Oh Monkey Man, oh Monkey Man… with your shag-like Polartec Thermal Pro Monkey Phur Lite fleece combined with your smooth Polartec Power Stretch, can you swing from vines with the greatest of ease while maintaining serious warmth in all conditions. The new Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Lite Jacket is more streamlined and lighter weight than the original while still maintaining its stove-like insulative properties.

Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Lite Jacket Features:

  • MicroClimate Zoning™ construction for built in warmth, breathability and stretch
  • Polartec® Thermal Pro® Monkey Phur Lite and Polartec Power Stretch
  • Extremely warm, extremely soft
  • Stretch hem and cuffs seal in warmth
  • Close fitting hood, designed to fit under helmet
  • Pockets set high and out of the way from harness and pack straps
  • Integrated thumb loops for warmth
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz. / 498 g.
  • Center-to-back Length: 28″ / 71 cm
  • MSRP: $165

Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Lite Jacket Review

Starting in late Spring, I’ve been able to use the new Monkey Man lite while skiing and running in cool weather conditions. Having not worn the original Monkey Man Jacket, I can appreciate just how warm it must be as this one is like wearing a heating blanket. The Monkey Man Lite is built a bit more streamlined than the regular version, so it can be worn in more technical situations as an insulation layer or outerwear.

The combination of Polartec fabrics has proven to be extremely durable and weather resistant. Heavy snows and even rain is kept at bay while maintaining good warmth. Built-in thumb loops make it even better and extend the sleeves for situations where you are caught without gloves and need just a little more hand coverage.

On a great Spring afternoon at Alta with my son, I enjoyed the extra length and streamlined fit of the Monkey Man Lite. Keeping the snow out was aided by the stretchy Power Stretch fabric at the hem and cuffs. The thick pile of the fleece on this jacket makes for a highly wind-resistant piece while maintaining good breathability.

I pushed the limits of this jacket on a snowy trail run. While I didn’t quite overheat, lets just say that it keeps you ultra-warm. I felt like it breathed well and a quick unzip of the front provided good ventilation. The snug-fitting hood is awesome to have in a pinch and really increases the warmth of the entire package.

The blue color tested is a bit on the bright side as I felt like a Smurf while wearing it, but other color options are available. I also thought that the sleeve cuff length could be shortened just a tad since they bunched up around the wrists when not using the thumb loops. I guess the intent is that the sleeves should fit perfectly when using the thumb loops, so it depends on how you intend to wear it. Also, without a shock-cord in the hem, the lower edge can creep up a little bit.

Good Monkey Man Lite

  • Serious warmth in a lightweight package
  • Thumb loops provide extra hand coverage in a pinch
  • Fabrics shed wind and weather well
  • Good trim fit for base layer or technical outerwear
  • Extra hem length provides good coverage

Bad Monkey Man Lite

  • Sleeves do bunch up when not using thumb loops
  • Hood can get in the way in certain layering situations
  • Pocket zipper pulls could be better (simple rope pulls are so 1995)
  • Shock-cord hem may keep things in place a little better

Bottom Line: Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Lite Jacket

It’s fuzzy and it’s warm… the new Monkey Man Lite Jacket is a bit more streamlined than the original for better technical performance. You can expect stove-like warmth and good wearability in a variety of conditions with this jacket.

Buy Now: Find Mountain Hardwear Fleece at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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