Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Rainshell

A reasonably priced rainshell that breathes well and feels great against the skin.


As a guy who lives in the Northwest, I can’t let the rain stop me from banging out a quick weekend escape, so good raingear is critical. And the Cohesion is good rain gear. I’ve spent twice as much on jackets in the past, but performance-wise, the Cohesion measures up. Most impressive, was its ability to dump excess heat from my notoriously sweaty core, thanks to the ample 13 1/2-inch pitzips, mesh-lined hand pockets (placed well above my pack’s hipbelt), and panels of breathable stretch fabric on the arms and shoulders.

Even during several wet days of relentless elevation gains on Washington’s Wonderland Trail, the seam-taped Conduit DT-laminated shell never wet out and was comfortable next to bare skin thanks to an embossed pattern on the inside that prevents that clingy Saran-wrap feeling. The one-hand adjustable hood never hindered my peripheral vision, the stiff brim kept rain off of my face, and it easily rolled away when not needed. The fit is trim with room in the torso for light layers (no puffy jackets), and the hem is just long enough to keep my butt dry. It packs down to liter-bottle size, and is tough enough to handle bushwhacking. Only bummer: The pitzips are a little sticky, and sometimes difficult to manage with a pack on. $165; 14 oz. (m’s M); available in m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL;