The Lobutse jacket features four-way stretch fabric on the outside, soft polyester fleece on the inside, and a breathable, wind- and water-repellent membrane sandwiched between, making it a favorite of climbers on Mt. Rainier and abroad. This jacket will keep you warm and comfortable as you trek towards the summit of its namesake peak – or anywhere else.
- Technical hood is sized to fit over helmets
- 3-layer bonded fabric is highly breathable, plus wind- and water-repellent
- Articulated elbows
- Napoleon chest pocket – 44 cm tall x 20 cm wide (17.3 in x 7.9 in)
- Two hand warmer pockets – 24 cm tall x 20 cm wide (9.4 in x 7.9 in)
- Velcro cuff adjustments
- Gusseted Underarms
- Face fabric – 100% nylon
- Lining fabric – %100 polyester
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 481 g (17.0 oz)
- Center back – 72 cm (28.3 in)
- Sleeve length – 86 cm (33.9 in)
- Pit to pit – 58.5 cm (23.0 in)
- Retail – $129
Sherpa Adventure Gear started back in 2003 and has steadily grown since. It was started to share the Sherpa story with the rest of the world. If you don’t know, the Sherpa people help guide climbers in the Himalayan Mountains to the summits and back safely. They routinely carry the heavy loads, lay the rope, set up the tents, and in many cases lead the climbers up the mountain. Without these people, modern day climbing in the Himalayas would not be as popular or safe as it is now. Unfortunately most of the Sherpa people still live in poverty and that is what Sherpa Adventure Gear is looking to change.
Sherpa Adventure Gear does several things to help the Sherpa people. First and foremost, most of the Sherpa Adventure Gear is manufactured in Nepal. Sherpa Adventure Gear is also tested by the very people it is named after: Sherpa’s guiding the Himalayan Mountains. These brand ambassadors are paid a royalty based on sales. Lastly, they started the Paldoje Education Foundation where up to 50 cents of every product sold funds educational and social initiatives, such as providing scholarships to deserving Sherpa Children. I am impressed how one company can have such an impact in the country they are from. For this reason I wanted to mention all they do as well as test out a jacket.
The Lobutse Jacket is a four-way stretch softshell made for climbing. It has nylon outer face and fuzzy polyester lining on the inside. Between these fabrics is a wind and water repellant membrane. The jacket is made of two contrasting colors for style. Over the top of the shoulders there are no seams for comfort under backpack straps. The actual fabric used is the same. The Lobutse has a large technical hood that is large enough to fit over a helmet. The hood can be adjusted both in the back and in two places in the front. The hood does not have any structure built into it so when not in use it lays on your upper back.
The jacket has a total of three pockets. There are two pack pockets that are high enough to not get in the way of a hip belt. These pockets are also very large on the inside. On the upper left chest there is a smaller pocket with an audio port for earphones. All these pockets have water resistant zippers. The main zipper does have a soft polyester chin guard at the top to avoid irritation.
At the bottom of the jacket there is an adjustable hem. On each side of the jacket there are adjustable bungee cords to tighten up the hem on windy days. The wrist cuffs are also adjustable with a Velcro closure. The Lobutse jacket is made in Nepal like most of the Sherpa Adventure Gear. It seems well made and still looks new after 2 months of testing. I will check back in if anything changes.
I feel like adjustable hood cords are a little too long. Unlike the picture on the Sherpa website, my Lobutse Jacket has the cords hang down inside the jacket. The cords are unusually long though and often get in the way of the zipper or flop around. It is not a big deal but does detract a bit from the jacket. The other thing of note on this jacket is there are no pockets on the interior of the jacket. While I do not think it necessarily needs any interior pockets, the absence of them is not common.
The Sherpa Adventure Gear Lobutse Jacket is nice and light. It measures 481 g (17 oz) on my scale in a medium size. I tested a medium size and it seems to be the right choice. I would characterize the fit as a medium cut. Through the torso the jacket is not trim but also does not have a lot of baggy fabric. I do tighten the bottom hem slightly to keep it closer to my body. The length of the torso is slightly on the short side from what I like. It has a slight drop tail hem and hits me about 4 inches below my belt line. I do not feel it is short, I just prefer longer jackets.
On the other hand I do feel like the sleeves are a bit on the short side. I would prefer to have these be a bit longer. Due to the stretch of the jacket and gusseted underarms it is not as big of an issue but they do sometime come up a little when I am reaching for something. The adjustable cuffs do help and when wearing gloves I did not notice the length at all. That is a good thing. The hood is quite large as it is made to accommodate a helmet, which it most certainly does. Adjusting the size took a bit of playing around, the front adjustment is made by pulling the cord through to the desired tightness and then crimping the cord in the slot of the guide tube. For the longest time I did not see this slot and was dumbfounded on how to tighten up the hood. Upon further inspection it finally made sense but was quite the puzzle for some time.
The Lobutse Jacket does what it is supposed to. The membrane is basically windproof. By all the means I normally test out wind resistance, I have not been able to feel any air come through. The jacket also does a good job blocking the rain. Anything but a steady rain will not get through this jacket. Where it truly excels is in the snow and rock. The softshell material can take the abuse of rocks and ice without issue. Also snow will just brush right off this jacket. I tested this jacket out snowshoeing just recently and it performed great. I was able to overwhelm the breathability of the jacket a bit when breaking trail but I was surprised on how quickly I was able to cool down when I stopped for a water break. It was a windy day as well and the wind never did get through. The polyester lining on the inside keeps heats trapped on the inside so all I needed was a thin baselayer underneath on a windy 25 degree day. If this jacket was slightly longer it could also be a good ski jacket but I am afraid that due to the length it might let some snow up from below. I will try to test this over the course of the winter.
I am impressed with the Lobutse Jacket. Not just that it performs well but it is also a great value. The Lobutse Jacket retails for $129 which is quite a bit less than most jackets of this quality. It is ideally made for climbing but can be worn for many other things as well. I have used it on day hikes, snowshoeing, and around town. I think it will also work well Cross Country Skiing and will give it a shot on the slopes as well. The jacket is a bit on the bulky side for backpacking and since it is not a true waterproof shell I would only use it when you are confident it will be a dry trip and then it can work as a warm and protective layer. If you are like me and have slightly longer arms you may want to try this on before hand as the sleeves are slightly short. Other than that this is a great jacket. For a $129 you can’t go wrong, even better yet some of the proceeds go back to help the Sherpa people. As always, your mileage may vary.
- 4-way stretch
- Large pack pockets
- Wind and water resistant
- Excellent value
- Gusseted underarms
- Slightly short sleeves
- Would prefer it to be slightly longer in the torso