Lightweight InsulationLightweight Insulation


The cold just got more enjoyable.

Stopping for lunch on a backcountry tour, belaying your buddy up an ice climb, or huddled in base camp—they’re all chilly occasions made much more enjoyable by the Mountain Hardwear Men’s Compressor PL Insulated Jacket. This synthetic fill puffy’s light, compressible design makes it ideal for any cold-weather backcountry outing, and its PrimaLoft ECO insulation not only provides warmth when wet but it’s made partially from recycled polyester.

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11 4
6 3
1 2
3 1

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Mountain Hardwear Compressor PL Insulated Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

Unanswered Question

How does this jacket compare to the North...

Posted on

How does this jacket compare to the North Face APEX Bionic jacket or does it? I'm looking for something a little warmer. I've found with my limited daily outdoor exposure in the winter the APEX has been enough for me for the most part. But now I'm getting into birding and I really want to spend some time outdoors in the winter.

3 5

Uneven collar

One issue I have with the jacket I got is that the collar sits unevenly. The problem is caused because of the extra layering/protective matieral, guarding the neck from catching in the zipper is sewn onto one side only. This made one side of the collar to be heavier, causing it to open wider than the opposite. I wouldn't say it is fashionable, I think its more of a design fault (my opinion) may have just been on the jacket I bought...but since I needed it quickly, and I loved the feel and fit of the jacket (plus I lack fashion sense) I just put up with it. I will post a pic of what I tried to described in the text soon.

2 5

Had to return two

I purchased two Compressors. While the jacket was very warm and light, both were defective. On the first, the threading of the sleeve logo was coming badly unraveled. Exchanged it for a second, and after a few days I noticed that the second one had a bizarre series of pinholes all over one sleeve and beneath the collar, as though a tiny needle had gone haywire. So I returned this one, too, and purchased the comparable Redpoint North Face jacket.

I should say as well that the exceptionally light and silky nylon shell of the Compressor was nice to the touch, I found myself worrying constantly about its resilience and that something would snag on it and tear it. The Redpoint uses a bit heavier nylon in which I have greater confidence, but which seems not quite as warm.

I would recommend this jacket but for what appears to be quality-control issues.

Compressor at Mt. Washington

Compressor at Mt. Washington

Posted on

The Compressor on a December summit of Mt. Washington!

2 5

Disappointing Quality

I have an older version of this jacket (maybe '08?) that is top-notch. Very lightweight fabric, very packable, impressive build quality despite the intentionally minimalist construction.

This newer version? Ordered from and couldn't wait to get it. I was immediately disappointed in the seemingly much cheaper, less packable construction compared to the older jacket. Seconds later, the FIRST TIME I TRIED IT ON, the waist cinch bungee ripped out on one end, complete with the cloth patch it was anchored to. To be clear, this has NEVER, EVER been a problem with my older compressor jacket, and I was not overly rough with the newer one.

Thinking that this was an isolated incident, and needing a belay parka, I bought a ($$$$$) Mtn Hardwear Alcove jacket. The exact same thing happened to the waist cinch in the first day of ownership.

Mountain Hardwear quality seems to taken a nosedive in the last few years, though prices remain as high as ever.

P.S. did take the returned item no problem, so as always they get 5 stars!

5 5

All-weather coat

I have had this coat for over a year and wear it about 9 mo out of the year. Living in Chicago I have found that this in combination with a hoody or fleece + base-layer are all that are needed for all but the coldest of days. When climbing or backpacking it holds up surprisingly well, but I have also been extremely cautious because the material seems like it might rip easily. So far so good, though.

I'm about 5'11, 155 lbs and a medium fits perfectly with a bit of room for additional layering underneath. The pockets are also quite toasty and warm. Probably worth it to pick up a stuff sack to go along with the coat. I use the medium sized stuff sack here (tight squeeze but works):

