Jacket Reviews and News

Mountain Hardwear Beryllium Jacket

This Mountain Hardware Beryllium jacket, geared towards alpine climbing and mountaineering, offers bombproof protection where it counts. This Jacket is excellently designed and it packs several nice features that set it apart from other Mountain Hardware shells. The Beryllium is not designed as an ultra light shell, allowing for extremely durable construction through and through. The gang at Mountain Hardware did not take any shortcuts on this shell, and they put out what I consider to be the Cadillac of mountaineering shells. Not only will this jacket protect you from whatever you might encounter on the mountain, it will make you smile.

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Mountain Hardwear Alcove Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Alcove Jacket

The Alcove jacket, due out in Fall of 2009, is a very warm hooded shell, featuring a waterproof outer fabric and an excellent DWR.  Using Primaloft Eco, the parka is excellent for belaying or other cold-weather activities where protection is paramount.  It does have some kinks that could be worked out, though.

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Mountain Hardwear Refugium Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Refugium Jacket

The Mountain Hardwear Refugium Jacket is an exceptional display of technology that anyone involved in snowsports or consistently cold weather would be proud to own.  Its built-in heating mechanism keeps you warm and toasty in the coldest environments.  But, despite its innovation and high quality, its high price tag may hinder its success in the mass market.

The Refugium jacket is pre-wired to be compatible with Ardica's MOSHI power system (the battery pack).  The Refugium jacket will retail for an MSRP of $230 when it is released in the Fall of 2009.  Unfortunately, for the jacket to reach its full potential and radiate heat, you must separately purchase the Ardica MOSHI power system which will run an additional $145.  This bumps up to total cost of the jacket to $375.  Really, who is going to buy the jacket and not the power system?  There is no official word from any retailers yet if the jacket will ever be sold bundled with the power system for a slight discount, but you can be sure that the two will always be found close to one another.

The Mountain Hardwear Refugium Jacket is a snowsports jacket that is synthetically insulated with Thermic Micro (100% polyester, 120gm) insulation.  The body is made up of 30D Micro Taffeta (100% nylon), and the lining is Embossed Matrix Taffeta (100% nylon).

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Mountain Hardwear announces Refugium and Radiance Ardica heated jackets

Mountain Hardwear Refugium Trifecta Jacket Mountain Hardwear Radiance Trifecta Jacket 

Mountain Hardwear has announced that for their Fall '09 lineup, they will be releasing Men's and Women's Ardica heated jackets.  The jackets will feature multiple heat settings and be able to charge your USB-compatible devices with an additional charger add-on.  The jackets will be able to provide up to 8.6 hours of low heat, or up to 20 MP3 player or 11 cell phone charges.

The Men's Refugium Trifecta jacket and Women's Radiance Trifecta jacket are 3-in-1 systems combining a full-featured, waterproof/breathable snowsport shell with a Thermic Micro insulated liner jacket enabled with Ardica technology.  The liner jackets will be wearable under any shell, serving as a portable charger and heating device, or zipped in to the Refugium and Radiance Trifecta jackets for an exceptionally warm and dry jacket combination.

Ardica Technology Features:

  • Ardica’s Moshi Power System, a 295-gram portable heat and power system (sold separately), can not only deliver heat while integrated within your outerwear, but it also supplies a power source to charge anything by a USB cable. Using the Ardica Technology Connector accessory, it can be converted to run or charge various consumer electronics requiring up to 10 watts of power (equivalent to 11 cell phone charges or 20 MP3 charges).    
  • Three lightweight, flexible, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are     comfortably positioned on the fronts and the back of the jackets.
  • Three temperature settings can provide up to 8.6 hours of on-demand heat     to suit the user’s needs.
  • Moshi System only takes two hours to fully recharge from an electrical outlet     (or 1.5 hours for a quick 80% capacity charge) with 500 charge cycles
  • One-year warranty on all Ardica products
  • The jackets and internal wiring come with Mountain Hardwear’s lifetime warranty.

We are fortunate enough to be receiving one of these jackets soon, so look out for our review!

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New eVent shells from REI

Well, it's finally happened.  That wonder fabric, eVent, has been in existence for a couple of years, but before now, there weren't really any mainstream North American companies that had picked it up for use in their outerwear; it was mainly European companies which had used it.  But now, REI has released a hard shell jacket and pant for both sexes that uses eVent, reportedly the most breathable fabric out there. 

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Mountain Hardwear Windstopper Insulated Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Windstopper Insulated Jacket

I’ll admit, I’ve got a jacket obsession.  I like jackets.  And every once in a while, a jacket comes along that I really like.  I can say with confidence that the Windstopper Insulated Jacket is one of those.  It does almost everything right.  Of course, no jacket is perfect, and this one’s not an exception, but it comes darn close.

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Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Fleece

With the solid financial backing from Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear, a smaller, younger brand, has a lot of room to try out new and adventurous gear on the market.  I believe that the Monkey Man fleece is the result of this allowance.  A unique look and a bit of humor have conspired to create a warm, functional piece that is excellent for layering in nasty storms, or wearing just by itself.

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Cabela's Gore-Tex PacLite Rainy River Parka

Cabela's Gore-Tex PacLite Rainy River Parka

The Gore-Tex PacLite Rainy River Parka is a fully waterproof jacket that comes at an unbeatable price.  It hits the nail right on the head, with one of its few downfalls being awkward hand warmer pockets.  With its lightweight Gore-Tex PacLite shell and full body adjustment capability, it’s a great choice at a great price for anyone looking for a simple, waterproof jacket.

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Mountain Hardwear Crucial Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Crucial Jacket

With the Mountain Hardwear Crucial jacket, you get what you pay for.  In this case, you’re getting a sturdy, fully waterproof and windproof hard shell jacket with an all around great feel.  This isn’t your average jacket, however; the Crucial jacket is intended for alpine climbing or mountaineering, and this becomes apparent as soon as you pull the hood over your head.

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Marmot Announces Spring 2008 Collection and UpCycle

Marmot has just announced their spring 2008 collection as well as their new Marmot UpCycle™ program.

New men's jackets for their spring collection include: Minimalist, PreCip Traveler, Rush, Leadville, DriClime Catalyst (UpCycle product), and Motion jackets.

New women's jackets include: Minimalist, Highland, Skyline, Essence, Rush, Leadville, DriClime Catalyst (UpCycle product), and Power Stretch Zip Hoody.

Also announced is Marmot's UpCycle program.  The Marmot UpCycle program uses recycled materials to manufacture products that would otherwise end up in landfills.

"Marmot UpCycle® products minimize our impact on the environment by using recycled or discarded materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Our UpCycle® fabric is made from recycled plastic...hence the name “UpCycle”. When you recycle plastic, you get more plastic; when we UpCycle® plastic, we get fabric, a greater value and a broader use."

Source: Marmot

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