Sure, you want to keep water out on the outside – but moisture on the inside is no fun either. Mountain Hardwear’s Super Light Plasmic Jacket handles both of these issues for long days in camp or on the trail.
2014 Mountain Hardwear Super Light Plasmic Jacket Features:
- Body: DryQ EVAP, 15 Denier, 2.5 layer 100% nylon
- Fully adjustable hood with single pull adjustment system
- Water resistant center front zipper and hand zippers
- Pack and harness compatible zippered pockets
- Velcro cuff closures
- Weight: 218g / 7.7oz
- Standard fit
- Center back length 28” / 71cm
- 5 color options
- MSRP: $200
The Plasmic Jacket Goes on a Diet
Once upon a time, there was Gore-Tex: a waterproof and breathable material that proved to be far more waterproof than it was breathable. Until a couple of years ago, if you wanted to be active in the rain, you didn’t have many alternatives.
More recently, fabric technology in the breathable waterproof category has advanced in leaps and bounds, with several companies creating proprietary fabrics in search of the ideal performance blend. Mountain Hardwear’s entry in this arena is DryQ EVAP, which features a system of channels on the interior lining to disperse moisture for faster evaporation away from the skin. The channels effectively increase the surface area of moisture –- picture a water droplet falling onto sand instead of onto a granite surface – which allows for faster evaporation and a drier interior feel. Even when the interior surface is wet to the touch, DryQ EVAP prevents that clammy feeling associated with rain jackets that breathe poorly.
DryQ EVAP is used on Mountain Hardwear’s well-established Plasmic Jacket as well as this spring’s Super Light Plasmic. The Super Light weighs 25% less than the regular Plasmic, and is intended for low-level, long-duration aerobic activities like fast packing or rock climbing or day hiking. It can also be used for moderate trail running, but its breathability isn’t quite sufficient for high level exertion (and to be fair, it isn’t really marketed as a trail runner). Multi-day users will love how compressible the Super Light is, packing down to roughly the size of a running shoe for easy stowage.
The exterior surface is completely water resistant, and all of the zippers are sealed against seepage. It’s also a highly effective wind blocker, and the cut is roomy enough to be worn over a midlayer for insulation in cold climates. The interior dimensions actually feel a bit spacious if the jacket is worn over a single layer, and the sleeve lengths are generous for full wrist coverage.
One standout feature is the hood, which combines thoughtful design and functionality. The cut of the hood is just right, providing full coverage without hanging over the eyes or impacting peripheral visibility. It also stays securely in place thanks to a single-pull drawstring in the back; once secured, the hood stays in place even in blustery conditions.
- Outstanding water resistance
- Lightweight and compressible
- Highly functional hood design
- Excellent price point
- Not quite breathable enough for higher level aerobic activity
The Bottom Line
If your plan is to spend long days or multiple days in rainy or unpredictable conditions, Mountain Hardwear’s Super Light Plasmic is a versatile, lightweight companion to help you stay dry and comfortable.
Buy Now: Available at Backcountry.com