5 5

Light-weight effective insulation

I got this jacket as an alternative to the Nitrous jacket. The Nitrous was cool, but not for people with short torsos or people who might wear the jacket without a shell over it. The Compressor fits people of a shorter torso very well and provides shocking warmth for being so light. If I'm active and wearing this under a shell I can be toasty warm in temperatures that would otherwise require my Sub Zero SL jacket to keep me comfortable sitting still. It's also comforting to know that if I were to get wet in this thing I'll still be insulated. I'll take that assurance over a few saved ounces and compressibility of a down sweater.I'd love to see this thing come with a napoleon pocket and stuff sack, though. It does have an internal breast pocket, but it's a pain to unzip the jacket (let cold in) to get something out of that pocket. This kind of compresses into its own hand pocket, but buying a stuff sack would be wiser as to not wreck your zipper or pocket stitching. Still 5 stars, IMO.As you can see from the picture the "Jungle" color isn't super loud in some light. Under indoor lamps it is, but it's not weird enough for me to exchange it.

Light-weight effective insulation
Responded on

Good review. I agree with you entirely on the length thing. I had to size up so it would fit me, but then it was a little too baggy for my taste. If they had given it two more inches in length, I would've loved it. This thing is really warm, but I found that the shell started to fray and get all strange just from everyday use around town, so I returned it in exchange for something with a slightly more robust nylon outer.

How does this compare to the Marmot Baffin...

Posted on

How does this compare to the Marmot Baffin jacket?

Best Answer Responded on

Jules. From what I can tell, the Baffin Jacket has much less insulation than the Compressor Jacket. They both use a similar shell material. The Compressor Jacket is made with a 15D Nylon Ripstop Shell and is insulated with 120grams of Primaloft ECO. The Baffin weighs 10oz. and the Compressor weighs 19oz. (M''s Large... some say this is high and the specs are wrong) and this difference is probably due to the amount of insulation in the jacket. I hope this info helps!

Has anyone applied an aftermarket waterproofing...

Posted on

Has anyone applied an aftermarket waterproofing product to this jacket? Results? As stated previously, great piece of lightweight gear but doesn't handle moisture, even heavy mist.

Responded on

srp. I would say that the first thing you need to do is wash your jacket. You may have washed it recently but if not the cleaner the jacket the better the DWR will perform. Dirt, Oil, Smoke... all affect DWR performance. For washing I would use any of the down wash products (Nikwax etc.)... even though the jacket is not down insulated the down wash is a gentler kinder detergent that treats insulation better than a standard Tech Wash or something. The DWR on the Compressor fabric is a good DWR but like on all jackets it gets dirty and begins to 'wet out.' To re-treat, once clean I would try the TX-Direct Spray. I have used this stuff before to refurbish DWR with decent results. I hope this info helps!

Responded on

Your other problem is that 15 Denier nylon is simply really thin, so even with the DWR working at it's best, your compressor is not going to hold off water for long. On the bright side, the wetness doesn't affect the performance of the jacket, it's simply annoying.

Hi, I'm told MHW jackets run on the small...

Posted on

Hi, I'm told MHW jackets run on the small side. I'm 5'8" 150lbs and would like to order the dragon and compressor. Usually I wear a size small shell, but now I'm thinking ordering a medium in both. Any thoughts?

Responded on

I bought the Windstopper Tech jacket in medium for just the reason you mentioned. The medium came and it was way too big for me at 5'11" 155. Returned it for a small and it fits perfectly. I think you'll be just fine with the small unless you prefer looser cut jackets.

Best Answer Responded on

Hi Brian

I recommend the medium. I am 5'7"" 155lbs and also wear a size small in most things but find that MHW jackets do run a bit smaller especially in length. I have both this and the Sub Zero SL down jacket in medium and they fit perfectly. A medium would be good especially if you want to throw it on over other layers for rest stops / belaying.

Responded on

If it helps, I'm 6'5" and about 205lbs and fairly skinny. I always wear a Large in North Face and Marmot jackets, but I tried on a L in the Compressor and it was much too tight. The XL was a perfect fit.

How would you compare this jacket to the...

Posted on

How would you compare this jacket to the REI Spruce Run?

Responded on

frankmuscara. The Compressor PL jacket and the REI Spruce Run are very similar jackets. The Compressor PL utilizes 120g of Primaloft Eco. I am not sure how much insulation is used in the REI jacket. The sleeves zip off on the Spruce Run and do not zip off on the Compressor. The Compressor Jacket uses a 15D ripstop nylon for it's shell. I am not sure what denier the REI jacket is made with but I bet it's slightly heavier. The REI jacket is 1 ounce heavier in weight than the Compressor PL Jacket according to our websites. I hope these comparisons help!

