Mountain Equipment Tupilak Jacket

ME Tupilak

The Mountain Equipment Tupilak is my first Gore Pro jacket (Pro took over from Proshell for Winter 13).  I’m sure the change from Proshell to Pro has passed many people by and rightly so. There is no difference in feel or discernible change in performance between the 2 fabrics. Proshell was very breathable and comfortable and so is new Pro. I believe that the difference is that Gore can make the new membrane with much less wastage than the old one,  so reducing costs. These reduced costs have manifested themselves as reduced price rises as the average cost of shell jackets has risen across the board.

As well as changing the fabrics, Mountain Equipment have also changed the fit and style of all their Gore jackets. ME now have 2 distinct fits; Alpine and Mountain.  For a given size of jacket, the alpine fit expects technical low bulk layering whilst the Mountain fit allows a bit more room for either wearer or layers. Maria covered this in more depth HERE.  If you combine the choice of Gore membrane, the fit and style of hood (mountain or super alpine helmet) then you have a good idea of the jacket’s intended use.
The Tupilak itself uses Gore Pro, alpine fit and super alpine HC hood  so it’s unmistakably a top performing climbers jacket.  From the top down;
  • Great hood with helmet gripping silicon inside, complete halo draw cord to keep it out of your face, wearing a helmet or not and mainly internal adjustment cords for less wind flap. Hood retaining strap is broad Velcro and easy to undo whilst walking.
  • Soft chin lining inside when zipped up, and a small zipped inside pocket.
  • 2 large Napoleon pockets for harness and pack friendly storage.
  • Pit zips which are an ok size but I would have liked to see them go an inch further towards the bottom hem, which might be more to do with my shoulder mobility than anything else.
  • Great freedom of movement in the sleeves when climbing and velcro adjusting cuffs.
  • 2 way YKK Aquaguard zip for easy belaying and a popper at the bottom. I see this on a lot of jackets but never feel the need to use it (perhaps one of you could enlighten me?).  Front and back draw cords at the bottom hem for complete adjustability.
I am 176cm and 70kg so the medium alpine fit is just about perfect for me. It might be designed as a climbers jacket but the Tupilak fits in my wardrobe as my waterproof for everything except lightweight high aerobic stuff like mountain marathons and ski touring. It’s tough but still pliable and packable and a pretty good weight at 530 grams. The Tupilak has a very solid protective feel, even more so when fully zipped up although I haven’t done any winter climbing in it yet, it’s wind and downpour performance has been excellent. I’m lucky and get to try lots of jackets in lots of fabrics and the Tupilak is definitely one of the best I have used in a long time.

One comment

  1. Just been sent a brand new version of the tupilak as a replacement for a 2010 version of the tupilak.
    However i find the arm length slighter longer than the older version.
    Apart from this it seems a great jacket. Just not sure whether to keep it or not. Still left the labels on while i decide.

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