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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Compulsion 3L/Snowtastic Hardshell

The Swiss Army Knife of Hardshells

by: Kelly Bastone

(Andrew Bydlon)
(Andrew Bydlon)

Fully Loaded
If you divide your time between resort and backcountry, consider this feature-rich jacket. “I love the many details that are designed especially for skiing and boarding,” says a tester who wore it for hikes beyond resort boundaries and on the 2-mile approach to Francie’s Cabin in Colorado’s Tenmile Range. The microfleece-lined, nose-high collar and roomy hood provide welcome refuge on windy ridges and chair lifts alike. The earphone-compatible chest pocket makes it convenient to take calls or rock out, and three interior pockets hold goggles, mid-fat skins, and/or a phone. The powder skirt snaps onto the matching Compulsion Pant ($500, or $450 for women’s Snowtastic) to create a snowproof set, and the cuffs are similarly protective: A stretchy inner gaiter hugs the wrist and “did wonders for keeping snow out during super-deep conditions at Vail’s Back Bowls,” one tester reports. Two pull-tabs on each pit zip make for easy operation when you have a pack on, and the Dry.Q Elite membrane (a proprietary version of eVent) breathed adequately during high-effort, cold-weather missions. “Cresting the ridge of 13,852-foot Crystal Peak, I hit brisk winds but didn’t feel chilled, thanks to the jacket’s ability to transition from sweat-mover to wind-blocker,” says our tester. But its wealth of ski-specific features makes this a weightier option that’s best-suited for short tours in subfreezing temps. $650 (w’s $550); 1 lb. 11 oz.; m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL; mountainhardwear.com

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