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Gear Review: Outdoor Research Mentor Hardshell Jacket

A great all-around jacket that handled a month straight of wet weather and rough hiking.
FGG12SHELL_OR_Mentor_445x260Outdoor Research Mentor

[best all-around]
After a month of fly-fishing on Oregon’s Ana River and lower Deschutes in wet conditions with plenty of rough hiking, our tester was sold on the Mentor. “I fished in the rain for three straight days and didn’t get wet or sweaty—amazing,” he says. The jacket is made with a combo of 40-denier and 70-denier Gore-Tex Pro Shell—but to save weight and improve comfort, the heavier fabric is limited to the abrasion-prone areas on the shoulders and hips. Breathability received top marks, thanks to the combination of Pro Shell and two-way pit zips that open the jacket on the sides all the way down to the hem. Tester fave: two chest-high interior mesh compartments with cord channels for earbuds. A roll-away hood accommodates climbing and ski helmets. Complaint? One tester was rubbed the wrong way by the hem-length side zips, which chafed under his hipbelt. $475; 1 lb. 1 oz. (m’s L); S-XXL; outdoorresearch.com

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