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Gear Review

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More than meets the eye

I am a Mountain Hardwear afficionado, having purchased many items over the years, originally for technical use (mountains) but then I found I wore my MH gear daily.

Maybe you're the same.

Recently purchased Mountain Tec Jacket, here are my impressions.

Well, first, for the simple's a jacket with no hood, so if you want a shell or hooded jacket, try another product.

Butt....for me, use of a hat is a good solution, especially if you have hats from the baclava to a full eared Alaskan fur hat.

Exception...downpours, but I'm not in them much and when I get there I find shelter.

As 60% of heat loss is from your head and neck, you'd be surprised what a baclava and fur hat can do to keep you warm, even in really cold weather. A light down or fleece vest under this jacket will take you into some chilly weather in comfort.

Ok, so let's keep going... among jackets from MH and other manufacturers, it's the best I've found:
if you've owned Mountain Hardware gear you're used to functional fit, which means the fabric is cut to fit the way clothing drapes on your body.

Good gear hangs on you with no pulling, this you'll get.

Big plus...collar is nice and soft around your chin, having a soft fabric lining the inside of the collar, with a soft rolled edge all around.

(Chin and neck comfort are always a key comfort point on outdoor gear).

It's 39 degrees tonight, going into winter and it was plenty warm with a hat on.

The fabric has a bit of give and flex, which I've found is always another major factor to optimize comfort.

Best thing about this gear is that it breathes enough to keep you from feeling clammy, better than other jackets, much better actually.

I love man made fabrics, but inability to breathe can be an issue, and I mean standing and walking around, not just when exerting.

Full zipper at front means you can keep comfortable in any situation, and has underarm zips too which I use when I'm huffing and puffing.

Now to be fair in really cold weather only a full bore parka with hood will do, with snowpants and maybe fleece top and bottom or poly underwear, monster hat and lined cloves (don't discount the ability of surgeon's rubber gloves to help on really cold days...try it) but for most daily use, this jacket is the bomb.

Good looks around town, enough technical capability to be part of your mountain hiking kit, and a price that seems about right to me.

A down coat will be warmer, but I'll bet too warm for daily use in all but really cold weather.

Fleece is nice, but watch out for wind. The Mountain Tec Jacket will handle winds with ease.

It also looks good, as in stylish, and I'll take that when I can. I wear mine with a cowboy hat, but suit yourself there.

So if you want your outdoor gear to double as fashion statement of sorts (of course utilitarian) with technical mojo, this is it.


Responded on

Can you answer a question for me? I already own a TNF Apex Bionic softshell jacket. Can you tell me what this Mountain Tech jacket can do that my Apex softshelll can't do? I really like the fit of this jacket but I don't want to own two jackets that basically serve the same purpose.

What I was hoping to purchase is a comfortable fleece jacket that fits well (example - not a "relaxed fit" like a TNF Denali), works as a layer but reasonably warm on its own, but breathes well enough to where I don't get clammy if I get my heart rate up a little bit.

I have an eVent hard shell jacket. Do you know if this AirShield breathes as well as eVent?

Responded on

This jacket is lighter and is easier to maneuver in than the apex bionic. The zipper is also better.

Responded on

I own lots of softshells and fleece from the most expensive to the cheap stuff.

There is NO all around, one size fits all, one jacket for ALL conditions, for next to nothing.

But I can assure you of this. I reach for this jacket for all around conditions more than I do any other jacket.

Sure, I have a technical hooded hardshell. I even have a hoodless, lighter, softshell. Then I have this windproof fleece.

For knocking around town, or visiting friends, or morning walks, or outside events, I will take this jacket. It has loads of convenient pockets inside and out. ALL ZIPPERED.

Fit is athletic but not patagonia tight or arcteryx second skin like. Mountain Hardwear has that middle of the road fit. And this is why I like it as an all around, everywhere, do not think too hard, jacket.

It is casual, technical. No smart guy is gonna' ask you if you wants crampons with that hotdog and beer.

Tall collar to hunker down in and right up to the nose, unless you are an ostrich.

If you under dress to an outside event this jacket will defend you. You may be cold, but no ambulance is gonna' show up for you.

It is bonafide technical gear, but understated. No flash, no zoom.

Pit zips, loads of pockets and not bulky.

You will be cold at a soccer game just sitting there, but if you are slim you will layer underneath it.

Size is true and accommodates light layering.

I bought them all. I owned them all. This one hangs on the hook ready for use and NOT deep in the closet.

IT IS WINDPROOF and the best I have seen in fleece. I use it to fish, walk, hang out, run, hike, work, cycle, ski, and after a good surf or out feeding the animals.

Throw it in the washer and the dryer. No worries. Pretty much a thrash it jacket that works and looks presentable.

The outside is a sheer fleece. It attracts animal hair and fuzz. But some tape pulls it all off.

Care instructions are MINDLESS. There is not some tag six mile long inside telling you about everything little thing that will destroy this jacket.

Get a subdued color. The bright ones are BRIGHT.

Absolutely no pilling. Underarms are rugged woven softshell so you will not have a jacket with holes in the elbows after a few years.

Buy it.