Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Jacket
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Kept it)
Overall, this jacket has more than exceeded my expectations! I have used this jacket so far quite consistently the past 5 weeks in North N.J. and must say it is a very versatile and comfortable jacket (not to mention stylish).
- totally windproof
- neck protection
- side chest vents
- dual cuff layer preventing draft via sleeves
- big in the chest
- could be better fit to size
I really appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this product. Especially the cuffs that have an additional lining with the wrists.. nicely done. The zip cords around the waist are a nice feature too considering the jacket runs a little big in the chest.. that one area that could be improved upon. I'd also like to see a more tailored cut down the back, and there is plenty (almost too much) of room around the chest and waist.. arm length is great.
It's also totally windproof; I was just in Chicago this weekend and this jacket was perfect, and I had only a t-shirt underneath.
Overall, I would recommend this jacket and find it a great all purpose jacket with match up to some of my colder hiking and backpacking trips. Thank you for the opportunity and experience to write about this jacket.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Kept)
Awesome jacket! My go-to spring/fall outer layer.
- Water resistant
- Wind proof
This jacket is great. I wear it when it's not raining, or in the light mist. It really blocks out the wind and keeps you warm. It breathes really well too. I'm 6', 165 and a large is a little too big, so I'd recommend a medium.
I highly recommend this jacket for all cool weather activities, when it's not too wet.
Full disclosure, I receive products from Gore for product testing.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Kept it)
Excellent torso and sleeve length, extreme protection from the wind, and nice casual look for wearing in a variety of situations.
- Very windproof
- Nice look
- Good length
- Extra room in the chest
As a member of Gore MountainTechs, I have the opportunity to field test GORE-TEX gear in some of the harshest conditions...this jacket has not disappointed!
First and foremost, the important part: it performs excellent in even strong wind, which retains core warmth in very cold conditions. I have worn it as my only jacket in temps of single digits and stayed warm (albeit while staying active). It is not a parka by any means, but works great as a solo jacket if working out aerobically, or works as a mid-layer in the brutal cold.
Breathability is excellent, but it does not have pit zips for those extreme aerobic times. Regarding fit, it has a perfect sleeve length and torso length for me, and I usually require tall sizes to avoid the dreaded short-sleeve. The cuff fits tight, which is great for me, but could be a hindrance if you have large wrists.
Pockets are well placed for casual wear, not as good if wearing a pack. I'm pretty slim, and there's a bit of extra room in the chest which creates some very slight baginess, but it's minor in the grand scheme of things. After years of consistent use, it has literally zero signs of wear and has held up great.
Overall I would highly recommend this jacket!
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer
Surprisingly warm and super reliable, this jacket is awesome. Lightweight and packable but totally wind and cold proof. This is the jacket!
- super warm
- totally wind proof
- great seals at neck and wrist to keep cold out
As a disclaimer, I occasionally get to test Gore products and received this jacket for that purpose. And this really is a great jacket. the material itself is incredibly tough for its light weight, and surprisingly warm.
Gore claims that the jacket is windproof and they really mean it. It's almost surreal to stand outside on a cold windy night with this jacket on.
It has a few very cool features: fleece cuffs at the wrist to keep cold out, and a fleece neckline that you can cinch in to trap warm air. Great pocket placement for wearing a backpack too. And the exterior is really tough and sure to last for years. w
Wear this jacket with a t shirt underneath on a windy cold winter night and you won't be anything but impressed. 5 stars.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Kept it)
My go-to winter coat.
- Isn't waterproof
This has become my go-to everyday winter coat. The windstopper fabric is thin but does a great job keeping the wind off. It is good down to the mid-20s before I need to throw on a shell. The chest pocket works good for holding chapstick and keys.
The downside is it isn't waterproof and will get wet in rain or wet snow. I am 5'11" and 180lbs and a large fits good.
As a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Gore for product testing of Gore-tex products for the purpose of product review and recommendation. I do receive items from Gore for these purposes.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (kept it)
One of the best all around jackets.
