Mountain Hardwear FTX Ultra Jacket
Fabric: FTX ULTRA XCR 3-PLY
Price Paid: $440
At first the FTX Ultra could take anything I could throw at it. White outs, 550mph winds, I even took it into the shower once--Flawless.
After 2-3 years the hood area around the neck started to leak. I was disappointed at the time. It's like once the shine of the fabric diminished, so did the waterproofness. I couldn't believe it. I guess XCR 3-ply with FTX Ultra fabric is not the best combination, heck, I never even took it to Mt Sneffels, before it FAILED.
Fabric: 3 ply XCR Gore-Tex
Price Paid: $690 (Cdn)
This jacket is a beautiful thing. I own an original TNF Mtn Light and this Ultra surpasses it by years (no pun intended!), fit and finish are awesome, the powder skirt works amazing, pockets galore that when they are full are not big and bulky. The internal water bottle pockets hold the new platypus 2/3 L hydration bags quite nicely that when finished collapse to nothing.
Now the important part, breathable and function, amazing, especially in combination to the extra long pit zips and the zent (access pocket) on the chest - none of which are covered by pack straps.
Do I recommend the jacket - no question, but not the cheapest piece of gear around - mind you, abrasion resistance is supposedly at least 5x greater than taslan - so I am expeceting 10 yrs out of this jacket.
Update: February 7, 2001
I submitted the other review on this jacket and almost forgot to mention the hood -- the MOST EFFECTIVE hood system I have tried yet -- hands down -- ease of operation is by simple drawcords -- one on each side at the chin to close around the face, simple operation you just pull -- even with thick gloved hands, and the cord for the top of the head -- again simple, just pull.
To release the tension for the front cords squeeze the tabs and they release nicely -- no catching -- for the top tension cord -- there is tab on either side of the rear draw cord that you pull apart and this releases the tension easily -- again no snagging. The hood fits snugly, conforms to any head shape, and moves without blocking the view - the beak is also a nice flexible addition that hold its shape when on.
Price Paid: £130
Truley this outer shell is effing amazing! It's got evrything, all the right specifications and made by one of the most respected mountaineering companies in the world. I recently purchased mine off ebay at an incredible price £130 wickid :)and I must say it is wirth every penny!
3-layer gore-tex xcr fabric with xcr reinforcement patches on sleeves etc.
internal mesh pockets
fold away hood (by the way it really is the best ever!)
super long under arm pit zips
fleece chin guard
True to form Mountain Hardwear really have gone to town with this shell and for certain it is the best yet!
Fabric: FTX Ultra /Gore Tex XCR
Price Paid: $450
This jacket is bulletproof. The shell material is probably the most tear/abrasion resistant jacket on the market. The 3-layer Gore-Tex XCR laminate works wonders to keep you dry and warm. Water and wind resistance is exceptional. Functionality is key with several strategically placed pockets, 2 interior mesh bottle holders, amazing venting options, ergonomic hood which moves with your head and plastic loops to keep your gloves secured.
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