Mountain Hardwear Capacitor Jacket Review
Wanting to stay dry in a deluge? Mountain Hardwear has the answer for you with the Mountain Hardwear Capacitor Jacket. It’s built like every other product that the folks over at Mountain Hardwear have made their reputation on – simple, quality craftsmanship, and works like a charm when you need it.
Mountain Hardwear Capacitor Jacket – Initial Thoughts
The Mountain Hardwear Capacitor Jacket is one of those items you’ll find yourself reaching for over and over again, especially in an unpredictable climate like we have here in the Mountains of Colorado. This jacket takes a no frills approach to the world of the rain jacket, and then tweaks it just a bit to work in just about any condition you can throw at it. Over the summer testing period, I was able to wear this jacket in several rainstorms while camping testing out the Kelty Mach 4 tent (reviewed here), a few hikes at over 9,000 feet, and even in the latest round of flash flooding we’ve experienced here in Colorado – granted, I wasn’t submerged in a flood, so the most I can claim is a heavy, heavy rainstorm – but still, you get the picture.
When I first pulled the Mountain Hardwear Capacitor Jacket out of the packaging, I immediately noticed two things – first and foremost, the weight. You can feel just how light the jacket is before you put it on. Don’t mistake this for feeling cheap, though; you can easily see by the doubled stitching and water proof zippers that the jacket is built to last. The next thing I noticed was the quality of the interior of the jacket. The liner of the jacket features a product which Mountain Hardwear is calling “Dry Q Evap” technology. Simply put, the fabric is intended to wick away sweat and moisture to keep you dry during any activity. Initially, I felt that the fabric was a bit stiff and would be uncomfortable for long periods of activity outdoors – luckily, as the testing period wore on, the fabric broke in slightly. To tell you the truth, the only time the fabric actually felt stiff was when I tried the jacket on the first time. Speaking of which, the fit is spot on for a light jacket. While Mountain Hardwear certainly didn’t waste any fabric, they did fit the jacket just a tad on the loose side. The website describes the fit as “active”, but I felt the fit was closer to something I would describe as casual. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing, however, as it does allow just a bit of room for layering without having a ton of wasted fabric in the coat. The zippers felt well placed and high quality initially as well – they do have a bit of resistance in them as they are waterproof (most rain jackets leak at the zipper teeth – Mountain Hardwear fixed that problem), but they are not difficult at all to zip up.
TESTING THE MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR CAPACITOR JACKET
As I stated above, I was able to extensively test the Mountain Hardwear Capacitor jacket in a fairly wide range of conditions. This latest bout of thunderstorms in Colorado represented the heaviest of rainy conditions I put the jacket through, so I will start there. As I work outdoors, I depended on the Capacitor jacket to not only keep me dry, but keep my temperature regulated as well. I have to maintain a semi-professional appearance at work, and the Capacitor jacket was perfect in the fact that it regulated my temperature so well that I didn’t sweat much at all. The moisture wicking properties of the “Dry Q Evap” liner really are stellar. After wearing the jacket for light to moderate activity four days straight in pouring rain for up to 10 hrs at a time, I can vouch for not only the lack of sweat, but how dry I stayed on the outside as well. My only complaint is that the jacket shed water so well that I got my seats wet every time I got into the car – which isn’t really a complaint at all. I did notice, though, that the cuffs don’t have any elastic in them. This is a minor detail, but one I prefer in a rain jacket as I frequently push my sleeves up to my elbows. The trade-off here is that they used a Velcro strap to secure the sleeve, which is really nice in combination with gloves as it seals moisture out around your wrists.
When layering the Mountain Hardwear Capacitor jacket over top of long sleeved tech shirts, I really appreciated how well the jacket was able to regulate temperature. I felt comfortable wearing this jacket on days which were borderline warm (up to say, 85 degrees) in rain storms, and down to temps as low as 40 degrees, provided I layered underneath it. I especially liked being able to hike at higher altitudes with a minimum of clothing underneath it, and stay dry. An under-advertised perk of the jacket is that it packs down really, really small. This made the Mountain Hardwear Capacitor Jacket my go to jacket for all of my camping excursions this summer.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR CAPACITOR JACKET
In conclusion, this jacket is the answer to all of your needs in a no-frills rain jacket for a wide range of temps. The “Dry Q Evap” tech works well to regulate your core temperature, and totally prevents that “I just took off a water proof jacket and now I’m all sweaty” look, and the exterior sheds water in even the heaviest of downpours. It works great for everything from trail running to hiking, and is comfortable enough to wear all day. Some buyers may wish for things like Velcro cuffs or more pockets (the coat has only three), but I like the simplicity of the jacket in terms of function over fashion. For more information, please visit mountainhardwear.com.