Outdoors Magazine

Gear Box: Mountain Hardwear Jovian Jacket

Posted on the 04 November 2011 by Kungfujedi @Kungfujedi

Gear Box: Mountain Hardwear Jovian Jacket Before I start my review of the Mountain Hardwear Jovian Jacket, I have a disclaimer that I must get out. I'm a big fan of Mountain Hardwear gear. I mean a BIG fan. I have several pieces of their gear in my closet, and it has always performed above and beyond my expectations when I've needed it most. I've always found their equipment to be well designed, incredibly durable, and a good value for the money. I've always appreciated the company's attention to detail and obvious connection with their core market, providing outstanding products that can survive anything we throw at it. 
Now, that said, if you're looking for the short version of my review of the Jovian Jacket, here it is: This very lightweight, highly packable shell is simply amazing and only served to enhance my already high opinion of Mountain Hardwear gear. 
With that out of the way, here's what the the Jovian has to offer. The jacket uses the company's patented Dry.Q Elite fabrics, which are designed to be very durable and dry, even in the harshest of conditions, while remaining highly breathable at the same time. The fabrics are designed to vent quickly, so that we don't overheat while on a strenuous hike or climb. 
This was my first chance to put Dry.Q to the test, and it more than lived up to the hype. I was impressed not only at how well it repelled any and all water thrown at it, but kept me comfortable and dry at all times.
As you would expect from Mountain Hardwear, this jacket has all kinds of great little touches that add to the value. For instance, you'll find ample storage in the five pockets, including one inside the shell itself. Those pockets are sealed up very tightly, thanks to high quality zippers, which keep everything inside nice and dry as well.  The large, wide brimmed, hood is spacious enough to accommodate a helmet, yet still seals up snugly to prevent water from leaking inside, while the extra-long pit vents further aid in venting out excess heat. Throw in a design that allows for unrestricted movement, even while wearing layers underneath, and you have a nearly perfect shell for your outdoor adventures.
I say almost perfect, as there are a few caveats to be aware of when purchasing the Jovian. First, this isn't exactly the warmest shell around, which is understandable considering it tips the scales at just 19 ounces. Mountain Hardwear was going for a more minimalist approach with this jacket, and as a result, it probably isn't the best choice for winter excursions. The other minor nuisance are those zippers I mentioned above. While they do a great job in helping to keep moisture out, they also can be a challenge to open and close, sometimes requiring both hands to actually operate. They do loosen up a bit over time, but they are still on the stiff side. 
That said, the Jovian is one of the most versatile jackets you'll ever find. It will serve outdoor enthusiasts well on what ever adventures they embark on. Whether you're bagging peaks, backpacking, or simply making your morning bike commute, the Jovian is a jacket you'll appreciate. Heck, it's so comfortable and reliable,  you can wear it around town in bad weather, and still appreciate its design. Clearly, Mountain Hardwear has another winner on their hands. 
The MSRP on this jacket is $475 but TravelCountry.com currently has it on sale for just $380.

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