The Barnsie is a classic ski jacket in Mountain Hardwear's collection, and they have been making it, unchanged, for years. We think it is a very flattering and functional jacket. It has excellent ski features like the RECCO system, powder skirt and lots of useful pockets, along with a form-fitting style. It is in the middle of the pack regarding warmth, and we love its insulation lined hood. The Barnsie comes at a fantastic price, and in lots of color choices.
Mountain Hardwear Barnsie Review
Cons: Black and white color looks like a convict uniform, not super warm
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Barnsie is a high-quality jacket that Mountain Hardwear has put a lot of thought into designing and has been making for years. It is an excellent value at a decent price.
The Barnsie's shell fabric is thick and durable. Its Thermal.Q Elite waterproof breathable membrane beads water well and seems to be holding up well after months of testing. We like the Barnsie's hood that fits over a helmet, and it has decent drawcords, with an easy pull tab on the inside of the collar. However, we do prefer when the pull cords are on the outside of the hood like on the Orage Nina and Patagonia Untracked, so we don't have to open the jacket to tighten the hood.
We were somewhat disappointed by the small pit-zips on the Barnsie. They are only about 6 inches long, and we prefer the gaping pit zips of the Arc'teryx Sentinel or Flylow Billie Coat. The pit-zips are not mesh lined, however, and therefore may breathe better than ones that are, like the mesh-backed openings on the Arc'teryx Tiya. The Barnsie's synthetic material will breathe a bit, and the jacket's membrane is supposed to be breathable, but we wouldn't count on it.
This jacket is in the middle of the road regarding warmth. It has 80 grams of synthetic fill in the body and 60g in the sleeves. This puts it on par with the Columbia Whirlibird Interchange - Women's and the Nina but makes it slightly warmer than the Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1. We like that the Barnsie's hood is lined with insulation, this gives it an added advantage in cold weather, similar to the Patagonia Primo Down - Women's hood. The Barnsie also has cozy wrist gaiters with thumb holes for added warmth and draft protection.
The Barnsie has all the necessary ski features a girl could ask for. Our favorite is that it comes with a RECCO reflector, which helps you get found quickly if you're caught in an in-bounds avalanche. This is the least expensive jacket with this feature. Other models with the RECCO system include the Tiya and Primo Down. It also comes with an integrated powder skirt, goggle and pass pockets, as well as an interior media pocket with a headphone gasket.
We think that the Barnsie is a really cute jacket. Unfortunately, we chose the wrong color to test it in and ended up feeling like the Hamburglar on skis at the resort. It has a flattering fit and a long, protective hemline that we like. Just don't get it in the black and white stripes!
Comfort and Fit
Although we prefer the stretch fabric of the Nina regarding comfort of movement, the Barnsie has a well thought out design that moves well with us when skiing. The thick shell material is a little stiff, but hardly noticeable. We think the jacket fits true to size and has enough room to add an extra layer for warmth. It has a more flattering cut than the Untracked but is similar in silhouette to the Tiya.
The Barnsie is a great jacket to have at the ski resort. It can handle all kinds of weather and keep you warm in most temperatures.
We were pleasantly surprised at the Barnsie's low price tag of $285 and think it's a great value. It has quality construction and features like RECCO and an insulated hood that you would normally find in more expensive jackets. Mountain Hardwear is known for making quality products, and the Barnsie is one of them.
The Mountain Hardwear Barnsie is a well put together jacket with great ski features. It is comfortable, warm, and weather resistant in most conditions. We think it is one of the best value jackets in this review. Just don't get the black and white color unless you want to look like an escaped convict!
— Jessica Haist