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Great jacket

    I have had the Alchemy for a few years, and this has been a great jacket. It looks great out on the town, and also is good as a layer for skiing or ice climbing.

    Disclaimer: I test this gear for Gore.

    Still in my wardrobe after 3 years

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This is a great jacket, and has a very long life. Eventually some of the stitching has blown, but it has last 3 years of heavy abuse, and with a little sowing will go another 3 years. It is waterproof, breathes realatively well for a softshell, and insulates just enough for light and fast.

    Dislaimer: I got this jacket as a product test.

    Best softshell

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    this is so much nicer to wear than cheap softshells, and has essentially been waterproof for me. Is amazingly warm - the only problem is I lost it. (note - I regularly review stuff for Gore)

    Great Softshell, but Tiny Cuffs!

      This is, by far, one of my favorite jackets. I take it on nearly every trip, all four seasons in Oregon. It's decently water resistant, warm for the weight and loft, close-cut enough that I can climb without it being in the way, and takes a beating without damage. It's almost completely windproof as well, the only draft being along the hem where the elastic cord has worn out.

      My only real gripe is the tiny internal wrist cuffs. I get that they're supposed to be tight-ish for keeping ice and snow out for climbing, but they're so small that I can hardly get my hands through - and forget about pulling your sleeve up to check your watch! I wish they were a little bit softer on the elastic or maybe adjustable.

      My review of this product is in no way influenced by the fact that I'm in the Gore MountainTechs product testing program. I'd say the same if I weren't...

      good jacket, different fit

        The materials really are nice. Fit is good and not so good. First off, you really can raise your arms or stretch to any position and the sleeves move independent of the jacket - very nice. The jacket is trim through the torso; room if you're big in the chest, not if you are big in the gut. Also cut short which is good for some activities, but poor coverage for skiing. Hand pockets are placed high, and the cuffs seal up tight and weren't a problem for me.

        First Impressions

          Have not had it on the mountain yet but initial impression is that it is better quality than I had expected. I have a small gripe that the cuffs are not adjustible because the wind guard in the inside fits so tightly that I am afraid that it will cut of circulation when my light gloves are layered under it. Godd buy for the money and the DWR sheds rain purty well. I will give a more extensive review when I get back from the Snow Dome of Mt. Olympus WA with it.

          My great small Alchemy

            This is one awesome soft-shell jacket. I have a small frame weighing in at 135 lb and standing around 5'6" with a 29" waist line and 30" inseam, and this 2010 size small jacket fits me like it was tailored to my body. This jacket has a slim fit with a taper effect from shoulder to the waist line, making me feel like a true athletic to wear it. I believe that this jacket is best for a skinny dude like me, as I would imagine a muscular person might have a problem with the slim fit of it. The sleeves are just perfect for being not too long nor too short. There are so many similar jackets (Gamma MX, etc.) out there that have excessive long sleeves, making them fit uncomfortably around the arms but not this one. The wrists are a little snug with gaiters to seal out the elements but I think they will loosen up a little with some use. The length of the jacket has a "waist line" cut (about 3" below my waist line) with a drop back hem. I usually hate drop back hems but the drop back hem on this jacket is not pronounced at all for some reason so it is cool with me. I have owned a lot of MH jackets but this one is kind of unique, as it does not have the big MH written on the chest area, just a Nut logo, which is great, as I prefer the big letters to be written on the forearm or somewhere not easily seen. Speaking of logos, MH logos are threaded and embroidered with a touch of class, not etched on like some other big name makers that I have seen. The neck even has a cinch cord for neck diameter adjustments. The only thing I would like to have on this jacket are pit zips, as the Gore Windstopper membrane is not very breathable for some high aerobic activities. As for workmanship, it is good but I have seen some end threads sticking out a little in certain areas on the arms, which is not quite acceptable for a $200 jacket. Regardless, it is a 5-star rating for fit and function but I will give it a 4-star rating for workmanship. All in all, this is one of my favorite soft-shell jackets. I have 2 of them in my closet.

