The Mountain Hardwear North Landing is a decent and affordable softshell that, unfortunately, just couldn't compete with the rest of our tested models. The softshell competition this time around was fierce, and while we found this one to have excellent water resistance and be perfectly adequate for many things, overall it came up lacking across our rating metrics.
Mountain Hardwear North Landing - Women's Review
Cons: Arms slightly short, hood small/not helmet compatible, arm cuffs small and not adjustable, constricted mobility through armpits, shoulders, and neck
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
Our Analysis and Test Results
The North Landing had trouble keeping up with the rest of our impressive test suite. It's not a bad jacket by any means, especially for the price point, but it struggled with some key aspects of what makes a great softshell: namely breathability and mobility. However, if you don't need something for intense athletic activity and just want a decently warm, water-resistant jacket that won't break the bank, this one is worth consideration.
We found the weather protection on the North Landing to be just okay. While it had some of the best water resistance of all our tested models, we could feel a noticeable temperature drop when the jacket got wet. Its wind resistance was adequate, but we still noticed more cold coming through than with other warmer contenders like our Top Pick for Warmth, the Ascendant Hoody or our Editors' Choice, the Gamma MX Hoody. It also had short, non-adjustable cuffs and a non-adjustable hood, meaning we couldn't cinch things down to protect ourselves in severe weather as we could with many of the other competitors.
This jacket struggled with breathability. It has a soft fleece lining that, while pleasant to the touch and a good insulation provider, didn't allow much airflow. If you just need a shell for walking to the grocery store, this may not be a deal breaker, but for athletic activities like skiing and hiking that tend to work up a sweat, this isn't your best choice.
Our favorite models for breathability in milder weather were the Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody, our Top Pick for Rock Climbing, and the ultra lightweight OR Ferrosi Crosstown Hoody, our Best Buy on a Tight Budget. For colder temps we loved the Ascendant Hoody, Gamma MX Hoody, and Rab Upslope.
The North Landing hit rock bottom on this metric also. We found the fit to be awkward almost everywhere. The arms when standing still were short, and lifting them would cause the fabric to ride up even more. Movement felt constricted across the back and armpits, and the neck was tight when fully zipped up. The model we found to have the best mobility was the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol, an impressively stretchy piece great for climbing and skiing. Our Editors' Choice Gamma MX Hoody was also a favorite among the testers.
At 19.7 ounces, this jacket fell smack in the middle of all our contenders. It's not a brick, but the awkward fit and rather stiff material made us feel every ounce. For reference, the heaviest jacket in our review was the Patagonia Adze Hoody at 25.3 ounces, and the lightest was the Ferrosi Crosstown at 10.9 ounces. The most impressive to us was the very warm Ascendant Hoody which weighed in at only 11.5 ounces.
The North Landing couldn't measure up to the rest of our test suite. This jacket is quite simple and not very feature-heavy. It offers excellent water resistance, a soft inner liner, an adjustable drawcord hem, and just two zippered pockets. It has a hood, but the hood doesn't allow for any adjustments and isn't helmet-compatible. When compared to pieces like the six-pocketed Rab Upslope or the stretchy Dawn Patrol with an amazing hood and harness-compatible pockets, the North Landing just couldn't compete.
We found the style of this jacket to be fairly nice but nothing special. The fit was a bit odd with baggy spots in some places and areas of constriction in others. Overall, it was decent and could certainly be worn for most any casual urban outing, but the tailoring and fit didn't have a wow-factor for us. The pieces we found the most stylish were the well-fitting Arc'teryx models, the Gamma MX Hoody and the Gamma LT Hoody. We also really loved the hip sweatshirt style of the Ferrosi Crosstown.
We feel this simple shell is best suited for chilly days in the city that don't require much exertion. Because the North Landing struggled with mobility and breathability - two of the most important aspects of a softshell - we can't recommend it for most athletic outdoor activities. If you need a layer for skiing, climbing, hiking, or snowshoeing, there are far better models to consider. But if you need something affordable and entry-level that can handle simple urban outings such as slightly soggy walks in the park or trips to the grocery store, then this jacket is adequate.
While we gave this jacket a pretty critical review, for $135, it's a pretty good bargain. It's not a serious or technical layer, and it has areas that need improvement, but it's also perfectly adequate for the basics of city life. It's decently insulated, fairly attractive, and provides excellent water resistance. If that's all your needs dictate, then the price is right.
The North Landing excelled in some areas, but it left us with an overwhelmingly lukewarm feeling. It didn't move or breathe well, and the fit was problematic. If you just need something to take your dog on leisurely strolls through the park, great. But if you want something that can keep up with skiing, hiking, biking, and climbing, we would recommend looking elsewhere.
— Penney Garrett