Mountain Hardwear Quark 2008

The Mountain Hardwear Quark is an extremely lightweight multi-activity jacket, which naturally makes it ideal for fast and light action. The fabric is incredibly thin Conduit, which is rated as extremely breathable and very waterproof.  There is a little bit of stretch in the material, which allows the fit to be a bit closer without restricting movement. It uses 100 per cent welded construction, resulting in less weight and bulk and a softer feel as there are no bulky taped seams. Pit zips and mesh-lined pockets are provided for when you overheat, while the pair of chest pockets are ideal for maps or handwarming. The hood fits over a helmet and has great movement. The front zip also gets an external stormflap to keep the heaviest of rain out and the body is quite long, making this a good choice for wetter weather. But the Mountain Hardwear Quark’s hood peak is too big and as this is not stiffened it can obscure vision. The fabric doesn’t feel quite as durable as some others, either. Other fabrics are rated as being waterproof and more breathable too. The hood cannot be rolled down and secured, which means the jacket is not ideal for bikers or runners.

Outer Conduit
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness very waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); XS-L (women’s)
Weight 258g (men’s L);
Made in China
Stores in the UK 25
Verdict
If weight is your priority then the Mountain Hardwear Quark is a superb option, but the lack of a means of securing the hood when rolled down is a drawback when moving fast.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2008