Responded on

They are very similar jackets. The Spruce Run has 100g of Primaloft Eco inside it, and the Compressor has 120g. The Spruce Run has zip off sleeves which means it converts into a vest as well, which is nice to some, but I find the zippers make it more uncomfortable. The compressor is very light and compresses (...) well. The one area where the spruce run really comes out on top is actually the material. It is made with super light, durable, and windproof Pertex Quantum, I believe it is also 15D but is more durable than usual. It's only heavier because of the sleeve zippers. If you're an athletic build, the Compressor fits better than the Spruce Run, I would recommend sizing up however.

5 5

Hot Jacket, no weight

I bought the compressor as a backup insulation for hiking in the White Mountains in October '10.

I testet it for two weeks and I am extremely pleased with the jacket. It packs extremely small, weights next to nothing (XL: 453 grams (exactly 1 lb) including an ultralight 3.5 liter stuff sack). I weighted it myself, the weight in the Backcountry specs is far to high.

Especially the insulation impresses me. I was wet of sweat, when I reached the peak of a hike, which was an exposed spot at around 4000 feet elevation, exposed to wind and temperatures in the mid 30's, I just got the compressor out of the backpack and was toasty warm in literally seconds.

I am so pleased, that the compressor is now my favorite backup isolation. It replaces my fleece layer, as it is warmer, lighter and far more compressible.

Tip: Get a lightweight stuff sack for it 3 to 4 liter will fit great.

alpen glow in the city of rocks

alpen glow in the city of rocks

Posted on

a good light layer for a fall morning sunrise.

4 5

the compressor

good lite weight and minimal jacket. packs small and keeps you warm as long as it's not super cold. great for spring, summer and fall outings when it's not quite cold enough but you want that furnace feeling.

what is this garment equivalent to in down?...

Posted on

what is this garment equivalent to in down? 650,700,800 fill.
need an everyday parka for wyoming that will keep the person warm. And length, will it go past the waist?

Best Answer Responded on

Jill. Unfortunately, there is not a way to compare a fill weight of down with the 120grams of primaloft in this jacket as it relates to warmth. Think of it this way, I could make a jacket exactly like this using 650, 700, 800-fill down... as it is not the number that dictates the thickness (warmth) of the jacket it's the amount of down you put in the jacket to start with. I am assuming that you think a higher number = warmer? This is not the case. A real easy way to think of it is... the higher the fill weight the closer to the goose. Therefore, the higher the fill weight the more downy feathers there are in the make up of the down and the lighter and more lofty the down is for a given volume. Clear as mud? The best way to get an idea of jacket warmth on a website is to look at its weight. The heavier the weight the more insulation is being used and usually the warmer the jacket is over all.

As far as warmth is concerned for an everyday jacket in Wyoming? I would say this would work well for spring summer and fall. You'd probably want something warmer for the coldest of the winter months. And the length comes right down to your waist... not passed.

I hope all this info helps!

Responded on

Hey Jill-- I'm sure @ this time-- Nov 2010--you've already made decision but I'm writing here in hopes I might help others. I had the predecessor to this jacket for 3 yrs, this would be the 4th winter if I hadn't retired it to the back of my car as an "emergency" stash. The primaloft has gone thru 2 revisions since mine-- Primaloft one and the eco now. I've lived in Wy, and now live in Helena, Mt. The jacket astounded me-- I broke ALL the rules with it, out of curiosity. I could wear the jacket with a long-sleeved (high quality) COTTON tee under it,--nothing else-- all day around town, @ 30* overcast days, and I was perfectly warm. And I tend to be a little "cool", not warm. Properly layered with wicking tee and/or a polartech micro, 100, or 200, you'd be toasty unless there's a fair wind blowing. I wore it to work every day, 5 days a week, at my (then) call-center job, over just a shirt, no tee. Weekends I wore it out kicking around. Only con-- by end of 3rd winter, I'd worn it out, and the insulation was starting to work thru the shell. But, I nearly Lived in the thing for 3 winters ( and I was tired of the color,lol). I bought the jacket as an alternative. I had a full leather bomber jacket, with mutton collar and removable wool insulated full lining, including sleeves. The retailer, Jos A Bank, labeled it "our warmest winter jacket". It IS slightly warmer, esp in a strong wind, and probably weighs about 6 pounds (this one is exactly 1 #, according to a reviewer). The reason I'm on this website tonight is to replace my worn out one. :) nuf said.