            My great small Alchemy

            A Winner for My Husband

              My husband always says he doesn't need anything....but he has yet to take this jacket off. He loves it! He wears it to work, to soccer practice, to the playground, out to dinner, skiing, hiking, dog walks, you name it! He can layer if it is really cold, he stays dry if it is raining. He is 5'11", 185lbs. and the XL fit him really well with room for layering. We bought it on sale and what a steal for a Gortex jacket. I know he will have this well-made jacket for a while and it has a classic look so it will not go out of style. I am pleased with my purchase and so is he, although he would never admit it :-).

              Awesome jacket

                This jacket is amazing in both appearance and quality. I haven't done anything too technical, but the Oklahoma winds have been pounding this winter. In fact, we had 40mph winds and -18 windchill the other night and all I had was this jacket. While I wouldn't recommend JUST this layer in those conditions, I guarantee it will be your legs and face that are the part bothering you more.

                The aesthetics of this jacket are amazing too. I got the sapphire and it is a really deep blue(not navy, but more of a dark royal). I REALLY like it and my wife does too. Oh, and the fact this thing is goretex has me putting my arms under any faucet I see and just praying for a thunderstorm.

                This jacket is currently $140 and even with the standard $200 tag this was a steal. At this new sale price you would be foolish not to get it. No more TNF for me. I can't believe I spent the same for my last jacket and got so much less.

                Snug fit

                  This jacket is a snug fit, takes some getting used to, but is not too tight or constricting. However this does limit the layering - I wear one or two base layers, any more and it would be tight. I'm 5'8", 140lbs, Small fits well, Medium would have been too loose.

                  Overall, happy with durability and ability to keep out wind. However, it annoyingly rides up, even if I cinch the hem cords, and bunches around the chest. Been using it for skiing, with another layer on top (in very cold conditions). In warmer ski conditions, will try it without a layer on top and see how it performs. Wore it hiking in low 60s temp and was overheating, so the ideal temp would seem to be 30-50F, with a T or base (or two) under, with moderate activity. Seems to breathe well, no condensation noted on inside, nor did sweat collect anywhere (except on back with daypack).

                  Cuffs are a very snug fit - I have to remove my watch before getting sleeve on/off - but not constricting. I actually like this fit to keep a good seal at the wrist. However, may be too uncomfortable for some.

                  Zips up well, comfortable under the chin. External chest pocket does not expand much and is small, so limits what can be comfortably carried there - ok for credit card size, but anything bigger than a blackberry won't really fit. Haven't really used the side pockets yet.

                  Overall, I'm happy with this jacket, and but for the riding up would give it 5 stars.

                  Best Shell ever made!!

                    I've worn this shell around town, over 14,000 ft up in the Rockies, in 5 countries, and in every type of weather imaginable (within reason). It has performed flawlessly!
                    It sheds water and blocks wind all day and night, stretches to accommodate those reaches and dyno's, breathes and seals in warmth like a champ, and lasts forever!
                    I have been beating the crap out of this jacket for the past 3 years and a run through the washing machine and it looks like new.
                    I do a ton of hiking, climbing, snow shoeing, mountain biking, and other mountain sports. This is the best piece of equipment I have purchased in many years. It has far exceeded my expectations and out performed all my other shells to date. No seem leaks or tears and no abrasions anywhere!
                    So far everyone i have seen wearing this jacket says the same thing: Best jacket, great fit and function, best shell ever!

                    Love It!

                      I bought this jacket almost exactly one year ago and I still love it as much as the day I got it. I'm 6'0'' and 160 lbs and a large fits me perfectly. I wore this jacket all winter long last year (I'm from Western PA) around town, as well as quite a few times while snowboarding (higher than 20 degrees F) and it kept me dry and warm. I took it climbing in Utah last spring and summer as well, still no complaints.

                      Haven't had any pilling or rips/tears in the fabric. The jacket is not waterproof, but it (still) sheds initial water nicely. Can't wait for another winter in this winner from Mountain Hardware!

                      Love It!

                      Sadly, Mountain Hardwear is no longer...

