Brand: Mountain Hardwear
Model: Straight Chuter Jacket
The supple Dry.Q fabric and taped seams afford total defense against sustained rain and snow. “Even when I got drenched with icemelt, I stayed dry inside,” reports one ice-climbing tester. The high, fleecy collar provides cozy refuge from howling winds, and the two-way adjustable hood fits over most helmets. Thanks to the heat-trapping, heavyweight fabric, we could wear fewer layers underneath to enjoy low-bulk freedom of movement.
“Apart from a swampy back under a pack, I stayed dry when climbing,” says a ski-touring tester. It’s too heavy for full-throttle workouts, but performs well on moderate hikes in cold (sub-40°F) temperatures.
“I had one of my gnarliest tomahawk crashes ever in this jacket and managed to slice my arm, but the sleeve didn’t tear,” says our Colorado tester. That’s probably because the thick, 40-denier nylon stretches (rather than rips) when stressed. Tradeoff? It’s a heavyweight.