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The Mountain Hardwear Principia Softshell Jacket offers outdoor versatility and weather protection for shoulder-season camping and tree-line treks. Breathable Motivity Softshell keeps you feeling good when you're working up a sweat and sheds moisture when sudden storms come down the canyon.

  • Motivity Soft Shell fabric shields you from the wind while staying breathable and easy to wear
  • DWR finish repels moisture so you'll stay dry if a little snow comes down
  • Relaxed fit is roomy and comfortable
  • Close-fitting hood keeps your head and ears warm and fits easily under your helmet
  • One-handed adjustable hem keeps warmth in
  • Adjustable cuffs prevent cold air and cuffs from working up your sleeves
  • Zippered handwarmer and chest pockets let you haul a few essentials
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Returned with disappointment

  • Familiarity:I returned this product before using it
  • Fit:True to size

I agree with Jake below. Quality is not what it use to be nor should be at this price point. In the future I'll stay with TNF products.

Perfect mid-layer.

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

This is a great mid-layer/softshell! I tried the Thermostatic, but I wasn't impressed with the sizing (ran big and looked "frumpy"), nor the integrity of the outer material. The Principia has the characteristic slim-fit, which I've come to love from MH, and I completely trust the outer material, very tough and water-resistant. The Principia can be worn as a top-layer in sub-32 degree weather if you have good layering underneath, or can be worn as a true mid-layer under heavier jackets in super-low temps at high altitudes. I'm 5'7" 145lbs, and the Small fits perfect. The Principia is comfortable, stylish, functional, warm, and breathable - everything you need in a great mid-layer.

There may be "better" mid-layer jackets currently on the market, but none for the price of the principia.

Nice Shell.

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

Great jacket. Have had it about a month and have worn it many times. Great on cold and rainy days (definitely keeps me dry). Not as insulated as I hoped but easy to slip a fleece underneath for extra warmth. Would definitely recommend to add to collection.

not impressive

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

Once again, Mountain Hardwear has shown that their quality has slipped in recent years. As I see it, the Principia is a pricepoint jacket -meant for Urban commandos who want to look the business (A softshell with a hood that is not made by TNF) but will rarely use the jacket in any real-world climbing/trekking/backcountry applications.

As for me, I was attracted to the price of the jacket and the hood -which is ample in mildly inclement weather. I did not buy this piece to be a go-to for sturdy adventures, but I did expect it to be capable -unfortunately it is NOT. The seams are shoddy, the cuffs are obtrusive -they catch on everything, as the velcro stops about 1/4 inch before the end of the cuff- the hood is floppy, and too large, yet somehow fits too tightly when wearing a helmet; and the fabric? Let's be nice, and just say, it could be better. Actually, you know what, why stop there? More honestly, the fabric is garbage. It looks, feels, and performs as well as a pair of circa 1974 polyester slacks that you can find at the Good Will for 2 bucks. In other words, if, like Macklemore, you wanna pop some tags, you can replicate the Principia for less than 3 dollars. Shoddy stuff here folks.

In contrast, Ive had a different Mtn Hardwear softshell for over 10 years; it's been through blizzards, multi-days with 60 lb packs, and saved my ass more than once. And it still looks good.

Unfortunately, the Principia just proves to me once again that Patagucc and Arc Teryx are the only good North American climbing apparel companies left.

Keep in mind, the Principia looks almost smart enough to fool others in to thinking you're like, totally extreme, when you go out with your woman for a coffee.

Synopsis: Buy a Gamma LT instead, then go climb something worthy of your manhood.

Mountain Hardware Comes Through

  • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'm heading to the local store to pick up this jacket tonight. I have been hunting for weeks on a softshell that bridges the gap between spring and mild winter and tried this one on, examined it closely, confirmed with my wife I could spend the dough, and I'm doing it. If it comes apart later, I'll write again but at this point - this jacket is a winner.