                      Sadly, Mountain Hardwear is no longer making Alchemy Softshell. Can somebody tell me what is the replacement in MH line for this jacket, or simular one from different brand? Thanks

                      does this jacket fit the same as the Android...

                      does this jacket fit the same as the Android jacket? I'm just looking for sizing purpoces.

                      Thanks for the reply jon!
                      I tried on the Android and it fit perfectly in the Medium... I'm worried if I get the medium in the alchemy it will be too small....
                      what would you recommend? Medium or large?
                      I'm 6'1 175 lbs. 32" waist.
                      Thanks in advance!

                      I'm 6'1 175 LBS. 32" waist... should I go...

                      I'm 6'1 175 LBS. 32" waist... should I go with the Medium? Large ? or XL? Any feedback would be appreciated.
                      I wear a windstopper fleece in large but its pretty baggy on me ( i know its more of a box fit versus athletic fit)

                      Thanks for the feedback!!
                      Was this snugg? or did you have any room for layers underneath? Also how was the length of the torso as I heard this is pretty short.
                      If you can let me know that would be great!
                      I find MH products to be all over the map with sizing and I am concerned about this one... no retailer sells this product where i live.

                      A question for Jon Webb: Do those Schoeller...

                      A question for Jon Webb: Do those Schoeller fabric side panels have the WindStopper membrane in them? Since WindStopper membrane did not have very good breathability, it would great not to have it in the side and arm panels. Thanks!

                      vml. The Schoeller side panels do not incorporate the windstopper membrane. The panels are 4-way stretch and air permeable adding, breathability, mobility and versatility to the jacket for whatever you want to throw its way! I hope this info helps! Cheers.

                      Hi ive read the reviews and im worried...

                      Hi ive read the reviews and im worried about getting the size right im 6'2'' and 155 pounds and was trying to decide between the large and extra large i just doint want to order it and for it to be too short in the torso....thank you for your time

                      I don't have a recommendation about L of XL, but I can tell you that I am 6' 140 and the Medium fits me pretty well. It might be a little on the short side, but not too short. I will say that it is a little tight through the armpit area with a thick layer underneath (like a sweatshirt). It depends on whether you want it to be an 'athletic' fit or a loose fit. Depends on personal preference. If it doesn't fit, send it back to BC. They will exchange it, no questions asked. Hope that helps.

                      I just got this jacket and really like it!...

                      I just got this jacket and really like it! But I was curious what the point and reasoning for the 'double' cuffs. Can someone help me in understanding them and why they are a good thing? Thank you!

                      Best Answer

                      Hey Eric,

                      Sort of MHW's version of an elasticized cuff. Keeps out snow, moisture and drafts. You have to keep in mind that this was designed as an alpine climbing piece, and that overhead reaches are something to consider in that regard. They do take a little getting used to, but they do work as intended. Hope that helps.

                      Write your question here...Rocky Mt....

                      Write your question here...Rocky Mt. weather, guide, 6ft 1inch, 215ibs, athletic build..size I assume for the fit to allow one thin fleece under is XL??? Thanx guys..unreal price!

                      Hey all Have a sizing question for you. I...

                      Hey all Have a sizing question for you. I ordered this in a Med. I'm 5'8, 160 lbs, 40' chest, athletic build. I like the length of the jacket, length of the sleeves, and pretty much how it fits. However, the jacket gets very tight under my arms and into my armpits. Trying to decide if I should exchange the medium for a Large, or if this jacket will not fit me. Any thoughts? How much longer will the sleeves and jacket be in the large vs. the medium. Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks!

                      Best Answer

                      It absolutely sounds like a matter of your build, and on such a closely fitted piece, the armpits, shoulders and triceps are definitely where you're going to feel it first. You're right in the middle of the ranges for chest measurements in the Med (39-41" vs 42-45" in the large). A couple/few extra inches should make a huge difference in the fit, but without giving you too much extra material. Basically add 1" to the length of the sleeve and center back on the large. Give it a shot. If you can get the fit tuned in, you'll be happy you explored your other option.

