Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket
Very light mid-layer jacket for active outdoors use.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85 (discount)
Very light mid-layer jacket for active outdoors use. Mountain Hardwear recommends it for climbing and hiking. Can also be used as a standalone jacket, provided the conditions permit and you have a good base layer. I bought it for snowshoeing and hiking.
- Easy to stow/store
- Great warmth
- Ample fit to layer underneath adequately
- Durability of the outer
- Only two pockets (new models have a breast pocket)
Fit & Comfort: The fit is standard. I'm 5'9" and about 190 pounds and a large allows me to wear a fleece underneath. I like the more ample fit. It's a very, very comfy jacket. If in doubt, I would err on getting a smaller size if sleeve size permits, especially if you don't plan on having two layers underneath it or if you plan on using it strictly as a mid-layer under a hardshell.
Adjustability: There's a cord to adjust the waist. No cuff adjustement, but there's a loose elastic band that insures the wind and snow don't get in there.
Water resistance: Will not resist heavy rain or wet snow, but will hold its own in moderate snow fall.
Breathability: Breathes very well and stays warm.
Warmth: This is a real surprise for me. I bought it to use under a windbreaker or insulated hardshell for snowshoeing or hiking and I've found that it is really warm on its own with adequate layering. I was unzipping the jacket on a cloudy, -15°C day of snowshoeing with only a 200g merino base layer underneath.
Layering: This is this jacket's forte since it is so thin and light.
Abrasion: The outer shell may not resist repeated abrasive force, although I haven't had the jacket long enough to notice any tearing or scuffs due to branches, rocks, etc.
Features: Stores in its own pocket for easy stow. I'm planning on getting a second one and just carrying it with me in my pack if I want to change jackets during the day or at night while at camp.
Construction & Durability: Well made, but care has to be taken with it since it is a thin and lightweight piece of equipment.
Conditions: I have bought this jacket at the beginning of winter and have worn if for all my snowshoeing, hiking or general outdoor use (casual walks, groceries, etc.). I have used it as a standalone during medium to high intensity activity and as a mid-layer for casual wear. I haven't had the chance to test it as a standalone during autumn or spring, but I plan to.
This jacket is intended to be a mid-layer under a…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80-110
This jacket is intended to be a mid-layer under a shell or an outer layer in warmer and less extreme conditions. Water resistant (to a degree). I use this jacket as a three-season puffy jacket (autumn, winter, spring).
- Warm (especially as a mid layer)
- Resistance to water
- Does not breathe well
Fit and Comfort: This, along with the price, makes this jacket a must. The fit is very good—ample enough to accommodate layering, but not too boxy or roomy. I'm 5'7'', 200 pounds, and on a Large, the arm length is a tad long for me, but nothing major. For slimmer people, maybe try a size smaller.
Adjustability: Drawstring for the waist only.
Water Resistance: It will keep some moisture out, but not much. It is not waterproof, merely water resistant and not to the extent that I would be comfortable wearing this without a shell if there was a snow or rain forecast.
Breathability: This jacket would benefit from zippers under the armpits to vent it. Sure it would add some weight, but this jacket is not breathable in high to very high intensity activities (i.e. running or snowshoeing on an incline) if you sweat a lot in my experience. I'm not talking about being a bit clammy, but being completely drenched. For more moderate activities or for people who don't sweat a lot, it would be adequate.
Moisture: It wicks away the moisture from the skin, but since it's not so breathable, this means that both the inside and outside of the jacket can get drenched in sweat.
Layering: It layers very well with a single thin base layer and a fleece. It can also layer well with almost any shell.
Abrasion: I have had three of these jackets and one has succombed to a stray branch after two years of use. The outside material is flimsy, to save on weight, and not very durable.
Functions: Three pockets is enough. No hood, although there's a model with one.
Features: Very lightweight and warm for the price.
Construction and Durability: The construction is good, no nonsense, but the exterior material is susceptible to puncture and abrasion imho.
Final Word: This is a decent enough jacket and compares well to pricier offerings, but when you consider the price, weight, and fit, it's really a steal. I always have one in my daypack in case I want to change jackets midday (and I do most of the time while snowshoeing) or if I want to add a layer if I'm wearing a parka. It also packs pretty small.
I've added pictures just to prove I like the jacket enough to own two of them ! The first picture is of the old two-pocket design (without a breast pocket) from 2013 or so.
This is the newer design with the breast pocket and two colour tone. They function the same. In this picture, I had taken off my softshell and was just wearing the jacket in -20°C weather. I had removed my neck gaiter about 5 minutes before and my beard was already frosted over, which is a testament to how cold it was !