I’m always on the prowl for jackets with lightweight and compressible insulation. Natural down is always nice to the touch, but unless it’s a full-on puffy (think Michelin Man), down feather distribution becomes inconsistent. So, when it comes to ultralight and compressible insulation, I’m digging what PrimaLoft is up to these days and the Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor Jacket is a perfect incarnation of lightweight and packable.
An Ultralight Hoody
Available in hooded and non-hooded (Compressor PL) varieties, this jacket features PrimaLoft One® insulation, which has densities and weights on par with natural down, but keeps you warmer when wet than other natural or synthetic insulation.
This jacket is ultralight (1 lbs. 2 oz.) and packable (can squeeze this genie into a Nalgene bottle). The exterior shell is 15D nylon with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish to keep you as dry as possible. I love the silky-smooth texture of this fabric–it’s not bulky and doesn’t inhibit movement in any way.
I dig the extra-tall collar/hood combination. It’s the right diameter, is lightweight fleece-lined and can cover your face up to your eyeballs just in case it gets really cold.
Pockets, yes Pockets… and Zippers Too
With three exterior and one interior pocket, you’ve got cozy hand warmer pockets lined with ultrathin fleece (I said cozy, right?) with the ability to stash other small items in the exterior or interior chest pockets. One nice feature are the quality zipper pulls. They aren’t bulky and awkward, nor are they the old standard “rope in a knot” pulls (thank you!!!), but instead they are simple and easy to pull with or without gloves on.
The hood is easily cinched down via the dual drawcords. What keeps it in place is a nifty little slit in the side of the cord guide… pretty simple design and much better than the standard toggle. Of course the lower hem features a one-handed pull cord and the cuffs have Velcro closures to make sure the white stuff stays outside.
Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor Jacket Specs:
- Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz.
- Colors: Red, Green, Grey
- Insulation: Primaloft One
- MSRP: $190
Expect subtle exterior changes for Fall 2009 combined with the use of PrimaLoft ECO insulation, which utilizes 50% recycled fibers. This ultralight jacket is warm and packable with silky-soft comfort on chilly backcountry mornings.
Stay tuned for a more thorough beat-down of the Fall 2009 Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket.