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Mountain Hardwear Desna Jacket

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   1
0

Eh, very unimpressed. not at all what I was expecting.

Rating: rated 1 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Too much ($145)

Summary

Eh, very unimpressed. not at all what I was expecting.

Pros

  • Unrestricted movement
  • Has a hood
  • Lightweight
  • Easily compressed
  • Very breathable
  • Very comfortable
  • My girl friend says it looks good

Cons

  • Incredibly thin
  • Minimaly wind resistant
  • The hood does not fit at all as advertised
  • Expensive for what it is
  • Not really a fleece
  • Not for cold weather
  • Not water resistant
  • You can see through it when held up
  • Dries slow
  • Useless thumb holes

3/28/14: I just got this jacket today in the mail. I've gotta say I was expecting more of a fleece than an incredibly thin stretching zip-up sweatshirt. I got it for its light weight for backpacking and as an insulating layer under my rain shell in cold/rainy/snowy/windy weather, and my first impression of the jacket has left me a little concerned about my choice.

My previous fleece/all weather insulating layer was a Columbia Steens fleece that I got at a thrift store with the tags still on it for $12. I did a review of it on here, and i think the $12 Clumbia is much more water resistant, wind resistant and warmer. The Desna is longer, has a hood, packs down smaller more easily, weighs less, is more breathable under the arms, and is more comfortable due to the very thin and stretchy material, but value vs value, the Columbia wins hands down in my opinion. The Desna is very overpriced for what it is, and all of the reviews I've read online give it way more credit than this jacket is worth.

Despite my initial first impressions of this "fleece", I put it on over a moisture wicking t-shirt, grabbed my pack, and took to the game lands down the road. It's the end of March in northeastern PA and it's been a windy 45 degree day with sun/clouds mix and there's spots in the forest that still have 6" of snow in some places. There was a little rain earlier in the day also so the environment was relatively cold and damp with ice in the ravines and water dripping from trees.

As the wind blew, I could feel it a whole lot through the jacket, which made me immediately think that the people online that said this thing was wind resistant were full of crap. Then as I went climbing up the steep ice coated ravines, I got some drips of water on me from the rocks up above, and it immediately went through and got my arms wet. This made me think that the people who reviewed this jacket online had lied to me twice now.

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I've worn a $12 Columbia Steens fleece in the exact same scenarios several dozen times throughout the thick of winter, and while working outside in a steady drizzle, and the Columbia blows the Mt Hardwear out of the water.

But back to the Desna. As i climbed up the ice and rocks, I stayed warm despite the constant drafts, and I never started to sweat even during extended periods of exerted energy. I also had a backpack on my back weighing roughly 13 lbs.

In addition to the jacket not really being at all as advertised (not really wind resistant or water resistant), the hood does not fit like a balaclava at all. It zips up so that it's snug to the bottom of your chin, but there's no possible way it could cover a mouth, let alone the nose too. The hood is a little loose for a hood that's suppose to be "snug" as advertised.

All in all, after having this jacket for 5 hours, and testing it once in what I would call average fleece weather, I would not recommend this to a friend. It's my first Mountain Hardwear product and I have to say that I am very unimpressed. It's severely overpriced, and falsely advertised. Find it in a store before you buy it online (a good basic rule, but not always an option).

EDIT 4/1/2014: I keep trying to like this jacket more than I originally did, but it's just too thin to be of use in cooler weather. 45 degrees is about the temp. limit of this "fleece", and that's pushing it. There is almost no air resistance at all. I think i would classify this jacket as a ladies house coat, or a sweat shirt for cool summer nights. If you're looking for an insulating layer fleece to keep you warm, look elsewhere.

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Mountain Hardwear Desna Jacket

currently retails for:
$99.98 - $165.00
MSRP: $165.00

where to buy:

Specs

Weight 1 lb 1 oz / 482 g
Center Back Length 27 in / 69 cm
Body Fabric Stretch Fleece, 93% polyester, 7% elastane