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Mountain Hardwear Recon Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Recon Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2023.

photo: Mountain Hardwear Recon Jacket waterproof jacket

I received this jacket from an online shop recently and thought I'd share my thoughts.

The Recon is a solid jacket for $125.00. DEFINATELY can't go wrong for the price. The jacket weighs just under 1.5 pounds in a men's medium size. The welded radio pocket is something that I will use often, but can see how many people may feel that its a waste of fabric. Just wore the jacket on a short 2 mile hike with the weather at 41 degrees...I stayed nice and comfy without need for the pitzips. Of course, much remains to be seen in slightly warmer weather.

The pockets are nicely laid out and use watertight zippers. I wish that the pitzips did would get rid of that bulky feeling that most jackets with pitzips have (the ones with standard zippers/rain flaps). The length is shorter than other jackets I've owned but is enough to keep the weather out. The built in powder skirt helps with that as well.

A brief trip into the shower has shown that the seam taping was done well, without a drop of water coming through at any point (yes, I have had jackets fail this simple test...a certain "light" jacket that is popular comes to mind).

The hood is well made, but I am not sure of how it would fit over a climbing helmet as I am currently without one. It does stow away nicely under a flap which velcros in place however.

I feel that for the price ($280 retail, $126 on sale) you can't go wrong if you need a fully waterproof/breathable shell. It passed the shower test and fits nice. The cut is athletic so lots of layering isn't an option. A good fleece fits fine though and for me the Patagonia R2 jacket layers quite nicely with this jacket.

For all other conditions, I stand by my review of the Patagonia Dimension Jacket ( as it breaths better than any waterproof shell that I own and withstands the normal winter conditions you are likely to encounter on a day trip without leaving you drenched in sweat.

Fabric: 3 layer Conduit with ripstop nylon/taslan
Price Paid: $125

I've owned this jacket for about a little over two years now. I purchased it on sale from an outdoor/outfitter shop in Altamonte Springs, Fla., just outside of Orlando. Mine is sage and dark grey in color.

So far the jacket has been great. I took it on a few Spring season hikes here in Santa Barbara County, CA, and it worked out well. I also wear it around town as well as on travels. It is a lightweight, durable, short, and thin jacket that does everything I was looking for out of a hard shell. The jacket will roll down nicely to fit inside a small pouch or pocket of a day pack.

The only downfall is it seems to fit somewhat strange. What I mean by this is it tightens up around the chest and front neck area when leaning slightly forward. I read one of the other reviews and the reviewer mentioned that he heard MH designs their jacket for thinner people. I am 5'6", 160 lbs, and a 40-41" chest with a decently athletic build. If I wear my Marmot 200 weight fleece jacket underneath the Recon Jacket does look somewhat snug or full. Although it may look like that it seems fine. Sometimes I will wear my Arc'teryx Gamma SV soft shell jacket underneath as a liner which provides plenty of room for the Recon. I am looking into purchasing the MH Monkey Man fleece as a warming liner instead of using the Marmot fleece. Reason why, is the Recon is cut at waist length and the Marmot will show a little at the bottom. Plus the Monkey Man may not fill the Recon as much.

Fabric: water-resistant
Price Paid: $185

I skied an entire season of backcountry in this jacket and it was great. I love that it has water-tight zippers on the pockets but not on the main zipper (they're too stiff to use frequently). I also love that it doesn't have any stupid bulky velcro on the front zipper area. It is light and streamlined with a slim fit, which is nice because I always find that women's jackets are too large in the chest for me. I used the radio pocket all the time.

I've had this jacket for two years and it has been great; although, I do have a different jacket that I wear in the rain, so this one hasn't seen too much wet weather. Great for the backcountry which is what it was made for, and at so much less than the Mountain Hardwear Gore-Tex. It is a great buy.

Price Paid: about $200 can

I bought this jacket a little impulsively and regret it now. Main complaint--the jacket is tight when layering. I have spoken to others and it seems MH gear is tuned for super skinny people. I'm 6'2", 210 and the XL feels tight especially across the chest when layered with a fleece. The tail is short as well.

Nice jacket, just not a great fit for me.

Price Paid: $220

I don't know about the other guy who said this jacket fits oddly... I'm 6'6" and the jacket (Large) is long enough for me. I do wish that the snow skirt zipped out, but the range of motion and breathablity are excellent.

Price Paid: $180

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Price Historic Range: $139.97-$280.00
Reviewers Paid: $125.00-$220.00
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