User Review: Mountain Hardwear Men's Windstopper Tech Jacket
Price Paid: $129
Incredibly versatile. The key is to use layers--MH sizes the jacket to allow for triple fleece underneath, even a down sweater for cold casual wear. (If you just want it for fashion in SoCal winter, go down a size.)
For high-exertion activities, this jacket shines with large pit zips that enable no to high venting from the sides. It beats overpriced cycling jackets, and really, the cycling attire cos are always behind the curve, because they just look to the mountain-winter-sports sector for their me-too cold-weather apparel "innovations".
Your underlayers will be a bit damp, but never soaked if you adjust your zips correctly. This jacket blocks the wind but allows good sweat evaporation. If you go out where it rains for a prolonged period like in the Pac NW, you need a waterproof shell. This isn't a rain jacket, although it sheds light, brief showers.
Overall, with proper layered-tailoring, it's a great top cover in windy conditions from well below freezing to 50 F. For example I've ridden down to 19 F with an effective windchill of ca. 5 F, and that was half unzipped in front and fully unzipped under the arms. I was wearing a Patagonia Synchilla pullover, a thin merino undershirt and a polypro undershirt. If I had totally zipped up, I would have gotten overheated.
Pockets are good for stuff, not really for hand-warming.