I first used the Lightweight Prophet Jacket on an ice climbing trip to Canada. To be honest, I hadn’t given much thought to what jacket I brought, as I didn’t expect it to get much action. It turns out, even in temperatures as low as -20°C, Canadian ice is often running with water. Fortunately, the Prophet was more than up to the challenge.
Climbing jackets can be tricky. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a chimney unable to look up because your jacket hood, straining against the extra bulk of your helmet, won’t allow it. Then there’s the usual issues of pockets and their position; they need to be high enough to allow access while wearing a harness and large enough to be useful without getting in the way. Finally, there is the range of motion afforded by the jacket. This is especially critical in the arms. Like many modern alpine jacket, the Prophet addresses these concerns admirably.
The Prophet hood is spacious allowing free movement even with a helmet on and the storm flap done up. Depending on your head size and neck length, it may even be too large, but this isn’t an issue - the hood can be easily synched in to the appropriate size using a low profile toggle at the back of the hood. The prophet has three pockets. Two high externals ones that provide plenty of space for your preferred array of food, and an internal one, which is ideal for anything that should be keep warm and dry like a camera or cellphone. It’s the range of motion afforded by the Prophet, however, that I am most taken by: it allows completly unrestricted motion in both the shoulders and elbows. I think this is a result of generous sizing (I would say the jacket runs half a size larger than normal), and the light weight Pertex Shield® AP material from which it is made.
It is this same lightweight Pertex Shield® AP fabric coupled with the jackets plastic zips that result in the jackets low weight of 400g. When I initially started using my jacket, I kept waiting for the lightweight material to fail. Surprisingly, I'm still waiting 1 year in. Although, the reduced weight must come at a cost - reduced abrasian resistance - I have yet to notice any difference in wear to my other heavier weight gortex jacket. I have even used in on a few mixed climbs with some involved crack pitches with no visible damage. Even so, in the long term I expect it to prove slightly less durable than my heavier jackets, however this is the trade off when you want to lighten your pack. This isn't a problem - it is just worth remembering. The Prophet XP Lightwight jacket - is just that. Lightweight - making it ideal for low abrasian wet activities - like ice climbing.