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Vincent L.

Vincent L.

Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a review of on March 26, 2011

My great small Alchemy
5 5

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.

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a question about on March 25, 2011

I have a size small of this jacket. I like it but it seems to be a little too loose for my liking to use as a layering piece under a shell. Unfortunately, TNF does not make an XS for this jacket so I think I am stuck with a small. Ideally, I would like to have a 300-weight fleece with minimum loft and without any windproof material to use as a layer under either hard shell or a soft shell. Does such jacket exist? I have looked at Patagonia, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, etc. but I have not been able to find one. Most of the fleece jackets from these manufacturers either have a windproof membrane, or they are not a 300-weight equivalent, or they have are too fur lofty (Monkey Man). I don’t need a windproof jacket, as I have both hard shells and soft shells for that job, so I just want a heavy short hair fleece for the best of thermal regulations under a windproof shell. Thanks!

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a question about on March 25, 2011

Can anyone clear things up for me for fit? I have read thru numerous reviews on the Hyllus; some say it has a loose fit while others claim it has an athletic fit. It is listed as “relaxed” fit on the spec. I am confused with these contradictory claims. I have a small frame weighing at 135 lb and standing around 5’6” so naturally I wear a size small for most jackets. Unfortunately, Arc’s does not make a XS so I will have to be stuck with a small if I get one. The only Arc’teryx I have had is the Crossbow, which was humongous (in small) for me to say the least despite everyone claims that Arc’ stuff are designed for form fitting. As a reference, I am wearing a size small Mountain Hardwear Alchemy, which is one of my favorite outerwear pieces in the closet, as it seems to be tailored to fit my small frame. Does anyone have both the Alchemy and the Hyllus that you can compare them for me size wise? The Gamma MX is also on my list. The Gamma MX is listed as “athletic” fit on the spec, which sounds like what I want, but I am concerned that it has long sleeves for being a climber’s piece, as I absolutely hate to have excess material on my arms. Any insight you can provided on this subject will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a review of on March 20, 2011

4 5

These shells have a very slim fit so size up if heavy layering is desired. The stretching fabric is nice as it feels like a softshell inside. Sleeves are perfect for my "standard" lenght arms so this means they can be short for those who have long arms. The offset drop hem is very pronounced which I absolutely hate, as I think it looks out of whack with a tail on the back of my jacket. People would think you must be a weirdo to have a jacket with a tail if you wear it to the mall.

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a question about on March 11, 2011

Why the heck did these alpine shells had to have offset drop hems? It is just awful looking to have a jacket with the back side longer than the front - it looks unfit, unbalanced, and simply weird. Why couldn’t they have even hems? Why not have the front hem long enough to wear a harness over it and with an even length back hem to cover your butt? What is wrong with this logic?

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a review of on February 26, 2011

5 5

This Mountain Hardwear Artero is a fantastic hard shell. I have two of them, one in green and one in black/gray, and I have just ordered a third one since it was on sale. I wish it had more color choices, as I would have bought at least one in each color. It fits me like it was tailored to my small body. I have a small frame weighing in at 135 lb and standing at 5'6". To wear it alone over a regular base layer, it would be a little loose but acceptable for my "picky taste" of cloth fitting. The fit becomes perfect when I have a base layer and a puffy mid layer (like a TNF Nutpse down coat) under this hard shell. I am not sure if I would classify it as athletic fit, as it would be more appropriate to list it as a regular fit. The length of the jacket is just about perfect for my short torso, it is not too long nor too short. The sleeves as typical for this type of shell are a little over extended with a thin inner layer on but they are just fine once I put on a puffy down mid layer. It is definitely a bonus to have two chest pockets to accommodate smaller items. The extended pit zips on the body are definitely cool to have. All the PU coated water resistant zippers are a little snug to operate but they are acceptable, as they give me a sense of comfort for being tightly sealed for the elements. All the logos are threaded with a touch of class instead of those etched in logos like some other famous brands that are not worth mentioning here. The multi- color fabric used on this hard shell is cool to have, as it is kind of boring to see a mono color scheme for most of other shells in this class. All the seams are sealed with welds and micro tapes so there is nothing special to mention here. With all the positive things mentioned, it must have something negative to comment on, right. The adjustment loops around the neck of the hood do not have those external plastic locks to lock in the settings but they seem to hold okay. The integrated hood is quite large so if you are not using a helmet it can be annoying to fop up and to squeeze down but I am not sure if this is a con though for a alpine style hard shell made to accommodate wearing a helmet. The Gore-TEX Pro Shell fabric is "paper thin" so I am a little concerned about its toughness to withstand some harsh environments out there but time will tell when I have more opportunities to test it. The fabric used for this hard shell seems quite "soft" and quiet to my surprise, as I would expect it to be quite hard and noisy. Pit zips do not have an internal flap like I have seen some others have to further enhance waterproof protection. Also, I think it would be more versatile for this hard shell to have a powder skirt, as a non alpine climber would have one just for skiing. For now, I am extremely pleased with it so I am gonna give it a 5 star rating.