- warm for weight
- great fit
- cuffs at wrist
Full disclosure, I am a GORE MOUNTAIN TECH member. I have owned this jacket now for about 1 year, and it is pretty much the jacket that I wear 90% of the time while outdoors in the winter. It's not to heavy, yet keeps you warm, and is very comfortable. Also, the outer material is tough! I have tried to abuse this jacket, and still no rips or tears.
Its sizing for me is perfect. I am 6'1 190 lbs, and have a large...fits like a glove. It has thick fleece around the cuffs which helps keep the wind out, but can feel a little tight, especially if you have a watch or something on.
Overall, outstanding jacket..highly recommended.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Gore MountainTechs program)
The Mountain Hardwear Alchemy Jacket is perfect for cool, windy conditions or just wearing around town. The Windstopper fabric really does cut the wind.
- Good fit
I have worn my Alchemy Jacket for a couple of years and when it is not raining in the Pacific Northwest, where I live, it is my go-to jacket. It has clean lines, functional pockets and a nice collar which you can adjust with the weather.
The chest pocket is very handy. The sleeve gaskets are interesting. You can wear them over your wrist for total wind protection or push them up the sleeve for better ventilation. The fabric seems to be very durable but a little warm for aerobic activities above freezing.
I am 6 3, 210 pounds and this jacket fits me perfectly. Not a rainproof jacket, but good for a slight mist.
Disclaimer: I belong to the Gore MountainTechs group and I receive and get to test Windstopper products. Regardless of this, I still love my Alchemy Jacket.
Price Paid: $100 and $115 from eBay
I bought two different colors in the same size from sellers on eBay. And for the life of me I don't understand why anyone would give them up!
The Alchemy is a great jacket. Nice form factor with maneuverability. It's technical enough for any activity and works well for an everyday piece as well. I have a black and gray model and I absolutely love the sapphire blue! The cuffs are nice and tight, WINDSTOPPER is a godsend in any jacket, and I can stay warm in Georgia weather with just a T-shirt underneath.
MH doesn't carry it anymore, but you can still find them on some sites (Easier on the wallet). Well worth the search. I plan on using these for a long time, as they make excellent additions to my quill of soft shells residing in my closet.
Sapphire $100 from eBay, Black $115 from eBay
Don't pass it up if you find it.
Price Paid: $160
Live in Ontario. I use the jacket for camping and around town extensively. I'm 5'10" 160lbs, got it in L because M was tight around shoulders and did not allow for under layer.
Had the jacket for about 5 years or more until stolen 2 weeks ago. I used it heavily in rain and cold, on camping trips and around town.
Very good quality jacket, abrasion resistant in the bush. Nothing ever broke or tore away after years of extensive use. Huge hand pockets, soft neck lining and fleece inner lining are some of my favourite features. The jacket does not restrict movement which is another feature I really liked.
The jacket can handle one hour of light rain exposure and temperatures down to 10C in camping scenario, around town I used it all winter between the house car work and shopping. The bottom of the jacket runs a little big but there are cinch cords to aid with that.
I have Arc'teryx Gamma MX and one of their Polartec fleece jackets but most of the time I used the Alchemy because it's more versatile.
Price Paid: $167
After 3 years it's running great. Though a few threads have torn, I won't send it in because I use it constantly and don't want to give it up.
The cuffs are tight, the fit great and it's completely windproof. Not waterproof, but resistant for the first year or so. I've had to recoat it about 3 times in the past 2 years and it's still not as good as new. It's very hot if you move a lot because of the thick, neoprene-like shell but this is perfect when I'm active.
Neck cinch is a great addition as well as the inside pocket. Wish it had under-arm vents though. Waist is short and size is a bit small overall, but you should wear it tight anyway.
Fabric: Alchemy, gore-windstopper
Price Paid: $170
The best jacket for mountaineering IN THE WORLD. I used it on Rainier, Eldorado, Devils Peak, Devils Thumb, and rock climbs all over Washington State. It is stretchy enough for those long reaches on rock and ice. I use it as a belay jacket on some spring and summer rock climbs. I wore it to the top of Rainier just last June, and I kept it on all the way to the top, and all the way back down to the high camp. It is the perfect blend of materials.
