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By Jonathan Lee
Dec 26, 2012
So, i've never owned anything by mountain hardwear but i often see their stuff, especially puffies and softshell pants, for substantially cheaper than common big names (patagonia, marmot, etc.) Is this the big guys charging more for the name recognition, or does MHW really not stand up to the test?

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By AThomas
Dec 26, 2012
I've had a few sideways glances thrown my way about MH, but, because of fit and variety, they've accidentally become my main brand. No complaints here, though.

Edit: I should say, I've bought a bunch of MH jackets, pants and a sleeping bag.

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By Stephan Doyle
Dec 26, 2012
Specific examples help. I'm not sure that Mountain Hardwear's stuff is priced much differently than the competition.

Like the brands you mentioned, it's fairly hit-or-miss.

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By Josh Hutch
Dec 26, 2012
2nd pitch of Chockstone Gulley, Skylight Area, Ouray CO
I own a hard shell jacket of theirs, the DryQ technology is amazing! I also have multiple sleeping bags, puff jackets and soft shell pants. Other than my patogania r1 (favorite and most used) all the MH gear fits my body (skinny) much better then other manufacturers. I would recommend it to anybody.

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By akafaultline
Dec 26, 2012
I have owned numerous mh items and have been mostly happy. My complaint would be with some of their jackets is to short of arm length so your wrist gets exposed when climbing etc.
I personally prefer them to marmot but not to arcteryx or some of patagonias

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By Reid Kalmus
From Breckenridge, Colorado
Dec 26, 2012
They were bought out a few years ago by Columbia, and many people have a bad taste in their mouth about that. They are kinda like The North Face in the sense that they have alot of price point stuff that is pretty cheap, and cheap. But their high end stuff is second to none, ie tents, sleeping bags, packs, and other "expedition worthy" gear. I work in a shop and dont see too many warranties...

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Dec 26, 2012
Jonathan Lee wrote:
So, i've never owned anything by mountain hardwear but i often see their stuff, especially puffies and softshell pants, for substantially cheaper than common big names (patagonia, marmot, etc.) Is this the big guys charging more for the name recognition, or does MHW really not stand up to the test?


I think you are getting sales prices and msrp's mixed up bro... Just a few examples...

MH Drystein II 600
Patagonia Super Alpine 600
Arc'teryx Alpha SV 625

MH Compressor Hoodie 250
Patagonia Nano Puff 250
Arc'teryx Atom SV 260

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By Jared Garfield
Dec 26, 2012
Romancing the Stone
I've had great luck with Mountain Hardwear, My favorite fleece was made by them and the warmest pair of mittens I own are made by MH. I also have gaiters, synthetics, and rain pants. All of it works great and I've got nothing but good things to say about them.

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By Jonathan Lee
Dec 27, 2012
Yes, a lot of the dramatic price differences are sale items for sure, but since sale items are usually remaindered i was wondering what gives. Thanks for the responses, everybody, it seems that like everything else, i'll just do a lot of homework before i pull any triggers (not that i mind spending hours online looking at gear porn)

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By bearbreeder
Dec 27, 2012
their stuff works fine ... even their "low end" stuff within their limits

the thing about MH is that you can almost always find their gear on deep discount, wonders of being owned by a large manufacturer ... like enough of a discount that ill only buy MH stuff at 50-75% off ...

but then i only buy clothes at 50%+ off anyways ;)

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By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Dec 27, 2012
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the South Side of Looking Glass.  Kyle Sox is belaying.
My experience has been that MHW spent a bunch of years with subpar materials like Conduit and subpar builds (poor hoods and poor fit in general) that hurt their credibility as a high end brand. Now, they have Dry Q Elite for their shells (sorta eVent), Outdry for their gloves, and Q Shield Down (Downtek) coming soon. The fit has improved for me, the features are better (fewer) for specific garments, and overall I feel they deserve another look by folks who've written them off. The Ghost Whisperer down jacket is pretty incredible, if also pretty pricey. It's on sale several places now, by the way, to make room for the Spring 2013 Downtek version.

Of course, they've boosted their prices a ton in the past few years as well.

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By AThomas
Dec 27, 2012
Also, if you're buying your first MH jacket and doing so online, I've found them to be sized small. I wear a medium in Patagonia, etc., but have to go large for MH.

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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Dec 27, 2012
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I think the primary reason you're finding a lot of MH at deep discount is simply that they've spent a lot of time turning over their models of clothing. Not quite as fast as Kelty (who throws out most lines every year) but often.

