down due to its extremely lightweight and puffiness. Upon looking through the spec sheet I was glad to see this 31-ounce coat was filled with Primaloft Gold Insulation. Since I would be using the jacket for skiing I much prefer synthetic insulation as it keeps me warm even when wet.

The shell is comprised of Drilite, Mountain Equipment's proprietary waterproof membrane. This lightweight fabric provides both wind and water resistants. The fitment of a size medium was great on my 5'9", 165-pound frame. Putting on the jacket for the first time I loved how light the jacket felt. The coat is cut long in the back to cover the butt and features a drawstring hem keep out drafts.

Shoulder shield construction removes the shoulder top seam for added warmth. The sleeves are pre-shaped to allow full articulation that I would want during a climbing belay and they worked equally well during skiing. The lightweight fabric allows full movement without any pulling or restriction, something I don't often find in heavier fabrics.

The front two-way rear baffled zipper keeps out the drafts all the way to the top of the storm collar. Two hand warmer pockets and two breast pockets provide plenty of secured space for wallets, keys, and phones.
Inside the jacket, a mesh pocket that I used for storing extra gloves, a buff, and beanie hat is on one side and a zippered pocket designed to hold a water bottle is on the other.

The helmet compatible hood is fully insulated and along with the back of the jacket features Mountain Equipment EXL system which through the use of elasticized stitching provides air pockets to increase warmth. A wired hood visor helps keep the hood in place when screaming down the mountain.

As you can see in this photo the jacket zips up over my nose to the bottom of my goggles. This was really appreciated on some very long cold lift rides. 

During my two-week ski trip to Colorado, temperatures ranged from 20 degrees F to the mid 30's. Not only was the Citadel Jacket warm with only a Yak wool base layer underneath but the breathability of the jacket kept me from overheating during days when the temperature increased.

I've owned a lot of winter jackets over the years, but this is the most fully functional jacket I've ever had. It's just so darned warm and comfortable. This is a great coat for backcountry and downhill skiing, winter mountaineering, and rock/ice climbing belay.

The only test I haven't put the Citadel coat through is a rain/wet snow test which due to the drought conditions in California, Utah, and Colorado will probably come up in May in Canada. I will add that information at a later time.

Product Info:

  • Size: Small- XXL
  • Colors: Citronelle/Kiwi, Barbados Red, Lt Ocean/Sodalite
  • Price: $325

Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)

Disclosure: The author of this review received a sample of the product from the brand or its representative in exchange for a review.

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