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Outdoor Research Mentor Jacket

rated 5 of 5 stars

The Mentor Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2024.

photo: Outdoor Research Mentor Jacket waterproof jacket

I gave this jacket 5 stars only because there was no 6 star option.

I’ve owned several mountaineering jackets a couple of which were made out of Gore-Tex and a couple made out of Gore-Tex like material. I’m not Sir Edmond Hillary, but I’ve done my share of climbs and I can say this jacket is the best I’ve ever used.

Gore-Tex Proshell seems to perform much like the old Gore-Tex, but it is lighter and less bulky overall. It is still more waterproof than breathable, but in harsh conditions it is better to error on that side. I really looked at A LOT of coats in this category before I bought one.

OR really came up with something great with these pit-zips that run from the pit all the way down to the bottom of the coat. I can’t see why more people don’t buy these coats. You can make the pit zip as big or as small as you want it. You can wear the coat like a poncho when you are really sweating. You can also close the zipper at the pit and open it from the bottom so when you access your pocket or sit down the coat has more room to give. This simple zipper feature alone makes any coat in OR’s new line something to be seriously considered.

After buying this Mentor Jacket I even got rid of my old lightweight coat in favor of OR’s Revel Jacket (the Foray would be another good one) just because of these side zippers. OR has a jacket in most categories and they all have these great zippers, people should consider them.

The hood on the Mentor is big, made for a helmet, so it is a little bulky when you are not sporting head protection, but that is not unusual for a jacket in this class. The arms are a little long (but not so long that it’s a deal-breaker) and this also seems to becoming a trend in outdoor jackets. The pockets are well thought through and their construction does not make bulky spots in the coat.

All-in-all this is a superb mountaineering jacket and I hope OR will continue to make in for years to come.

Fabric: Gore-Tex Proshell
Price Paid: $389

It's hard to find the perfect jacket, but this one is it. The Mentor is both bomp-proof and lightweight by using Gore-Tex Pro Shell. I trust it every day. It has never wet out, and it is the most breathable jacket I've had. It also has enough stretch to be used for bike commuting.


  • Overall construction quality
  • Semi-stretch materials
  • Minimal design


  • Zipper pulls at facial hair — ouch!
  • Size Med. equals size Large in other brands

This is a true mountian jacket — with hand pockets set high to stay out of the way of a harness, and Gore-Tex Pro Shell, which is just amazing to to the point where you just don't have to worry about its waterproofness. Some parts of this jacket are thicker than others, to help with wear and tear.

It's just really well thought out, and really high quality. Thanks, OR !

Source: bought it new

My favorite and go-to hardshell jacket — good length, fit, and weight. Used primarily for backcountry skiing and alpine hikes in the shoulder seasons.


  • Protection in worst weather
  • Trusted
  • Great build quality

Used this jacket in the field for last two years. Great fit that works over different layers (for variety of temperatures / conditions).

I've been happy with the water resistance, and retreated with Nikwax after the first season of regular use.

Have used regularly with a pack (both ski packs and 65 liter backpacks) and with several helmets. The hood fits well and adjusts to tighten.

I would buy this jacket again if I lost this jacket — and have recommended it to friends.

Source: bought it new

Great jacket.


  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Customer service


  • Price

I own last year's model and it is the best jacket I've owned. I am an athletic build (5'11" 175lb) and in most jackets a large is a little too big and a medium is a little too small, but this jacket fits perfect in a large.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $210

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Price MSRP: $425.00
Historic Range: $189.95-$475.00
Reviewers Paid: $210.00-$389.00
Price Historic Range: $159.58-$399.00

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