Great Waterproof / Breathable Jacket

Reviewed by McB from Chicago on Wednesday, January 7, 2015
After doing a lot of research on waterproof/breathable materials prior to climbing Mount Rainier, I determined Mountain Hardwear's Dry Q Elite was the best fabric because it was both lightweight and extremely breathable during strenuous activity. It's clear that their fabric is much better than Gore-Tex's offerings by looking at the waterproof rating and breathability ratings.

This jacket was the cheapest I could find at the time that used the Dry Q ELITE fabric (not Dry Q Core) so I gave it a shot...

After experiencing 3 days straight of rain, snow and wind in negative temperatures (-40 or 50 with windchill) I was not disappointed at all with this jacket at my outer-most layer, I was completely dry. It was very reassuring prior to the climb to see that the guide company I used to climb the mountain also strictly used Mountain Hardwear gear as their rental gear. If this simple/inexpensive jacket can keep me bone dry during a 16hr final day ranging from 60mph winds at negative temperatures to 4hrs straight of rain at the bottom, I'm pretty sure it will do just fine for everything else you might use it for.


Pros:
VERY waterproof
VERY breathable (much better than any Gore-Tex fabric)
Loose fit so you can layer up underneath
Hood capable of fitting a helmet underneath + has a nice built in visor
Sealed chest pocket is very handy year-round
Lightweight / packable

Cons:
-Loose fit (might not love it when you're not layering up if you're a fit person/not overweight
-Extremely breathable to the point that it doesn't offer much if any warmth or heat retention
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