Mountain Hardwear Snowtastic Jacket Review
Ski Friendly Features
Whether you are in the back or side country, or resort bound, the Mountain Hardwear Snowtastic Jacket has you covered in terms of features. For those sticking to the resort, the Snowtastic has a zippered pocket on the left forearm, which is perfect for your resort season or day pass. The jacket features RECCO avalanche rescue reflector, hidden in the right shoulder in the event that you find yourself in a bind, even in bounds. The left front pocket features a key clip to keep your car keys safely stashed.
The Mountain Hardwear Snowtastic Jacket, as its’ name implies, has a few key snow friendly features. For starters, the jacket has a removable snow skirt that can be snapped to a variety of ski pants. The snow skirt is a little less streamlined and more cumbersome that a few other that I have tested this season; it does the job well, but adds some bulk when worn with an additional insulating layer that hits at the same location.
This may sound silly, but the hood was one of my favorite features. The Snowtastic Jacket features a drop hood, which in layman’s terms means that their is a separate collar and hood. This means that you lock in heat, whether or not the hood is up, thanks to a generous collar that stands about 2.5″ taller than the hood in the front. The collar features super soft Micro Chamois at not only the chin area, but also wraps all the way around. The hood is helmet compatible with the 5 different helmets tested from around the house/office. The hood has three adjustment points: 1 on each side of the hood and at the rear. The pulls were easy to cinch when on the move, but loosening required me to remove a glove/mitten and pull the cord while compressing the adjuster.
Mountain Hardwear was smart with their pocket placement and size. There are two large hand pockets that are easy to access with a pack on. The pocket on the right is huge, as it runs up almost the entire length of the jacket. On the left, there is a smaller chest pocket on the outside, as well as a mesh inside stuff pocket. The inside right features a zippered security pocket and two additional mesh pockets behind it. There are pit zips that are pretty average in terms of length, and allow the wearer to dump heat, aka vent, quickly.
Snowtastic Fabric: DryQ Elite
Mountain Hardwear incorporated DryQ Elite into the Snowtastic Jacket. DryQ Elite is soft shell that provides wind and water protection. When in use, the shell provides excellent breathability. When skinning with a group of friends, other folks were shedding their hard and soft shells, while I simply opened the zip and vents and kept pushing on. The breathability was impressive and allows for quicker transition from tour to downhill mode.
Don’t be fooled, the jacket does not skimp on protection and was more than enough when worn over a down or other insulating layer. The inside of the jacket features a fleece backing for some added insulation. The center zip features a generous zipper flap and water resistant zippers along the main zip, pit zips, and pockets. After a full day in the snow, I haven’t encountered any leaking at the zippers, the taped seams, or through the jacket itself. My only beef with the jacket, is it is relatively heavy when compared to other soft shell jackets that I own, making it not nearly as packable when not in use.
Fit and Sizing of the Snowtastic Jacket
Available in sizes XS to XL, I found that the jacket ran on the generous end, which allows for plenty of layering. Mountain Hardwear states that the Snowtastic Jacket has a relaxed fit, which I would agree with. The shoulders were plenty roomy (I have broad shoulders), the arms were plenty long on the jacket itself, however the jersey cuffs with thumb loops (which are an awesome way to keep the draft out) were a bit on the short side for my taste, meaning my thumb crease was being rubbed raw. The center back length is 30″, which leaves the jacket with more of a free-rider fit and plenty of backside coverage. I used the hem adjuster, stashed inside the main front pockets, and tucked that jacket on itself as I don’t like really long jackets.
Mountain Hardwear’s Snowtastic Jacket is breathable, warm, and extremely versatile making an excellent choice for hardcore skiers/riders. The Snowtastic is available for both men and women; for more information please visit MountainHardwear.com
For women, the jacket is available in Bright Emerald with white zippers and Graphite with red zips.