Responded on

Here's a link to a very useful forum on where a bunch of people have privately tested down and primaloft to find their CLO values. It becomes apparent very quickly that Primaloft is still a long way from being as warm as down, but because of the warm when wet properties, it's insanely useful stuff.

Primaloft One with convexion (which is now standard to all primaloft products) has a CLO/oz. value of .92, which is almost exactly the same as 625 fill power down. 800 fill power down has a CLO/oz. value of 1.68, which is why the stuff is so warm. Just don't get it wet.

2 5

Was Expecting Better

I bought this jacket with high hopes of getting a warm light-weight jacket that would function in everyday use as well as technically for skiing and backpacking. I didn't get a chance to test it out technically but it is not cut out for everyday use. I took this jacket on a two week back packing tour through Europe and wore it pretty much everyday. Initially, I really liked the jacket. It is warm, light weight, zips-up high to protect my face from wind and cold, and the hood is very wamr. However, after a couple wears I started to notice the main double zipper was difficult and did not zip correctly without careful attention. Then I started to notice the zippers on the pockets, they too were difficult and often caught the material around the zippers, the outside chest zipper actually got caught in the material so bad it riped a hole on the inside. Also, I wore a typical daypack/book bag carrying a camera, food, water, etc. About a week into the trip my friends noticed the back of the jacket started to show wear. I am greatly disappointed in the jacket and will be returning it shortly. For almost $200 I was expecting much more.

4 5


I'm pretty happy with this jacket. I'm 6'3", 240# and the XL fits nicely. It's a nice, lightweight alternative to my SubZero Parka if it's not bitterly cold. Wear a sweater underneath, and you're good for your commute on most winter days in Chicago. I haven't spent an extended time outside yet.

5 5

Rock Solid

Bought this jacket to use around town. I'm 5"11 , 175, with a very small spare tire and the large fits perfect. If it's in the 20's or lower there is plenty of room for a R2 base layer for extra warmth. This jacket is not shinny like a trash bag. I was worried about that because I read a review saying it was, but when I pulled it out of the bag it looked great!!!! My only knock on it would be the collar, it's just a bit flimsy for me but that is me being Manny. Bottom line, if you want a nice mid-weight jacket that performs and the ladies will notice, look no further!!! GO METS!!!!

4 5

much better than fleece

Layers under a shell really well as the exterior is slick sort of slippery nylon. This thing is lighter, warmer and more compressible than almost all fleece, get one to replace your old fleece and you won't regret it. For anyone serious about getting into wilderness where they will need some warm layers this is a good purchase. Minor issue for backpacking, handpocket zippers are right at hipbelt height.

I suggest you try it on before ordering if possible. Fit is great, I'm almost 6' and 175 lbs (I'm atheltic and not overweight at all) and the large really fits well. I have some other jackets from popular outdoors brands (patagonia, cloudveil) and their mediums fit me perfectly. So if you're my size you may want to try both a medium and a large on somewhere or cunsult with backcountry customer service who sometimes can help with getting you sized on internet or help with ordering both sizes and getting mailorder returns (they have been great).
While I haven't bushwacked with the jacket, I would suspect the shell fabric wouldn't hold up. Be warned and wear something burly over it before getting into anything thorny.

5 5

light on weight, not on warmth

This was my main source of warmth on my recent Autumn ascent of Mt. Whitney. The warmth to weight ratio is outstanding for a synthetic, and the Primaloft shell provides top performance regardless of temperature (i.e. I feel like the jacket is appropriate whether it's 65 degrees or 35 degrees (F)). It's comfortable at temperatures even lower when I'm engaged in strenuous activity, and it has superb breathability once I've broken a sweat.

Like other Mountain Hardwear gear, the fit is probably not geared toward the tallest of folks. Otherwise, this jacket is a sure bet for good insulation with featherlight weight.

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