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Mountain Hardwear Carnic Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Carnic Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2020.

photo: Mountain Hardwear Carnic Jacket waterproof jacket


Price Historic Range: $157.48-$349.95
Reviewers Paid: $110.00


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

The Carnic jacket by Mountain Hardwear really performs well at its stated goal - lightweight, breathable weather protection. I recently used mine on a quick, end-of-Winter camping and cross country skiing trip (having just purchased it) and it did its job with aplomb. 

I used it over a technical shirt while skiing and although it was a little bit warm for the upper 20's conditions, the decent venting options and technical characteristics of the fabric did a good job and kept me from overheating. Since I tend to run pretty warm when I'm exercising, this performance becomes even more notable. The jacket also warmed me up quickly and effectively whenever I had a prolonged stop and needed to "batten up the hatches".  Just closing the hand pockets had a profound effect on heat retention.  

The Carnic was also a very effective top layer when the weather got cold.  With temps in the low single digits (and one below zero night), it paired extremely well with a fleece jacket.  Despite not having a powder skirt, it still kept my body heat where I needed it.  There was no bellows effect, which really surprised me.  Since it's such an overall lightweight product, this performance is really impressive. 

I like the welded seams and the storm-proof zippers, and the fit is very efficient for me.  The only drawback to the jacket is that the hood is so targeted for use with a helmet that it is not as fitted or comfortable when you're not wearing one (despite the amount of adjustment options built in).  I never really got the hood to function as well as I would've liked, but I have had similar experiences with other helmet-engineered hoods, so this is not unique to the Carnic.

Overall, a great technical shell that is useful across a broad range of applications.  It will cut down on the number of shells I need to bring on future outdoor adventures!

Price Paid: $110 on

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