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Mountain Hardwear Victorio Review


Hardshell Jacket

  • Currently 2.7/5
Overall avg rating 2.7 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: August 5, 2013
Price:   $500 List
Pros:  Crossover chest pockets provide easy access to storage, comfortable helmet compatible hood, drawcords are easy to use.
Cons:  Heavier, less durable and more expnsive than similarly featured hardshells.
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 2, 2012  
The Mountain Hardwear Victorio has been discontinued but we've left its original and now outdated review intact below. Check out our complete Hardshell Jacket Review to compare all of the jackets we've tested.

RELATED: Our complete review of hardshell jackets

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


Of the twenty-one hardshells we tested four were medium duty climbing-specific with crossover chest pockets. These have a very similar set of features, weigh between 15.8 and 18.7 ounces, and utilize four different waterproof breathable technologies. These jackets are the Montane Mohawk (eVent), Rab Stretch Neo (Polartec NeoShell), Mountain Hardwear Victorio (Dry Q Elite) and Arc'teryx Alpha SV (Gore-Tex Pro Shell). All of them excel at alpine climbing and technical mountaineering; they're reasonably lightweight, sufficiently durable, have hoods that are designed to be worn over a helmet, and their crossover pocket design helps to keep the user balanced on technical terrain. This type of hardshell arguably offers the greatest performance for its weight, and, though designed for climbing, they can be used for anything. Below we discuss how the Victorio compares to its three closest competitors and to the other seventeen shells tested.


The Victorio utilizes as time-tested crossover chest pocket design, which provides excellent storage and easy access while on the go. In addition to the main two pockets the jacket has a small interior zippered pocket and an even smaller zippered pocket on the zeft bicep. The Victorio also comes equipped with a secondary waist drawcord that helps to pull the center of the jacket in, thereby providing a more customized fit. The hood is large, truly helmet compatible, and is comfortable when worn with or without the helmet.


Compared to the three other shells with nearly the same features, the Victorio performs poorly. First it's the heaviest (18.7, or >20% more than the Montane Mohawk). Next, its features are not nearly as refined nor as easy to use as the Arc'teryx Alpha SV's. And at $500, the Victorio is considerably more expensive than the Rab Stretch Neo, which offers near identical features yet weighs less.

Mountain Hardwear says that "DryQ Elite waterproof/breathable fabric moves heat and body vapor fast to keep you dry on the inside as well as outside." Don't be fooled- no waterproof breathable technology is capable of keeping you dry on the inside. Every material steams up and remains so when you're working hard. Being air permeable, Dry Q Elite is very slightly more breathable than Gore Pro Shell. Pro Shell, however, is warmer (because it's completely windproof). See our main hardshell review for more info about breathability and different waterproof breathable technologies.


We believe the Rab Stretch Neo offers more performance for your dollar. But the shells are so similar that the Victorio is a fine substitute if you come across it for less.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: August 5, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 50%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Aug 5, 2013 - 05:24pm
An excellent waterproof material that has stood the test of time during many really wet and foul mountain days. Seems to be very breathable and felt good to keep it on when walking up long, steep, tough bits of hill in wet weather.

Also a very roomy jacket - great for having a fleece/sweatshirt on underneath during colder days out. And a fab colour too (bright red) - easily spotted on those dull hill days!

Great chest pockets that can easily fit a map in to save putting it back in your rucksack.

Can't fault my Mountain Hardwear Victorio jacket at all. Got it for a great price, had it for almost a year now, and it's always with me when i'm out on the hill; rain, snow, sleet, hail, or even shine…

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Mountain Hardwear Victorio
Credit: Mountain Hardwear
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