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Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor PL Jacket

rated 3.50 of 5 stars

The Hooded Compressor PL Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best synthetic insulated jackets for 2023.

photo: Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor PL Jacket synthetic insulated jacket

This jacket has incredible weight/warmth ratio, fits perfectly as underlayer for my MH hardshell. It also a pleasure to wear as outerlayer because of how soft it is, and it also packs very small so you can take in anywhere.


  • Warm
  • Light
  • Packs small
  • Nice touch


  • Quite expensive, but worth it

I'm 6.4, 205 lbs and size xxl is perfect also for use as midlayer under MH Argon hardshell/xxl/. Slick surface makes it very easy to use as midlayer, cut is very comfortable for me — no bulging, no friction.

Astonishing weight/warm ratio comparable with down shirt, but effective else when wet. I've never tested waterproofness as a outerlayer. Hood is easy to adjust and adds a lot to overall thermal comfort.

In my opinion it is a perfect midlayer for winter and very interesting alternative for fleece for another 3-seasons.

Source: bought it new

I've been using the jacket for about a year. I moved to Colorado and I needed something a bit warmer than what I owned.

First off I love the looks of the jacket. Kinda retro. Nice colors.

Second, the jacket is plenty warm for most days. Add a shell (recommended anyway) and you will be very warm down to 20 or so degrees. Put on gloves and a hat, and it will keep you warm at even cooler temps than than.

Third, the jacket is exceedingly comfortable. I wear it without a shirt on sometimes and it feels really good against the skin. The nylon is thin and supple, which makes for a very light/comfortable jacket. 

This is also the downside. The nylon is so thin, it can rip and tear very easily. Perhaps the most annoying thing, though, is that if you are ever close to a fire, EVERY single little ember will burn a hole in your jacket. Sitting next to someone smoking? Watch out, you WILL find holes in your jacket. I had to buy a patch kit and patch about 10 small holes where various embers hit me.

I like everything about this jacket except how delicate it is. I would have gladly sacrificed an oz. or two of lightness for a bit more durability. I have had NO issues with zipper, fraying.. etc. No actual QUALITY issues, just that the nylon is very thin.

If you are prepared to be careful where you wear it, or always wear it will some type of shell, I think you will like this jacket very much. Just be advised! 

Price Paid: $80

First off let me just start off saying that this jacket is unbelievably warm for the weight, or lack thereof. It is completely wind resistant and the medium fits me like a glove. I am 5'10 175 with wide shoulders and a muscular build.

The jacket packs down to about cantaloupe size and when worn, is not bulky at all. Not as warm as down, but extremely close and way more versatile as a layer. Manages body temperature extremely well.

Have only used in temps from the low 30's to the low teens and has been outstanding as a layer over a plain synthetic tshirt. The zipper is very high quality, but since the jacket is so lightweight and thin the zipper can be hard to pull up at times unless you hold the bottom of the jacket down to zip up. But that's minor and I usually do that with jackets anyway.

CONS: Fabric is a ripstop fabric but you do not want to go bushwacking in it without a shell over. Do not buy this if this is gonna be your outer layer for hiking through woods. Would not trust the fabric around branches.

PROS: This is a INSULATING LAYER to the core!!! Great ventilation throughout, hood cinches down well and packs down to nothing. Can be used as an outer layer on the trail but not off of it.

Overall: Extremely versatile layer with extreme warmth!
Great cuff cinches and hood can easily fit a helmet.
Zip goes all the way up to in front of your mouth for those extra cold and windy days.
Completely wind proof
Super light weight and very packable

Fill: Prima Loft ECO

DON'T BUY THIS JACKET!!! I have owned a lot of Mountain Hardware clothing in the past and I love what I have, but the new stuff is getting really cheap. Had the Compressor PL Jacket 2 days of easy wearing around town (no activities) and a seem just broke free in the front. Then 2 days after that another seem broke free on the side....and I'm just walking around!! I really couldn't believe it.

I have a lot of outdoor enthusiast friends and most of them don't like it either due to quality issues. Nothing like the old Chugach 3D Jacket used to be. I still have that one and it's going strong after 5 years.

Since day one I have been having zipper problems too... I hate zipper problems, they're a huge signal no real care has gone into the product. I remember when this same pattern happened with North Face. SAVE YOURSELF SOME WARMTH and get another major brand who backs their product.

Price Paid: $170

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Price Historic Range: $98.94-$200.00
Reviewers Paid: $80.00-$170.00
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