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a review of on February 26, 2011

2 5

I have a small frame weighing in at 135 lb and standing at 5’6”. Naturally, all of my winter jackets are in size small. My own rule of thumb for a cold weather shell that fits well must be able to accommodate a regular base layer along with a puffy down jacket like the TNF Nutpse as a mid layer, and have a snug fit but not overly tight. I had acquired a small Marmot Alpinist recently and was totally disappointed with it even though I am a big fan of Marmot. The Alpinist had excessively long sleeves and it fit extremely tight with a TNF Nutpse down jacket on. It was sized completely different than a small Marmot Pallisades Gore-TEX Performance Shell that I have been wearing. I did try a size medium and the body was perfect but by golly the sleeves were even longer, making it extremely uncomfortable in the arms. I know you can lock them down but still there is a lot of extra material there to roll up. This problem was made even worst by the small opening of the sleeves. I have a slender build for my weight class so I don’t think my arms are too short for my size. Why the heck in the world did Marmot make such long sleeves for this technical piece? Had they used the Pallisades size template, the Alpinist would have been great. My small Pallisades Gore-TEX Performance Shell has plenty long sleeves too for my arms but they are not too excessive like the Alpinists. I am not a technical climber (I am a runner, cyclist, skier, and hiker for now) but I would think if the sleeves were too long, they would interface with the functioning of your hands when climbing. I can see the sleeves may be 1” or so longer than the normal length to accommodate a climber to reach up but the sleeves of the 2010 Alpinist were definitely way beyond the normal extended length, at least for my arms. With that said, everything else on this jacket was right on. I especially like all the front pockets. The chest pockets had a protective hood even though zippers were the PU coated water resistant type. The same thing goes for the pit zips. The removable powder skirt is definitely a plus for skiing, as there are very few Alpine style technical pieces have one. The “stretch” fabric can be felt a bit if you pull on it but this shell definitely did not feel like a “soft” shell at all, as I was hearing that nylon creaking sound when moving around. It is definitely a hard shell with a more compliance fabric.

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Vincent L.

Vincent L.wrote a review of on February 4, 2011

3 5

I am a male 140 lb at 5' 6". I have a small black Glade. It is an awesome jacket for being stylish and warm. The outer shell seems to be very ruggedized with thick material construction. It makes all my other 3-1 component jackets (TNF and Columbia) look bad, construction wise. The inner liner is very thin but once zipped into the shell, the jacket seems to keep me quite warm in the peak of southern Ohio winter weather. The removable powder skirt is a welcome feature. The hood is also removable. The sleeves seem to be a little too long for my liking. It needs to be at least 1 in shorter. Workmanship seems to be very good throughout with no defects to be found anywhere. Unfortunately, the only and biggest negative about this jacket is that it is not seam taped. This means that it is not waterproof construction wise even though the fabric is a waterproof material. Not sure why a jacket this caliber is not thoroughly waterproof. I will take 2 stars off the rating just for this deficiency.

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