The Mountain Hardwear Compressor PL Jacket is one of the most versatile pieces I own. It was designed for the needs and demands alpine climbers and mountaineers, but the benefits of this design can be enjoyed by anyone combating the cold.
The Mountain Hardwear Compressor PL is insulated with Primaloft One, a heat seeking and heat retaining synthetic that is nothing short of remarkable. With the compressibility, and warmth-to-weight ratio comparable only to goose down, it has one huge advantage: warm when wet. Wet fabric and wet insulation is far from comfortable, the Compressor PL is not a portable five star hotel, but it will keep you warm.
The Stria Rip nylon is treated with DWR and seems to hold up well. I recommend giving the nylon an additional treatment after your first year in the jacket, to ensure long life. I am finishing my first year in this jacket, and though it has not leaked yet, it is loosing some shine. I have ice and mixed climbed in this jacket and will vouch for its ripstop nature. There were a several instances I had duct tape ready, but when I went to search for the tear, there was none.
The cut of the Mountain Hardwear Compressor PL is rather loose. I tend to be on the cusp of a small and medium and the small is a bit loose on my frame. This design is intentional for layering purposes. Warm as it is, you will need to layer with a shell and additional layers for extreme conditions. It is also important to note, the DWR ensures water resistance, and is not a substitute for a shell. The Compressor also comes in a hooded version if you prefer.
One aspect of the jacket which I feel sets it apart from many other jackets it the clean professional look of the piece. The color is multidimensional, so I don’t get bored with it, or have trouble matching it with city clothes. I am confident wearing this jacket out on a winter gallery stroll, or climbing. It has super clean lines, a with simple contours accentuating your figure, and all of the threads, zippers, and velcro are the same color for that polished look.
If you buy one jacket this year, let it be the Mountain Hardwear Compressor PL.