Mountain Hardwear Quasar II (2015)

Features

The Mountain Hardwear Quasar II’s weight of just 337g (size L) is a major feature here, but you do also get a jacket made of an extremely waterproof and breathable 3-layer fabric called DryQ Elite. There are also two huge Napoleon-style chest pockets and the hood gets a peak that is stiffened and wired. But other jackets have pit zips and more pockets than are on offer here. 4/5

Fit

The Mountain Hardwear Quasar II is only available in a men’s version in sizes S-XXL. The fit is described as ‘active’ and on me this meant the sleeves were slightly closer-fitting than some but the body was similar to others with about 1cm extra length. Sleeve movement was good. The hood fits very neatly although it was slightly too close to the eyes to be perfect. 4/5

Comfort

The 3-layer DryQ Elite is very thin and soft but a little crackly when you move. But it does feel light and unrestrictive. It is a 3-layer fabric, so condensation management is good. In wind however it buckles a little too easily so it can feel slightly chilly compared to others that can trap more air inside. But you cannot warm your hands in those Napoleon pockets. 4/5

In use

The weight and the two large pockets are great, as they easily take maps. The hood is okay, but it blocks vision a little compared to the best, due the peak sitting a little close to the eyes. The Mountain Hardwear Quasar II does not feel as durable as heavier jackets, and I miss having pockets I can put my hands in. So this is not my favourite, but if you don’t need those extra pockets it is good. 3/5

Value

You are not getting much apart from low weight for the price, so you need to be sure where your priorities lie. 3/5

Verdict

If you want a lightweight jacket with good features then the Mountain Hardwear Quasar II is it, but you compromise in other ways, so think carefully. 3.6/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2015

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