Review: Mountain Hardwear Trinity Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Trinity Jacket

Price: $360 ($$$)

Specs: Waterproof/Breathable, Softshell, SSZ’s, PZ’s (SSZ = seam sealed zipper, PZ = pit zip)

Season: Fall, Winter, Chilly Spring

Best Use: Outer shell over insulating layers for snowsports, ice climbing, other cold weather fun.

Two features I’m most excited about: First up – the Dry Q. Core waterproof/breathable softshell technology.  Water beads up and rolls away as in most waterproof shells, but this jacket does a whole lot more than just shed rain drops.  The Trinity outperforms DWR rainwear over time as it does not get waterlogged and cling like a wet, cold shell around the body.  I actually feel dry and warm through persistent rainy conditions.  The thin fleece liner helps keep the chill off and keeps the jacket soft against the skin.  But, how does Dry Q compare to Gore-Tex, that titan of waterproof/breathable performance?  Simply put, I’m not wet yet.

Next and not to be ignored – bold, bright colors.  Dragonfly, Purple Lotus, Red Hibiscus.  Really stands out in a crowd or on the mountain and the color doesn’t wear.  Even the black jacket has some fun color – the zippers and draw cords in glacier blue add a sharp look to this outerwear.

Why softshell: Doesn’t make those swish swish noises when moving around.  Great for hiking, snowshoeing, ice climbing and other outdoor activities when you don’t want to disturb the tranquility of nature or your own peace of mind.  Swishing is just as bad as radiators banging or faucets dripping. Softshell enhances mobility/flexibility.  Moves with the body, not against it, your range of motion is not restricted!

One thing I would change: The attached hood.  Would be nice to have the option of taking this ‘beefy’ hood off for a bit! Since it is made to be helmet compatible, it can get in the way when you don’t have it up.  Having said that, the hood really functions well, cinches down around the head keeping cold air off the neck and face.  Warmth factor instantly increases although your coolness factor goes down (you will not look stylin’ with this hood up).  Thankfully, during a storm no one cares.

Tidbits: Sleeves slightly long, but not in a bad way.  The extra length is great for stretching or reaching during active pursuits.  Useful Velcro at cuff makes it easy to adjust over gloves or hold firmly at ¾ length.

Can be worn under packs/harnesses although the pocket placement is a bit low for full access when geared up. While I’m on pockets, these are fleece-lined and offer a comfy shelter from the elements.

One internal pocket to hold some small items you hold dear.

Sum-up: Worth the price if you venture out into the winter weather to enjoy the season’s recreational opportunities.  You will be dry (Dry Q, SSZ’s), highly visible and looking good (fun colors), and unrestricted (softshell).  This is a great piece to add to your layering system that will transition over into the months of fall and spring when worn alone.  You will use it, you will like it, and you will (if you are like me) want to buy it in another color.

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