Mountain Hardwear Plasmic (2014)

The Mountain Hardwear Plasmic is one of many jackets costing around £100 that weigh about 296g (size men’s L). The big difference though is that the Plasmic has a ‘normal’ fit on the body, so you can wear a fleece or other insulation underneath without all the air being squashed out. Also the pockets on the Plasmic are sealed, so there is no mesh lining to allow water to pass through the jacket. Finally you also get a more water-resistant main zip, so leaks are less likely. With all that the Plasmic still weighs a little less than many similar products, which makes it very appealing. The fabric is a 2.5-layer Dry Q. Evap product, which does not control condensation as well as 3-layer materials or jackets with mesh linings, but it is lightweight. The pockets are placed reasonably high but do extend below most rucksack hipbelts, which makes retrieving small items a challenge, but they are map-sized. The hood fits and moves well with the head but misses out on a wired peak. So the Mountain Hardwear Plasmic isn’t perfect by any means, but what it has in its favour does tip the decision of what to buy more towards this than some other similar-looking products. It’s a very effective lightweight jacket for wet-weather hillwalking, scrambling or backpacking.

Weight 296g (size men’s L)

Fabric 2.5-layer Dry Q Evap

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XL

Women’s sizes XS-XL

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit zips? no

Website www.mountainhardwear.com

Verdict

The Mountain Hardwear Plasmic is a very light jacket with some good features; and while it isn’t perfect it’s better than many other lightweight waterproofs for hillwalking.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2014

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