There are certain brands that you can’t help but have an affinity with and, for me, Sherpa is muscling in with its excellent products and brand ethos.
The majority of Sherpa products are designed and manufactured in Kathmandu, and that’s the case with the jacket we have on test here. The Lithang Jacket was named in homage to Lithang county in Tibet, where the weather can, apparently, change in an instant and a waterproof is essential.
The jacket uses a three-layer Himaltec waterproof membrane to keep you dry and the material has a slight stretch to give a comfortable fit when you’re on the move. At 550g the Lithang isn’t the lightest garment on test but it’s by no means the heaviest, and it packs down to about the size of a large bag of crisps, taking up little room in your rucksack.
The two hand-warmer pockets are cavernous enough to swallow an OS map, and they’re thoughtfully placed so that you can still use them when wearing a rucksack with a hip belt. A further two pockets on the chest provide additional storage space for items you want to keep close to hand, and all zips are water resistant to ensure you stay dry (though it’s still a good idea to keep any valuables in dry bags).
The jacket is somewhere in the middle of being an active fit and a longer, more relaxed fit: it isn’t baggy by any means, but there’s enough room underneath for a mid-layer. While the hood is fully adjustable and the peak is nice and stiff, it’s not the best I’ve come across. It’ll turn with the head but as it’s made to accommodate a helmet it can feel a little big even when tightened to the max.
Ventilation is provided via two large pit zips with two-way zips, and the cuffs are Velcro and easy to roll up if you need to cool off quickly. Harder-wearing material covering high abrasion areas is also a nice touch.
All in all the Lithang is a superb waterproof walking jacket. I found the fit spot on; it looks just as good in the pub as it does on the hills and at £200 you’re getting a top-quality product for a good price.
In a line: The Lithang is a jacket Sherpa can be proud of – it’s brilliant.