After doing the maths on my trusty old Macpac Paclite jacket and realizing there were more patches than actual jacket, I knew the time had come for a new one. I’ve always had good performance out of Macpac jackets in the past and the Macpac Lightweight Prophet AP Rain Jacket didn’t disappoint. A jacket is one of the most important pieces of clothing for any climber or mountaineer so it’s important to get a reliable one which performs well.
When purchasing lightweight gear, its often expected that durability will be compromised. This isn’t the case with the Prophet. I’ve had the Prophet for over 10 months now and have used it in pretty much all conditions you’re likely to find in New Zealand. I’ve been stoked with the versatility of this jacket. Its light and reliable enough to carry on bigger peaks around the Mt Cook area but still durable enough to handle thick scrub bashing down flooded Darran’s rivers in the middle of the night on long trans-alpine trips. Macpac have used a fabric called Pertex Shield AP. This fabric has been very breathable so far, even when carrying a heavy pack in the wet. It has also been very waterproof without any treatment which is testament to this garments durability.
In terms of fit and cut, I was really impressed with the fit of this jacket. Unlike a lot of other alpine jackets, the hood fit on the prophet is exceptionally good. It is big enough to accommodate a helmet or hat and still maintain a snug but not tight fit. The adjustment bungee for the hood is kept nicely out of harms way by a small flap which prevents it from snagging or flapping around. The zips are easy to open with gloved hands and the pockets are big enough to take a camera and some energy bars. The arms and sleeves are loose enough to wear over a Primaloft or down jacket in cold conditions. I have found that they still fit close enough with a thin layer to climb technically without getting in the way or being too baggy. The Prophet also has an internal chest pocket which was great for warming or drying gloves between pitches. The jacket is a good length for technical climbing as it can be worn under or over a harness without getting in the way. It probably wouldn’t suit strictly “die hard” trampers who are looking for a bit of length in their jacket but would be better suited to climbers or those who need a solid and lightweight layer in wet and cold technical terrain.
In terms of value for money, the Prophet is very good. Considering its versatility and durability, I think it rates as one of the better value for money jackets on the market. My one gripe with the Prophet is that it only comes in grey. As well as being quite a boring colour, this is a problem because it makes it harder to spot people on rock and mixed terrain, especially with poor visibility. The last years Prophet was only in green but at least it was easier to see. A different choice of colours would be great! I’ve been really impressed with this jacket and I’m looking forward to using it on future adventures into the mountains. There are no frills when it comes to the design of the Prophet. Macpac have incorporated everything needed in a truly versatile garment with everything you need and nothing you don’t.