Mountain Hardwear Optimo Jacket
This is the best shell I have owned! The Optimo Jacket…
Price Paid: $425
This is the best shell I have owned! The Optimo Jacket is lightweight and is a true shell, i.e., not lined. The entire thing is fully waterproof and all zippers are waterproof as well. The pit zips work great!
The inner membrane has something of a chamois feel and does not feel rubbery or plastic at all. The hood is fully adjustable and can be used with a helmet or just over your melon.
I wore it yesterday on an AT ski trip in wind and snowing conditions. I was carrying a 20 lb pack and went up about 4,000 feet in elevation. While I was climbing, the jacket did not totally keep up with my sweating, but when I stopped I noticed that most of the sweat was able to evaporate. The air outside was also very dry, which helped. The front chest pocket is totally waterproof and it kept my iPhone totally dry all day long.
Even though it does not have a powder skirt, I was able to cinch up the bottom of the jacket enough to keep all snow out. The sleeves are velcro and very quick to adjust. The main zipper in the front zips from the top or from the bottom in case you want to let some air in. I did not ever feel clammy in it at all. Some perspiration condensation is to be expected with any jacket if you are working hard.
All in all a great shell and I expect many good years of use from this top notch product!