First Look Review

Mountain Hardwear Mountain Tech Jacket - Men's Review

Mountain Hardwear  Windstopper Tech  Fleece Jacket  Men's
By: Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  May 15, 2013
Price:  $185 List
Pros:  Windproof
Cons:  Heavy, bulky, not as comfy as other fleeces, low breathability.
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear

Our Analysis


The Mountain Hardwear Mountain Tech Jacket is a heavyweight fleece with a windproof membrane. The jacket performs well around town as an outerlayer but is ill suited to serious outdoor use and particularly multi-day overnight trips where you carry things-- it's heavy. This is one of our lowest rated jackets. It used to be called the Windstopper Tech jacket but the name changed when the company dropped its contract with W.L. Gore Associates and now uses wind and waterproof membranes from other companies, such as eVent.

This type of fleece was popular in the 1990's and early 2000's. Fleece technology has come a long way since then and our testing suggests that heavy windproof fleeces are not worth purchasing because (1) they are very heavy compared to other fleeces, (2) the membrane drastically reduces breathability and comfort, which are the main reasons to get a fleece in the first place. The Mountain Tech jacket is best suited to use as an outer layer for around town. But other types of outdoor apparel perform better than windproof fleeces as outer layers.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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Most recent review: January 23, 2014
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: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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   Jan 23, 2014 - 12:39am
DosXx · Backpacker · United States of America

Decent jacket. Works hard. Great boxy cut that fits comfortably. Great pockets. Can still get to them with a harness on. I'd totally recommend it.

Perfect for low-risk alpine climbing, all day trad-climbing, general hiking, every day/cross-campus wear. Definitely takes a beating. Wouldn't take it backpacking as it doesn't really do a lot of dual duty. But wouldn't leave it at home for a windy climbing or paddling trip. Of course, as if it needs to be said: slick bar jacket.

Not super insulating, but mega windproof. For it's weight, I'd reach for it over a softshell.

The cut, material, etc. look a lot cooler that softshell, which kind of makes you look like an over-enthusiastic George Jetson, in my opinion.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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