Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $200
Pros: Headphone hole in chest pocket, really soft hand warmer pockets, 50 percent recycled insulation.
Cons: Doesn't stuff into a pocket, small hand pockets.
Best Uses: Winter outdoor activities, hiking, backpacking and just wearing around town.
This product has been discontinued.
If you'd like to see our current Editors' Choice award winner, check out the Rab Xenon X. If you would like to see our current highest rated Mountain Hardwear product, check out the Mountain Hardwear Quasar Insulated. Also read our complete Insulated Jacket review to see how these products compared to the eighteen others that were compared.
This is a solid jacket that compared well against the Arc'teryx Atom SV - Men's. We were more likely to grab the Compressor for a day of hiking or climbing. The Atom SV was better to wear around town on a chilly day or skiing. The Compressor is thicker and warmer than the Montbell UL Thermawrap Jacket - Men's or the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket - Men's, and is similar in warmth to the North Face Redpoint. This jacket comes with special features such as the headphone hole in the chest pocket and the extra soft lining in the hand pockets.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Compressor shines when it comes to the details. All the pockets are lined with a luxuriously soft fabric that is warm and comfortable. The chest pocket has a hole for headphones to snake out of, which is a detail that makes me more likely to grab this jacket than others on a cold day when I am headed on an adventure. There is a net pocket on the inside, just like in the Zonal jacket, to keep extra essentials. Like The North Face Redpoint jacket, the Compressor is insulated with Primaloft Eco, which is a bonus for environmentally conscious consumers.
I have to admit that I am rather thrown off by the fact that this jacket is called the "Compressor" and it does not stuff into itself. It squishes down relatively small and could be stuffed into a pack, but you could not bring it along on a long route very easily unless you had a pack with you. The hand pockets are also really small, which is a definite contrast to the Zonal jacket that has especially large hand pockets.
This is the perfect jacket to pack along for belaying or skiing because it compresses small and is warm. It is not the jacket you would bring to clip on your harness, and is a little bulky to wear as a mid-layer but doable. It is a warm and stylish jacket, even for wearing around town.
At $170, this is one of the more expensive jackets in the review without a hood. If you would rather have an insulated mid-layer, try the MontBell Thermawrap, Patagonia Nano Puff, or the REI Revelcloud Jacket - Men's – all of which are less expensive.
Mountain Hardwear Hooded Compressor PL Jacket - Men's ($200) is the same jacket without a hood. For cold weather, the hood is crucial. However, the hood makes this jacket less layerable and generally means you won't wear it as much when the temps warm up. The hooded version is about 20 percent heavier and less compressible.
— Chris McNamara and McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: September 27, 2010
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