Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Jacket Review
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If you loved your Mountain Hardwear Phantom jacket, you are going to love the Nitrous Jacket. The Nitrous Jacket, available for men and women, packs the same amount of great warmth as my ‘ole favorite, but weighs even less and packs down even smaller. Plus, the Nitrous has some style to it with a subtle swirl/flower pattern stitched over the upper chest for women’s.
The Nitrous jacket features 800 fill goose down and thus provides the lightest and warmest option out on the market. Horizontal seams every 2-3 inches help keep the down fill in its’ desired place and has thus far prevented any lumps, bumps, or gaps in insulation. The close together seams also keeps this jacket appearing more streamline and takes the puffy appearance out of wearing a down or “puffy” coat, which I like. The Nitrous is extremely easy to layer because of this and has become a great jacket to throw in the pack as just in case item or to wear while breaking for lunch. The jacket comes with its’ own stuff sack and once packed away you hardly notice the 10 ounce jacket in your pack.
This jacket saves on weight by eliminating unnecessary zippers; there are two hand warmer pockets over the hips, however elastic and an overlapping flap of fabric eliminate the need for a zipper to keep your goods in place (unless you are doing a handstand or something!) The lack of velcro adjustment at the cuffs also saves some weight and I honestly didn’t mind the light elastic cuffing.
The shell is composed of Sensor® Ripstop which is a combo of 20 and 30 denier polyester woven together with a 80/20 DWR finish. The only wear and tear I have noticed on the exterior is where my helmet (climbing or skiing) hits at the nape of the neck; here there are the beginnings of some piling and maybe a small tear. I have not experienced any other noticeable rips, punctures, or tears after 2 months of use last spring under a shell while skiing, or as a campground/emergency jacket while backpacking this summer. On a side note, last year, I had a run-in with a rose bush with another down jacket. Since that time, I am a tad more careful with any and all of my down products because no ripstop nylon is a match for a rose bush!
Last but not least, the fit. The Nitrous Jacket for women is not simply a scaled down men’s jacket (thanks Mountain Hardwear!) The jacket is not overly boxy and seems to curve in like a woman’s body and hits just below the hip. In addition, the arms are plenty long and the shoulders roomy enough to allow for complete range of motion which does not cause the jacket to ride up. A single pull drawcord along the hem can quickly be pulled to seal in the heat and keep the jacket in place on the hips. I tested a medium and probably could have downsized to a small, as I am an in betweener. The jacket runs true to size.
Overall, a great piece come fall and winter. For more information on the Nitrous Jacket and other Mountain Hardwear products, please visit www.mountainhardwear.com.