The brand: Mountain Hardwear is one of the three brands that can be considered preeminent in outdoor gear and apparel, the others being Marmot and our Canadian friends at Arc'Teryx. Although premium priced, deep discounts on discontinued colors and styles may be found at sierratradingpost.com and rei-outlet.com, and serious alpinists like Ed Viesturs swear by the brand.
The jacket: The Synchro Jacket is one of MH's high-end waterproof/breathable softshells. It is generously sized, and uses a three-layer lamination of Conduit™ membrane (Mountain Hardwear's version of Gore-Tex™ 3L) with a stretch-face fabric and a knit-fleece backing. Other features include fully welded exterior zippered pockets (including one cleverly hidden in a taped right-arm seam and perfectly sized for an iPod nano), all fully taped exterior seams, and one-handed drawcords at hem and neck (or hood, in the case of the slightly pricier, hooded model). Equally appropriate jacket for skiing, après-ski, or just being seen among the townies.
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