Mountain popped up in 2020 with its modular Everest keyboard and delivered one of the most unique products of the year. Now, the company is looking to repeat that success with a product that goes all out in trying to achieve a balance of enthusiast-grade features with a gamer-friendly performance.
The Everest 60 follows up its full-sized sibling with a smaller form factor and a polished design that leaves little to peck at in the way of grievances.
Nuts and bolts
Mountain’s newest offering is a hot-swappable 60 percent keyboard with a few tricks up its sleeve. You can expect the usual suite of gaming-centric features, along with some custom tuning that rivals the enthusiast market, which can quickly get out of control.
For starters, the Everest 60 comes in three proprietary switch varieties: Linear 45, Linear 45 Speed, and Tactile 55. The Linear 45s have an actuation force of 45 grams and two millimeters of pretravel. Moving up to the Linear Speed 45s, they offer the same actuation force but with only 1.1 millimeters of pretravel. Lastly, the Tactile 55s have an actuation force of 55 grams and two millimeters of pretravel. All switches are pre-lubed and feature a POM stem, polycarbonate topo housing, and nylon bottom housing.
Swapping out switches is easily done thanks to the hot-swappable PCB. Mountain ensured that both three-pin plate mount and five-pin PCB mount switches would be compatible with the Everest 60. For users who aren’t keen on experimenting with switch types, this design may pay off in the future in case there is ever a change of heart.
In terms of physical form, the Everest 60 plays it straightforwardly. Users get doubleshot PBT keycaps, slick RGB, magnetically adjustable feet, and three USB-C ports. Mountain also followed the typical aluminum top-plate and plastic body design that is popular with mainstream manufacturers. The only oddball in the design is the 1u Right Shift key, which will likely trip users up.
But the Everest 60 shakes things up a bit more with how it approaches sound profile. While many gaming keyboards are content as rattly messes with little to no lubrication to make them tolerable, the Everest 60’s are pre-lubed with Krytox GPL 205 Grade 0. These stabilizers Cherry stabilizers are also clipped to provide less noise and promote the longevity of the PCB. This goes a long way in creating a more premium gaming keyboard, but more on that later.
Beyond the stabilizers, the Everest 60 is also loaded with several layers of sound dampening material. Mountain packed a silicone layer and two foam layers of dampening into the Everest 60. This is a trend that first took hold in the enthusiast space before behind brought to the mainstream by Razer in its newest line of Huntsman keyboards.
Where the Everest 60 really separates itself from other 60 percent options out there is the removable numpad. A major pitfall of the 60 percent form is the loss of the arrow keys and numpad, both of which are present with the Everest 60. The numpad is an add-on but can be attached to either the right or left side of the keyboard via USB-C to provide more mouse room on either end.
Mountain also scores bonus points for coiling the USB-C cable instead of folding it, which causes unsightly and annoying kinks.
Modularity for the win
Taking a cue from the first Everest keyboard, the Everest 60 leans on modularity to stand out from the crowd. While plenty of gamers won’t be up to speed on why lubing stabilizers and switches is important, most folks can see the potential value in a removable numpad. Having access to a numpad that belongs with the keyboard and has no additional cables helps create a sense of fluidity between gaming and work. This is the way to go for anyone who finds themselves using their daily driver keyboard for both work and play. The removable numpad is a gamechanger.
Continuing that same sense of modularity are the magnetic feet and the hot-swappable PCB. The magnetic feet raise some concerns about how long it will be before they go walkabout and take away the keyboard’s height adjustability. They’re also slightly more inconvenient than your standard flip-up feet since you have to dig them out of wherever to adjust your keyboard’s height. Still, they provide additional flexibility, which is needed in the case of the Everest 60.
The hot-swappable PCB on the other hand only provides value. It’s a forward-thinking feature that is seen on the likes of keyboards from Glorious and Logitech G. For beginners, this feature can be crucial in helping them decide which switch type is for them instead of having to buy a new keyboard just to test a switch. Even if you’re stuck in your Cherry MX ways, the switch market is as wide as it is deep and something down the road might pique your interest.
