Brand: Mountain Hardwear
Model: Super Light Plasmic
[light and comfortable]
Why we like it You get extended-wear breathability at a bargain price, plus key features and barely-there weight.
Protection Testers stayed dry and comfortable on windy mountain-bike rides and an 8-hour, rainy slog over New Hampshire’s Mt. Jefferson. Tight-sealing Velcro cuffs and a drawcord hem add welcome cover, and the cinchable hood with an extended, moldable brim drew cheers: “Firm and customizable enough to hold its own against the wind and rain,” says a tester.
Breathability Mountain Hardwear’s 2.5-layer Dry.Q EVAP fabric proved very breathable on high-output trips: Because it’s air-permeable, sweat vapor escapes through the membrane’s micropores. A multichanneled interior surface wicks sweat away and spreads it out, speeding evaporation. The shell skips pit zips to save weight, but testers only missed them during the highest exertion.
Durability Despite its wispy feel, the 15-denier nylon face fabric withstood months of hard use, including a crash through prickly bushes.
Fit Testers could wear thin midlayers under the trim cut, but this shell is best for moderate conditions. The slim design helps it scrunch down to the size of an orange.
$200; 8 oz. (m’s L); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL; mountainhardwear.com