Review by Anna
Bottom Line: I would buy this jacket at sale pricing
Manufacturer's intended purpose: Backpacking, Hiking
Weight: 1 lb 2.0 oz/ 511 g
Mfg Retail: $150
I found this jacket on sale for $99 at REI years ago during college. I had $100 in my bank account; pay day was a week away. Guess where my $100 went. Not to groceries. I still don’t regret my choice.
This jacket fit as expected. I am 5’6”, around 150 pounds, slightly larger than average shoulders and chest. As an additional plus, the fabric is a little stretchy, making it super comfy for more aerobic activities.
This jacket has proven to be resistant to a variety of abuses thrown at it by Anna. After years of wear in all conditions, no rips or stains are to be found. I love to wear this jacket before or after a day of skiing or in the early mornings driving to my work site. I love to pull on the soft cozy fleece after a day out working on the snowy gross Alaskan roads. However, it does not look as new as the day I bought it. It was the unfortunate victim of “seat belt rub”. There is a worn spot running from my left shoulder to my right hip bone. I bought it at REI and took it back assuming this was not normal wear and tear. I was disappointed to find that replacement also now shows the same wear. To be fair, while the fleece seems to show wear, it does not shed. I have now switched to my Patagonia Retool Hoodie as my post “being out in the cold, now I am driving home” fleece of choice.
If there is no wind, this jacket does a hell of a good job keeping you warm. Wind will cut right through it. As will bitter cold. When it drops near 0 degrees F, it's time to layer up and add a puffy.
This is a fleece; not so packable by nature. However, as far as fleece goes, the long fibers make it pack down just a hair smaller than a less fuzzy fleece might. It is cozy as hell though; I feel like a human size chinchilla when I wear it. So it is .worth that extra space in the pack if you can afford it.
This is best used as insulation. It won’t do shit to protect you from a storm. That said, as a fleece, it does function well in the breathability department; I can’t say I have ever found myself soaked in my own sweat on a hike in this jacket. This was my go-to warmth layer in my post-college hiking/skiing/driving 3 month southwest US road trip (hence the seatbelt wear). It kept me warm and sweat-free on my day hikes and under my ski jacket.
This jacket comes with standard features; two well positioned zipping front-pouch pockets and an additional zipping chest pocket. It lacks a hood. It has what it needs and nothing more.
Personally, I have switched to using hybrid jackets like the OR Deviator or Patagonia Nano Air for my aerobic pursuits these days. They seem to offer a little more versatility and be a little more packable and lighter weight.
Manufacturer Warranty (?)
I have not personally dealt with MH’s warranty process. They do offer a “limited lifetime warranty” on all of their products. In reading through all the details, this seems to translate to something along the lines of: the original purchaser (you may have to show proof in the form of a receipt) shall have defects in workmanship repaired for free over the practical life of the product (however exactly that is defined) Products will be evaluated by our staff.” Claims may take 8-10 weeks.
Ok, that sounds a little more complicated (and slower of a process) than some of the manufacturers out there. But basically, it sounds like they stand behind their product but are not going to stand for being taken advantage of by someone who beats the shit out of their gear for 15 years and then tries to return it for new shit.
I feel like a chinchilla when I wear this; soft and fuzzy as hell. I have had it for years and still wear it. However, I have that weird wear spot on my chest from wearing it in the car with a seat belt.