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Outdoor Research Men's Mithril Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Outdoor Research Men's Mithril Jacket soft shell jacket


Price MSRP: $215.00
Historic Range: $90.98-$260.00
Reviewers Paid: $89.90


3 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   2
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

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.

Price Paid: not recall

Very reliable and warm waterproof softshell for cold conditions.


  • Robust
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile


  • Vapour transmission
  • Stiff fabric
  • Lack of collar leaves neck exposed



This is a jacket that bridges the gap between softshell and hardshell.  In fact this is a taped seamed hardshell with a fleece lining. This makes it either the most versatile jacket you'll ever own or a jacket that you don't know quite what to do with.

Fit & Comfort:

Fits small. Comfortable with a base layer but cannot layer anything but a base and insulated vest under this jacket. Material is stiff and binds when moving. I suggest that this jacket ought to be worn with a base for best result — or buy a size up. The stiffness is a bonus in very high winds as it keeps some air trapped in the fleece and the hood doesn't easily blow off.


Cords for waist and hood make this a very adjustable jacket. It is easy to adjust the hood which stays put in strong wind.

The jacket has no collar which leaves your neck exposed when unzipped to the throat. This makes it difficult to regulate temperature in cold blustery conditions. 

Water Resistance

This jacket is practically waterproof. I have not noticed leakage in multi-hour walks in persistent rain. It is snowproof.


This is an interesting point the jacket doesn't transfer moisture particularly well as there are no pit zips and the material is a membrane based nylon. But I'm not sure if this is such a big deal as the fleece lining keeps warmth even when damp. Lets face it, all jackets are overwhelmed by sweat when exercising hard in moist climates, it's how the jacket performs when it gets clammy.

This is quite a lot more comfortable than Windstopper or Goretex due to the fleece. It does need pit-zips or the excellent 'torso-flow' zips that other OR jackets have for true versatility though. I imagine that this jacket is designed for very cold dry conditions—not something that I am ever exposed to.


As above, I don't think that any significant wicking goes on, more that air is trapped by the fleece which keeps the jacket from feeling cold and it feels comfortable when damp.


Definitely warm when active but not sufficient without further insulation in cold conditions at rest.


Get a size up if you wish to layer.


I'm not a climber, but this jacket has stood up well to pack straps and abrasion form the bush. It is not a flimsy jacket and I do not treat it with kid gloves. If I worked outside (i.e. on a farm) I would wear it fencing, working with stock etc without worrying about it. In contrast, I always worry that my Goretex Paclite hiking shell is going to rip or get worn out. This jacket, I never worry. I wear it everywhere.


Pretty good. I like the hood.

Construction & Durability:

I have had this jacket for a few years and it gets used more than my hiking shell due to its versatility. The cuffs are getting a little worn, but the DWR still functions (amazingly) the fleece is holding up, the taped seams are still just as good as when I bought it.  I anticipate that it will get a few years more use.


Mainly day walking in the mountains and x-country skiing in Australia and NZ. I've sat in a pub and skied in gale force blizzards in this jacket.


Because this is a versatile jacket appearance is important as it gets worn in the urban environment as well as on the trail. It is a smart looking jacket for both leisure and for working outside in a professional environment. The externally taped seams make this a unique garment that looks subdued and purposeful.


To be honest this gets the most use as my go-to jacket in the car for most urban use and day walking in cooler conditions.  It's too warm a jacket for x-country skiing outside of blizzard conditions (in Australia that is) too specialised for multi-day walks (when I'd use a dedicated shell), but I walk the dog in it, wear it to the pub with jeans, to work when it's wet and take it up to the mountains for day walks. It's that kind of jacket. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100 US on sale from Amazon in 2012


Sean, thanks for the review. Do you have any pictures of your jacket?

4 years ago

Thanks, Sean!

4 years ago

Great waterproof soft shell jacket. Durable and stylish.


  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Tough


  • A little bit heavy

A great soft shell jacket. I have used it skiing and as a hiking jacket, and it had no problems keeping me dry in rain and snow showers. Also became my around town jacket in the late fall and early spring.

It is a good mid weight, not overly warm (which is good for me, I tend to overheat), but provides much more warmth that my other rain shells.

Velcro wrist adjustments work great, much prefer them to the elastic style. Plenty of pocket space to store items while skiing or hiking. Got many comments on how good looking of a jacket it is as well.

As with all OR gear I have, it is built very well and I don't worry about its toughness at all. Overall a great jacket I would happily recommend to anyone.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89.90

rated 4.50 of 5 stars All Mithril Jacket versions

In addition to the 3 men's reviews above, there are 2 reviews for other versions of the Mithril Jacket. Read all reviews »

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