Gear Review

5 5

Go-to winter jacket

I bought the Torch to replace a stolen Alchemy and I'm really impressed with it. It's much thinner than the Alchemy, but don't worry, you warm up as soon as you start moving. As you heat up, you can dump heat with the pit zips or the hand pockets (I prefer to use the pockets). The breathability and waterproofing are both excellent. I've used mine for everything from rainy fall hikes on the Maine coast to cross country skiing to snowshoeing to a winter summit of mount Washington. It exceeded my expectations in all of these. On a backcountry snowboarding trip, I opened up all the venting on the way up, then zipped up, popped my ipod into the chest pocket (there are 3 internal headphone ports) and rocked out on the way down.

Features I really like are the hand pockets and the hood. The pockets are mesh backed so that you can use em as vents, they run from just above the hem all the way to the shoulder, and the zippers are long and mounted high up for easy access. The hood stays out of the way with the stiffened brim and the scooped sides don't cut into your peripheral vision. The combined drawcord goes 1/2 way around the front, then turns 90 degrees and goes straight back. It's easy and simple and doesn't clutter up the jacket.

Fit: I'm 5'10" and 145lbs. The medium fits me well. It's cut a bit shorter than other jackets to allow you to wear it with a harness, but other than that is pretty much standard MH sizing. Athletic cut. It seems to have a bit of extra room in the chest, but that's probably due to my being skinny.