Fabric: Nylon DWR Windstopper Gore
Fill: Brushed polyester lining
Price Paid: $149 at Everest Gear
Wore this for five days of skiing around Lake Tahoe in January-February. Kept me comfortable, moving and protected in conditions from warm sun to harsh winds and falling snow, and rebuffed the occasional spill. Completely weatherproof, athletic fit moves easily, but enough room for three layers beneath including a Snozone fleece during storms.
For ordinary outdoor pursuits like hiking, climbing, or skiing, this jacket is superb and adaptable; I simply left the parka at home on the last trip. My one nit: I want them to put in armpit vents.
Wore this jacket right out of the store. The first weekend I went out to a fall retreat where it rained quite a bit in the chilly Colorado mountains. It is warm and fits great. It has held up for about 6 months now really well. :) I can wear it with a t-shirt at cold temps with low winds and be completely content. I add a light MNT HardWear polartec fleece for windier colder weather, which is a really comfy combination!
Price Paid: $150
I love this jacket!! I just got it two weeks ago off ebay, for a great price ,and I have worn it everywhere since the day I recieved it!! It is my new favorite jacket!! I haven't been out in it in any extreme weather but in the rain it is excellent!! It seems more waterproof than water resistant to me. I will write a more detailed review when I get some more use out of it!!
I got this jacket about a month ago and have worn it daily ever since. It's been great skiing, in the rain, and just around campus. I'd recommend a good mid-layer for insulation, but overall I am completely satisfied. When you're skiing it's raining at 1" an hour and you stay warm and toasty, I'd say that's a pretty good soft shell...definitely a great choice for an all-around jacket.
As far as fit goes I normally wear a Large but due to the semi-slim fit of the Alchemy, an XL fits best, allowing for a mid layer without being skin tight.
My only small complaint with the Alchemy Jacket regards the cuffs. At first glance they appear super warm and comfortable, however they are in fact too warm as my wrists seem to constantly sweat. I don't notice it when I'm active but when I slow down it can kinda get annoying.
Without hesitation I'd recommend this jacket to anyone wanting a versatile, soft shell.
This is an essential jacket when cold, wind and a need for freedom of movement are called for. The windstopper qualities are excellent and the warmth lends itself to extended ice climbing or general cold weather activity. These jackets run slightly large. I’d say one size for sure. The high neck allows easy integration with a balaclava.
Uses: Active cold weather (30 and below) but not recommended for extreme cold due to the windstopper properties and the relative lack of breathability.
Pros: Semi-lightweight and very warm. Fabric stretches well and is fairly durable.
Cons: Could use some wrist straps to seal when using lightweight gloves. Cost, but you do get what you pay for with Mountain Hardwear.
Fabric: Windstopper Gore
I grabbed this softshell since it was on sale and Mountain Hardwear's Large actually fits me; I wear a medium in some companies now they are so big. The fit is great in the torso and neck, very snug for me in the sleeve w/not much give for layers. They say you will not wear much under but ice days in New England are super cold. The Windstopper felt like a hardshell compared to others.
Excellent quality and design by MH, too snug and stiff for me. Grab it if it fits well. I went w/the Gamma SV for the flexibility, softness, and fit. Both companies are quality!
Price Paid: $139
This is one of the best soft shell jackets out there for ice climbing and mountaineering. This jacket stands up to the abuse given while climbing and keeps giving. Would not leave for a day or weeks on any mountain without it. Have purchased 2 from everestgear.com just in case MH decides to quit making these anytime soon.
Price Paid: Gift
I have worn this jacket in everything but a torrential downpour. It is extremely comfy, but can get pretty toasty when exertion levels are high.
Where to Buy
The Mountain Hardwear Men's Alchemy Jacket is not available from the stores we monitor.
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