The Mountain Hardwear Alcove Jacket Has Been DiscontinuedThe Mountain Hardwear Alcove jacket is one of the most weather resistant and warmest synthetic jackets we tested. We generally prefer the Patagonia DAS Parka because it is lighter and more compressible. But if you want maximum weather protection, this is the jacket.
This is a full-featured synthetic jacket modeled after the down Mountain Hardwear Sub Zero SL Parka. It is only behind the Wild Things Belay Jacket in warmth and is one of the most weather resistant synthetic jackets we tested. We liked that it came with a stuff sack that had a nice clip-in point. Testers enjoyed the large hood that fit all helmets we tested it with. The downside is the fact it is the heaviest synthetic jacket in our review. This jacket is ideal for winter freezing temps and any time you are going to have to deal with wet, cold conditions. It's a great option for ice climbing, ski touring, and any time it's cold and you don't want to be. It is not as good of a choice for more moderate temps.
If you prefer something less expensive, the Montbell UL Thermawrap Jacket - Men's and the REI Revelcloud Jacket - Men's are both excellent jackets. They are much thinner but also layer better and are more versatile.
The Mountain Hardwear Alcove jacket is only behind the Wild Things Belay jacket in warmth and is the most weather resistant synthetic jacket we tested. We liked that it came with a stuff sack that had a nice clip-in point. Testers enjoyed the Alcove's large hood that fit all helmets we tested it with.
This is the heaviest synthetic jacket in our review. It does not breathe well and can't be layered well with shells.
This is ideal any time you are dealing with wet and cold conditions. A great option for alpine climbing, ice climbing, ski touring, and anytime it's cold and you don't want to be. Not as good a choice for more moderate temps, like summer alpine rock climbing in the Sierra or the Cascades.