Dripping with premium modifications
In separating itself as much as possible from its competitors, Mountain went all out with tuning the Everest 60. There are some features, like the dampening, that we’ve seen on other keyboards recently, but this keyboard goes the extra mile to earn your dollar.
The first thing any user is likely to notice straight away is the sound. There’s almost zero rattling. To achieve this level of silence you’d have to spend a couple of hours or so modding the stabilizers and switches yourself. Having a board that sounds this good out of the gate feels luxurious and sets a high bar for other competitors.
Another factor in the sound profile of this keyboard is the three layers of dampening. Mountain incorporates the silicone and dual foam layers successfully to eliminate that pinging noise that comes with keyboards using an aluminum top plate and plastic housing. While Razer incorporates sound damping in its boards, it doesn’t quite reach the level of success the Everest 60 does. Put this keyboard on a desk mat to really make it sound its best.
Mountains Linear 45 switches feel smooth and light. The responsiveness and additional smoothness from the lubrication make Mountain’s 60 percent effort an easy recommendation for gamers. Putting the Everest 60 next to any gaming keyboard should show users why this is an upgrade from run-of-the-mill options out there. Seriously, the Everest 60 feels better than a Ducky One 2 Mini out of the box.
The pre-lubed stabilizers and switches alongside the multilayer sound dampening instantly make this keyboard the best prebuilt 60 percent keyboard on the market, regardless of its flaws. There are a few companies that might need to take a couple of notes from the Everest 60.
While there are plenty of useful premium features, one that feels oddly underutilized is the three USB-C ports. Having three ways to connect your keyboard is ideal for managing cables and decluttering, but none function as passthrough, which is unfortunate and feels like a massive missed opportunity. It isn’t the worst offense, but it is a bit befuddling considering what a waste the other two ports are. You have to think that it was a feature that got left on the cutting room floor.
Fast but not quite as comfortable
The biggest issue with the Everest 60 is its level of comfort for those who type with their wrists resting. This keyboard should probably be used with a wrist rest. It’s a slightly taller feeling keyboard that definitely benefits from having an adjustable typing angle. Still, it’s a bit tall and may cause some discomfort for the first few days.
For as fast as this keyboard is in-game, meaning it keeps pace just fine, the height can stifle speed. There were a few instances where fatigue set in a bit earlier than usual both in-game and during everyday use with wrists resting on the desk instead of hovering. While not ideal, the discomfort wasn’t a dealbreaker considering how pleasant the board is to use otherwise.
This is potentially the closest thing to a wholly negative attribute the Everest 60 presents. Comfort is a massive factor in player health so trying it out before committing is a must. Mountain’s return policy also isn’t the strongest and only lasts 14 days from delivery, meaning it isn’t the kindest for those trying to find the right fit.
Should you buy the Everest 60?
If you’re in the market for a keyboard that blends the premium world of enthusiast keyboards and gaming, then this is absolutely the one at $139. The pre-lubed stabilizers and switches combined with the doubleshot PBT keycaps and sound dampening make for what feels like something close to the ultimate gaming experience. Add the $50 numpad into the mix and things get even better by holding onto full-size functionality. It’s an investment, but there’s nothing else in the prebuilt market like the Everest 60.
On the flip side, the height of the keyboard might be too much for some users. The keyboard itself does more than enough to warrant giving it a go, but it’s advisable to plan for a wrist rest if you’re someone who types with their wrists resting instead of hovering. Still, the Everest 60 provides the most premium 60 percent gaming experience so far in 2022.
- Pre-lubed switches
- Lubed stabilizers
- Multi-layer dampening
- Doubleshot PBT keycaps
- Top-tier build quality
- Optional removable numpad
- Three USB-C ports
- Might be too high for some users
- Magnetic feet can be more annoying than the alternative
- No USB-C passthrough is a missed opportunity
- 1u Right Shift key isn’t for everyone