Has anyone got experience of the Rab Zenith or Mountain Equipment Tulipak Atmo? I am particularly interested in how waterproof and durable they are from personal experience rather than just the technical data.
I am looking for something lightweight enough to take with me on multi-pitch routes (hang from harness if possible), go for a rainy run in and generally use in 3-seasons round camp and to take with me on walks. I have a heavier weight jacket for winter/alpine/skiing and for this reason I am currently discounting the Rab Muztag, is this the right choice?
Any advice or input on these jackets or competitors is welcome.
Also interested - looking for something lightweight, 3 layer, suitable for multi-pitch rock and summer munro walking / alpine walking, so potential for walking all day in rain, which puts me off 2.5 layer / pertex shield type jackets. I have a Montane Endurance Pro for winter climbing, but would rather have something a bit lighter for the summer.
Others that had caught my eye were Montane Fleet or possibly Mountain Equipment Skardu...
We've reviewed both the Zenith and the Tupilak Atmo, and rated them both, but I'm afraid we've not been able to compare them directly.
An Alpine climbing shell that's also light and breathable enough for running, the versatile Tupilak Atmo meets pretty much all of Bridget Collier's needs in one jacket: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/clothing/waterproofs/mountain_equipment_tupilak_atmo_jacket-12421
Rab's latest waterproofs in Gore-Tex Paclite Plus, the Zenith jacket and trousers, are light and packable enough for weight-conscious users, but without compromising too far on essential mountain features like an active cut and decent pockets: https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/clothing/waterproofs/rab_zenith_jacket_and_pants-12662
I can vouch for the Zenith being as waterproof as a thicker shell, but being thinner it's not going to feel as protective in wild weather. Inevitably neither of these are going to be as durable as your winter/alpine jacket, but that probably goes without saying.
I think you could confidently invest in either, depending which fits you best.
Can't comment on either of those options, but I have a ME gandiva, which seems to have similarities to the tupilak atmos, but is just a bit lighter again so doesn't have the reinforced sections (think the paclite plus fabric is the same) and the fit is closer. I guess thinking about climbing in it I'd feel a bit nervous about it rubbing in rocks, but to be fair I've worn it a fair bit over the past year (all hill walking and scrambling, not climbing) in both winter (fine in winter, but due to the fit you can't get loads of layers underneath so not suitable if it's really cold, and the lighter fabric does blow around more than a heavier jacket) and summer and it isn't showing any wear yet. Also been shoved in my bag many times.
No complaints on the waterproofness of the fabric either.
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I had already read both the reviews you linked, they were very helpful to help me understand the issues and to filter out other jackets on the market.
As you say, it seems that fit is important along with availability and price. I have owned both Rab and ME jackets previously and been very happy. I live in Norway and I am going to end up buying online so I can't really check the fit very little Rab is sold here and almost no ME. I know what size I have had from these brands before and they have fitted well so that is something.
A group test of these kind of jackets could be really useful, in a similar way to what you did for the Winter shells.
They only thing I wonder about now is if I should consider Rab Muztag which is the one they recommend for climbing, it is that much beefier than the Zenith I worry it would be too much and I might not want to take it up a route/ too heavy for running but maybe I am mistaken - anyone with personal experience? I can see the Muztag could be great choice if you could only have one jacket though.
Arcteryx Alpha FL
Tough, light, and waterproof.
I have one. I wore it to cycle to the office today in the mizzle. I would say it's nice enough but no better than any other waterproof? Still wets out, leaks through the zips like any any other jackets of it's ilk (despite carefully washing and reproofing).
I got a Tupilak Atmo after having an Alpha FL for a short time. Might be just me, but I find the fit of ME waterproofs superb.
I haven't tried out the Atmo in anger yet, it'll mostly be a just-in-case jacket over summer months. If it's marginal forecast I'll bring the heavier ME jacket I have.
I will say that the paclite material does feel thin and it wouldn't be my first choice for climbing in (I would in an Alpha FL though) but I'm confident in it as an emergency shell for general mountaineering and walking. I'll use a softshell or windproof until the weather turns.
William Chan has been climbing for 11 years based out of Hong Kong. Previously a volleyball player, he realised that the 'lifestyle' aspect of climbing suited him more and going on climbing trips and meeting different communities was much more...