Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic (2014)

Made from a stretch fabric to reduce any restriction in movement while allowing a closer fit, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic uses a 2.5-layer Dry.Q Evap fabric that offers high performance; but, like any 2.5-layer fabric, condensation control is even better in 3-layer fabrics. However, there are pit zips provided for additional control of body temperature. The front zip get a good chunky, water-resistant zip as well as a stormflap behind it to keep any leaks at bay. There are three pockets and these are all sealed to prevent water passing through them to your mid layers. The main pockets are map-sized and can be accessed while wearing a rucksack while the third chest pocket is smaller but still useful for a GPS receiver or compass. The main drawback of this jacket is the hood, which has a large peak with no wire so it is difficult to maintain good vision, particularly as the hood does not move well with the head either. If the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic had a better hood it would be a solid piece of kit for the hillwalker, but I just cannot recommend it. This is a really shame though as the weight and price are both excellent. There are also far worse jackets out there, but there are also some that are better.

Specifications:

Fabric 2.5-layer Dry.Q Evap

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes none

External pockets 3

Stowable hood no

Side/pit zips? yes

Weight 323g (men’s size L)

Website www.mountainhardwear.com

Verdict

The body of the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Plasmic is ideal for hillwalking if you want a lightweight jacket at a reasonable price, but the hood is poor by comparison.

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on featuring in Trail magazine July 2014

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