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We review the Sherpa Lakpa Rita jacket, a year-round mountain shell made from 'the finest materials available'. Does it justify the high price tag? Our test finds out.

sherpa sm167 lakpa rita
Overall Score
Solid build, breathable fabric, well-designed hood
Small issues with drawcord grips

Named after the brand's lead ambassador (he was the first Sherpa to climb the seven continental summits, amongst other achievements) the Lakpa Rita is a rugged, winter-ready shell ready to accompany you on the most technical of mountain adventures. It weighs 435g and is made of breathable, waterproof eVent fabric.

It has a nicely judged cut, which covers the lower midriff and the buttocks well. The fit is trim around the waist and roomy around the arms and shoulders - just as it should be for demanding activities. There are twin drawcord hem adjusters (although one of them on our test garment wouldn't grip while cinched up, frustratingly), and hook and loop patches at the wrist, while the hood is adjusted by a single drawcord at the rear. This has proved effective and, although you won't get the same level of face protection that you would from a jacket with a higher front neck, when fully deployed the huge, wired peak of the hood provides solid protection from the elements.

There are four pockets on the jacket, all zip activated: two hand pockets (which can just be accessed even if partly obscured by rucksack straps) and two modestly sized chest pockets. You'll struggle to fit anything but a small, folded map in them but they could be used to store a compass or another quick-access item. The zips all have a water resistant design while the main zip itself can be opened from the top or bottom.

Fitting with the jacket's all-round armour-like feel, the eVent fabric offers a whopping 20,000mm hydrostatic head rating - which combined with our testing in torrential conditions in Cumbria, marks this out as a solid choice of jacket for poor weather, year-round. Breathability was good too and sweat build-up was minimal even when working hard uphill.

In conclusion: it may prove overkill for more benign conditions, but if you're looking for a solid mountaineering shell that is breathable and comfy enough to be carried year-round then look no further.

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