The Mountain Hardwear ZeroGrand Trench is a lightly insulated overcoat that has taken materials developed for the outdoors and given them a refined sensibility thanks to the design efforts by Cole Haan. The result is a sleek jacket with a clean look and a long hem that will keep you protected from weather, though only add a small extra margin of warmth. If you need a warmer layer, our Editors' Choice winner, the Arc'teryx Camosun Parka, is warmer and even more weather resistant than this jacket.
Mountain Hardwear ZeroGrand Trench Review
Cons: Not warm, cuffs are loose.
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Our Analysis and Test Results
Mountain Hardwear teamed up with Cole Haan to produce the ZeroGrand Collection, an offering of urban friendly clothes that use the latest in outdoor apparel materials. The Mountain Hardwear ZeroGrand Trench uses 60 grams of synthetic insulation, and is enclosed by a durable stretch-woven waterproof fabric called Dry Q Active. With an insulated, adjustable hood this trench coat gives you options if you forgot your umbrella. This jacket is most at home on brisk commutes to the office or out to a formal event.
With only 60 grams of synthetic Thermal.Q Elite insulation, this is a very light jacket, meant for the lightest of winter conditions, or for use with warmer layers worn underneath. We had difficulty staying warm standing around in slightly above freezing temperatures in dry weather while wearing a light sweater under the coat. Winters in Seattle or San Francisco would be ideal locations for this jacket to shine; to weather a cold East Coast winter day you would need to wear much more than the intended suit jacket and shirt to stay warm. If cold winters are part of your reality, and style is also important, the Marmot Njord Down is a better choice. The women's version of this jacket, the Mountain Hardwear ZeroGrand Metro Coat, comes with 100 grams of insulation and was significantly warmer as a result. Perhaps in the future MH will beef up the men's as well.
This jacket held up well to wet weather; during our testing a storm brought feet of wet snow and we appreciated how well the Dry Q Active fabric performed. The adjustable hood lets you tighten the cinches down and keep the moisture out, although the chin is relatively low cut so you cannot really hide behind the chin even when fully zipped.
This is a good jacket to use in wet weather climates, as the Thermal.Q synthetic insulation is going to insulate better when wet, and dry out faster as well, so that even if it hasn't stopped pouring by the time you need to leave the office, your insulation will still be there to do its job. The long cut of the trench coat gives a lot of coverage to the thigh, so in a rainstorm your pants are kept dryer than with shorter jackets. The biggest concern we had for the weather resistance of this jacket was the width of the wrist cuffs coupled with the fact that they are unable to be tightened in any way. A couple of snaps would give a tighter fit and keep out drafts and wet weather better.
We liked the feel of this jacket; the stretch woven fabric allows for unrestricted movement, as do the gusseted underarms, which give you wide range of motion when flagging down a taxi in Midtown. The interior fabric is smooth and soft, and the pockets have the plushest fleece lining of any of the jackets reviewed besides the incomparably comfortable Canada Goose Expedition Parka. Both sides of the chin have fleece as well, which we like more than having only one side covered.
This coat has some nice features that add to its comfort and livability including a double zipper to make sitting while wearing it more comfortable and water resistant zippers on all the exterior pockets to keep your things dry. The front zipper is also water resistant and is covered by a snapping storm flap, but we felt that the storm flap was too stiff and the snaps positioned too close to the zipper. This made closing them a task with cold fingers, and while wearing gloves an almost impossible chore.
This jacket is all about style. It has a very clean look, and substitutes the bulk of warm insulation for a trim, slimming fit. With long tails and a trench coat length, this is a jacket for an urban environment. We wore this jacket to holiday parties and out Christmas shopping, and we liked the elevated style that it offers. Improvements could be made by making the hood removable, which gives more style options, and by removing the colored trim from the storm flap, which we felt took away more than it added to the jacket's clean style.
Given the high-quality materials and construction used in this jacket, and looking at its intended use as an overcoat in casual and professional settings, we did not experience nor could we envision any serious durability issues arising.
This trench coat offers a lot of style and weather protection, with a little bit of added insulation, making it a great overcoat for urban professionals in a temperate winter climate and for semi-formal or formal engagements where staying dry is also a need.
For $475 the Mountain Hardwear ZeroGrand Trench offers a sophisticated style backed up by high quality outdoor inspired materials. If you put a high value on looking good during situations where image and appearance matter, then this jacket will deliver, and give you solid performance when you need it to.
This is not a jack-of-all-trades winter jacket; rather, it has a specific niche where it shines quite well. For urban settings and formal or professional events when the weather is a factor, the Mountain Hardware ZeroGrand Trench is a great addition to your wardrobe.
— Ryan Huetter