Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Lithosphere

Rain-wear can save your life. It’s an important part of your set up. But it can get a little overwhelming figuring out what works for you. Do you shell out the cash for Goretex(R)? Or can DWR coated polyester do the trick? I recently put Mountain Hardwear’s Lithosphere to the test to find out how it compares to other popular jackets.

First Observations

It’s really long. It’s almost dress-like. I have broad shoulders and a thin waste. A woman’s medium fits my shoulders well but is really loose in the torso. This could work out to be a positive thing, if you like a loose fit. But it made me feel oddly proportioned.

There’s a mini pocket on the back of the jacket. It’s being marketed as a place to store things quickly. But it’s shallow, has no zipper and isn’t trustworthy. I can’t imagine myself ever using it.

  • It’s Lightweight.
  • The fabric is definitely more elastic than Gore-Tex.
  • Unique color choices.


Mountain Hardwear Lithosphere


Image from Mountain Hardwear

Weight: 12oz

MRSP: $140  

Compare this to Patagonia’s Torrentshell:


Image from Patagonia

Weight: 10.6 oz

MRSP: $129 

Testing Results:

After a couple of intense expeditions, I came to the conclusion that the lack of cinches on the hood is a big con for me. Even while wearing a baseball cap, the hood often permitted rain to spittle all over my face and neck. This could be easily avoidable if you could tighten the sides.

While I never got saturated on the inside of the jacket, the fabric was taking on some serious moisture by the end of my afternoon hike. And it took noticeably longer to dry than other rain jackets I’ve owned.


The Lithosphere is lighter than most Gore-Tex jackets. But it’s slightly heavier and more expensive than many rain jackets with the same features. Partnered with a synthetic material like polyester, the DWR coating is supposed to make it breathable. Which wasn’t the case with this jacket.

Although the Lithosphere offers several unique features, there are a lot of competitive products that do a better job of selling themselves. It’s designed to be casual and will perform well under less-extreme circumstances. But I probably wouldn’t rely on it for a long backpacking excursion.

Shop the Mountain Hardwear Lithosphere Here

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