With turnover comes clearances. MH has indeed been bought by Columbia, but their acquisition of Ueli Steck and their drive to rid the world of GoreTex has put them into one of the most EXPENSIVE categories. The difference with MH is that they make a lot of lower end models which become cash cows to support their desire to have a top notch set of clothing and gear.

DryQ is freakin amazing if you can afford it. Great stuff. However, $600 for a SHELL is way too much for me and really gives even Arcteryx a run for their money. On the other hand, the DIREKT 2 is probably the top 1 man tent in the industry in my opinion. $500 for a complete four season 1.5 man tent that uses their DryQ tech and weighs 2lb 7oz? SOLD. Did I just say four season? Keep your Firstlight and Eldorado/iTent comments to yourself. More four season than the Firstlight and much lighter than the Eldo/iTent.

Depending on your needs - I'd just make sure you're getting what you expect in the clearance market. MH made a lot of stuff that was "meh" and a lot of that is discount. However, they work fine - they just aren't the warmest, dryest, technical-est gear in most cases.

They also haven't been immune to creating flawed items - the G50 for example. Here's an unbelievable soft shell that's lightweight and has great windstopper and DWR. However, they made the hood TOO SMALL for a helmet. So, I bet you can find the G50 around for quite a discount. They eventually replaced it with the Dragon jacket which had all the capabilities of the G50 but the hood fit a helmet. Therefore, the G50 was discontinued and for awhile was on deep discount.

I really like the items they put out with the Ueli Steck project. Why? It made the industry pay attention and now we're seeing brands like North Face realizing they need to get back INTO making technical clothing and not just high school teenage girl jackets.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 28, 2012
El Chorro
As a brand I have no problem with MHW. Who cares if they were bought by Columbia - that's the way the industry works. Good for them.

Like someone else said, they make a huge range of products and a lot of the top stuff is excellent. But the truth is, these companies make their money on the high margin, cheep, lifestyle pieces. When you see college students going to class in MHW soft shells you know that the company is doing well. I could have told you in the 90's that they were going to get bought, just based on their success with young urbanites.

That doesn't mean that their serious gear isn't great, but it does cause some people to wonder. If you're that kind of person, then there are other brands out there that have smaller lines that are more dedicated to the serious alpinist and not the CU student.

I've never thought of them having lower prices than anyone else though. Maybe the sale stuff, like othes have said. Also, you have to remember that once the product goes into the hands of a third party retailer, it is not MHW that is losing the money - it's the retailer. The online outdoor clothing market is saturated and full of websites that forcasted more sales that they actually make. The big sales are these websites clearing out old product so they don't have to pay for more warehouse space. I could be wrong but I don't think you'd see a lot of big discounts in the Mountain Hardwear stores in Portland or Seattle.

But when choosing the best product for you it is usually just getting the right fit. It doesn't matter how good of a customer service dept a company has or how awesome their tech is I'd their products don't fit you right. And some times you do find a specific item that just suits your needs perfectly - when that happens you don't care what logo is othe chest.

MHW Piero pants are the best climbing pants I've ever owned. They are bombproof.

On the other hand, their old PU jackets (Conduit?) were crap. Wetted out way faster than I'd expect considering the price.

Haven't had the pleasure of trying their new DryQ Elite yet, but the air permeable membrane that my company makes is very impressive, and Dry Q Elite is supposed to be better.

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Dec 28, 2012
Btw DryQ IS eVent. And yes MH does run slim but comparing it to Patagonia (that runs big) is a bad example.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 28, 2012
El Chorro
NorCalNomad wrote:
Btw DryQ IS eVent.


Correct. Except that before GE partnered with MH, they were only selling eVent fabrics to companies that would then sell the fabric as "eVent" (Rab, Westcome and a few others have been using it for a while). But with GE now licensing companies to sell the fabric under their own branded name, they are also giving up some of the design rights. MH is using face fabrics, backers, glue and seam tape that have never been used with eVent before. Supposedly they have made improvements in the ways of durability and breathability.

I have only worn one eVent jacket and it was pretty awesome. The company I work for makes a comparable air permeable membrane (Texapore Air) and it really is more breathable than anything that Goretex makes. You can tell the difference right away. It also has a lot to do with backing fabrics and face fabrics though, and I'd say Rab does a great job on that end. Can't speak for the new MH stuff. Still waiting to see if Dry Q really is any better or if it's just hype.

Another membrane to mention is Polartec Neoshell. On paper it is more air permeable but less waterproof than eVent, with Texapore Air falling a bit short in both categories. I don't have any experience with that one but their other products all stand up to the claims so I don't see why Neoshell wouldn't.

Since Texapore Air is German, they are using different tests than are used with eVent. We use the same one as Polartec so I have no problem comparing those two, but I haven't been able to convert the test results of eVent into something I can use. Maybe I'll get someone smarter to try.