                      I'm 6'5" and weigh about 180lbs. Is there...

                      I'm 6'5" and weigh about 180lbs. Is there any chance this jacket will fit me in a large or an XL? I don't want it to be very baggy.

                      If not any suggestions of another softshell in this price range with about the same performance?

                      Im trying to decide between this Softshell...

                      Im trying to decide between this Softshell and the Marmot Moran... Anybody have an opinion?

                      I'm six foot two and weigh 155 pounds.......

                      I'm six foot two and weigh 155 pounds.... What size should a tall skinny guy get?

                      I'd go for the medium. It'll probably be a little baggy and possibly a little short though. Unless you're in love with this jacket, I'd look at another brand that might fit tall skinny people better. Patagonia (most stuff) or Norrona perhaps.

                      How much insulation does this jacket...

                      How much insulation does this jacket have?
                      Suggestion on size? I am slim build, 6', 140lbs.
                      Thanks for the help!

                      Best Answer


                      This jacket only has a thin fleece lining for comfort and negligible insulation for anything below freezing temps. Use this to keep out the wind and the rain while letting you breathe during strenuous activity, and pick up another insulation layer to be worn underneath it.

                      For sizing, I think a little extra room is OK for layering purposes. Try a large, and if it doesn't fit well length-wise or is hideously baggy (or you just don't like it) send it back to and try a different size or a different model.

                      Happy trails!

                      Hey Eric,

                      I agree with Hunter that you should definitely size up if you're planning on wearing your insulative layer(s) under it, but I'm 6'-0" and 190lbs and I wear a large comfortably as a mid-layer over a Capilene base, then throw on my insulation over that. Years of trial and error with this jacket have taught me that this seems to work best, is the most comfortable and gives me the best ability to adjust my layering to match the conditions. I'm also good with this alone and a t-shirt down into the 20s, so the fleece actually keeps you warmer than you might initially expect. It's designed as more of a fitted piece, so wearing it the same way I do, you would probably be best in a medium, but it is a short cut (28.5" in med), so if you can pull that off with your height and sleeve length, maybe consider starting there. If not, then definitely go with the large, as Hunter suggests, but with your weight, be prepared for a much looser fit in the chest and probably the shoulders as well. Another thing to keep in mind is that some people experience getting pretty hot if they wear it under more Gore-Tex and exert themselves, since the properties of the double Gore sometimes tends to mess with the vapor transfer. This was one of my very first technical softshells, and it's still ranks among the best. Fantastic piece of gear. Hope that helped.

                      I'm 5'11" and 145lbs. I'm guessing I'm a...

                      I'm 5'11" and 145lbs. I'm guessing I'm a medium, but could use some input. Anybody out there my size and have this jacket?

                      I am looking at this jacket but not sure...

                      I am looking at this jacket but not sure what size. I'm a fairly box shaped guy at 5'9" 200lbs. Wear a 46 suit jacket with a 36 waist. Would XL be my best idea? I'd hate to buy and return but can't find the jacket in my area to try on. I have the Mountain Hardware Windstopper tech in XL from the days when I was about 30lbs heavier but now that's a little baggy. Would I still be an XL due to the "slim fit" of the alchemy?

                      what is the chest sixe on size small for...

                      what is the chest sixe on size small for mens jackets?

                      Ok im curious im lookin to replace a north...

                      Ok im curious im lookin to replace a north face apex thermal jacket and was lookin at this and the arteryx whats the warmest of the 2 i want warm and tough as nails

                      Dick Todd. I would say that both are warm and relatively tough. Which Arcteryx jacket were you considering? The Alchemy Jacket utilizes a combination of Gore Windstopper Softshell, Alchemy Stretch softshell, coupled with a fairly thick fleece on the inside for insulation. It is a great stand alone piece and also functions well as a mid-layer on the cold days. Hope this info helps!

                      im looking at getting this jacket and am...

                      im looking at getting this jacket and am totally confused about the sizing. I am 6'3" and 200lbs. My normal size is a large but should i get an XL if im wanting to put some layers underneath??