Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody Review
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Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody
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|Pros||Warm, highly featured, comfortable||Lightweight, weather-resistant, warm, durable||Comfortable, breathable, warm, great mobility||Lightweight, compressible, warm, weather resistant, affordable||Warm, affordable, water-resistant|
|Cons||Bulky, poor breathability, technical style||Expensive, no hem drawcords, hard to stow, no internal pockets, not breathable||Pricey, little adjustability, poor packability||Poor breathability, unathletic fit||Bulky, heavy, poor breathability|
|Bottom Line||Warm and designed for adventure, this jacket provides a durable nylon ripstop shell fabric that resists abrasion and sheds water easily||This versatile and lightweight insulated jacket offers impressive weather resistance and warmth||This active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility with great breathability while offering some warmth||This impressively wind-resistant layer fights the elements, provides functional warmth, and easily fits into its own pocket||An affordable winter jacket, this heavy piece traps heat well and provides plenty of insulated warmth|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Hardwear C...||Patagonia DAS Light...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Xenon 2.0||Columbia Pike Lake|
|Weight and Compressibility (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Mountain Hardwear C...||Patagonia DAS Light...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Xenon 2.0||Columbia Pike Lake|
|Measured Weight||16.47 oz||12.31 oz||13.05 oz||12.56 oz||38.59 oz|
|Insulation||85% recycled polyester||100% recycled polyester PlumaFill||Coreloft Compact synthetic fibers||PrimaLoft Silver||Thermarator with Omni-Heat Reflective Liner|
|Outer Fabric||15D coated nylon ripstop||Pertex Quantum Pro||20D Tyono shell, stretch fleece panels (94% polyester, 6% elastane)||Pertex Quantum||Polyester Storm-Lite DP II|
|Stuffs Into Itself||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Number of Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 internal zip, 1 internal drop-in||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 internal zip||2 zippered hand, 1 internal chest|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Designed to handle the extremes of the outdoors, the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody uses 100 grams of lightweight synthetic insulation in the body and 80 grams in the sleeves, making it warm and highly mobile. There are five pockets for ample storage; two zippered hand pockets, a zippered chest pocket, an internal drop pocket, and internal zipper pocket. The hood features a solid adjustment system and a small brim. The waist uses a two-point cinch adjustment system, and the main zipper is 2-way for additional ventilation and mobility when needed. It isn't very breathable, but it offers solid warmth and useful features that make it a great choice for activities like skiing, belaying your climbing partner, cold-weather camping, or just as a warm around-town jacket.
As one of the warmest jackets in the review, the Compressor Hoody performed well in the cold. Insulation is strategically placed to provide more warmth where it's needed and less where it's not. Many of the jackets we tested use 60 gram insulation, where the Compressor uses 80-100 grams, making this piece heavier and warmer.
The 15D coated nylon ripstop outer helped block the wind well. The insulated hood uses a rear cinch to close it down, and the hem has two drawstrings to close it. These features protected quite well from the elements, which was appreciated when the winds picked up. We loved it on cold winter days, and even took it out rock climbing, where it kept us toasty during cold winter belays. The 2-way zipper was appreciated for this purpose, allowing for access to the harness.
Weight and Compressibility
While called the Compressor, this jacket isn't super compressible. Storing it for climbing, hiking, or skiing meant stuffing it into a pack. It can squish down relatively small, but a stuff sack or a way for it to be zipped into its own pocket would have been nice. However, the Compressor is fairly light - only 16.47 ounces, which felt pretty reasonable for the amount of warmth it provided.
Our testers liked the feel of this jacket. The fabric, though a bit noisy and crinkly, felt comfortable against the skin and much better than similar jackets. The insulated hood wrapped around our heads nicely, and the rear cinch allowed it to adjust. With the hood and the relatively thick insulation, the jacket offered a cozy feel that we didn't find in some of the other high-performance jackets. The piece provided ample enough space for layers underneath it, which helped make it work well as an outer layer.
While moving, the Compressor was non-constrictive in the shoulders, flowing well with our bodies. Activity-wise, it felt too bulky to climb in, but it performed well for skiing, hiking, or belaying. We felt it ran fairly true to size.
The Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody uses a 15D coated nylon ripstop outer fabric with DWR coating, which works well in light precipitation. We tested the jacket's weather resistance by spraying it with a hose and then again by pouring water on it. The DWR allowed the water to bead up and slide right off.
The jacket did a great job of staving off the wind. The dual drawcord hem adjustment, the velcro tabs on the cuffs, and the rear cinch on the hood all allowed for customized adjustability, so you can batten down the hatches to make it impervious to the weather. While it provided some warmth when wet, we'd recommend bringing a hardshell jacket or something more waterproof if the forecast looks more inclement.
The Compressor's heaviness, combined with its weather resistance, translated into less-than-ideal breathing ability. While hiking fast and hard uphill, we quickly overheated. The synthetic insulation worked too well at trapping our body heat. The dual zipper helped us open the jacket a bit for more breathability, but ultimately, it was less breathable than many of the other models.
Think of this jacket more as an outer layer for staying warm on cold, dry days than as a truly active layer. However, it was light enough to toss into our packs and provided excellent warmth while stationary.
Should You Buy the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody?
Designed for the mountains, the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody works well as a warm layer for cold and slightly wet days when camping or alpine climbing. Its look is a bit technical for daily wear, but if that's your style, it's a good piece for cruising around town. With the added warmth and weather resistance comes less breathability, so it's not the best jacket for active outdoor pursuits, but ultimately, we think the warmth of this jacket makes it a great piece and a solid value.
What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?
The Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody excels in the mountains and was one of the warmer jackets we reviewed. For a similar but lighter option, try the Patagonia DAS Light Hoody. The Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is a great technical piece for any outdoor activity where you plan to work up a sweat. For something warmer to cruise around town in, check out the Columbia Pike Lake.
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