None of that matters though because we don't run or climb in the lab. The results will always come from the mountains and my guess is that all of the new air permeable stuff will perform well.

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Dec 28, 2012
I have the mountain hardwear windstopper tech fleece jacket.
I really like this jacket. It super warm for the weight and breaths well but breaks the wind by like 99%. Best of all the shoulders and tops of the arms are water resistant softshell material. I use this 100% of the time Ice climbing. As long as its not snowing hard it works well as the outer layer. otherwise I have a hard shell over the top and stay very dry.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Dec 28, 2012
Middle
MHW outdry gloves are quite good. I just bought a pair of Hydras and Medusa's for 60% off. Probably the best on the market.

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By KathyS
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 2, 2013
Me at the summit of Inner Course (5.4) in the Outlets.  Long, lovely, mellow route.  Well protected even.  My favorite lead from the trip.
I bought a pair of MHW Hestia(?) DryQ Elite shell pants cheap from Campmor at the end of last season to replace my shredded EMS Gore-tex pants. I've worn them a few times ice climbing in cold condtions and so far, I'm very happy. They seem to breath better than the Gore-tex, and I don't get quite as soggy on the approach. MHW's pocket and suspender design needs improvement, though. Both were more user-friendly on the EMS Gore-tex pants. I'll be modifying the rear suspender attachments to make it easier for pit stops.

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By thegoodword
Aug 7, 2013
Mountain Hardwear customer service is the worst in the industry. I had a jacket that literally leaked water through MH's proprietary coating. I sent it in at the advice of the Mountain Hardwear customer service representative. I got a call a few weeks later noting that they found a defect in the coating and that I could buy a new jacket at 50% off. I let them know that I shelled out big bucks for the jacket the first time around and that I just wanted a replacement (even if it was an old jacket) or repair. They could not repair it, nor did they have any old stock to replace it with, so I would have to buy one. Selling an already expensive jacket at 50% is not the "full lifetime warranty" they tout. Buy Patagonia or North Face (who will repair the product) but avoid Mountain Hardwear.

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By RockinOut
From NY, NY
Aug 7, 2013
Gear
thegoodword wrote:
Mountain Hardwear customer service is the worst in the industry. I had a jacket that literally leaked water through MH's proprietary coating. I sent it in at the advice of the Mountain Hardwear customer service representative. I got a call a few weeks later noting that they found a defect in the coating and that I could buy a new jacket at 50% off. I let them know that I shelled out big bucks for the jacket the first time around and that I just wanted a replacement (even if it was an old jacket) or repair. They could not repair it, nor did they have any old stock to replace it with, so I would have to buy one. Selling an already expensive jacket at 50% is not the "full lifetime warranty" they tout. Buy Patagonia or North Face (who will repair the product) but avoid Mountain Hardwear.


I have a friend who got bleach on his 7yr old MH shell and it pretty much ate through the jacket. Bleach stains and holes in the jacket. He sent it in and they replaced it with a new model. Nothing but good things to say about their customer service.

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By thegoodword
Aug 7, 2013
RockinOut wrote:
I have a friend who got bleach on his 7yr old MH shell and it pretty much ate through the jacket. Bleach stains and holes in the jacket. He sent it in and they replaced it with a new model. Nothing but good things to say about their customer service.

When did he send it in? I sent mine in early summer 2013, and they would not do squat (besides try and sell me a new jacket). Paying half of an expensive retail price instead of receiving a new replacement or repair is not a full life-time warranty. This is the problem with the company. One guy has a defective product and they do not honor their warranty. Another guy sends in a jacket when it is completely his fault (bleach) and MH replaces the jacket. That is a crappy, inconsistent company.

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By nedined
Feb 3, 2014
I have an old Mountain Hardware Jacket that I need to Identify its model. Please any one who knows it, let me know! I want to sell it but don't know what model to put! I'm posting some pictures. Thanks!
Mountain Hardwear Jacket probably form the 2004s
Mountain Hardwear Jacket probably form the 2004s


Back
Back


open <br />
open


tag
tag

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By MRock
Feb 3, 2014
Split shin after 5.9+ R lead
Just got some full zip hard shell pants from mh. Botka I think their called. Got the ladies size large tall cause they were cheaper and black. DryQ elite fabric with reinforced heels. They're so bad ass, Ive skied some pretty dumb lines through bushes and trees and they've held up great. Stretchy for kick turns and spread eagles. I like more pockets on a pant usually, these have one on the hip, getting used to it though. All this for 120$ at the Columbia outlet.

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