Montane Hydrogen Direct Jacket - Men's
MontaneHydrogen Direct Jacket - Men's

On the ice, but warm.

Suit up for your day on the ice with the Montane Men's Hydrogen Direct Jacket. Synthetically built, this coat will keep you warm while you drive axes into ice. The Hydrogen has articulated arms for easier movement and is specifically tailored to prevent hem-lift, so you can be warmer as you move. With a helmet-friendly hood and a harness-friendly hem, you're set for you convenience during your next climb. The Pertex fabric wicks moisture as you work, too, to prevent you from getting stuffy on the inside while you send.

  • A synthetic, warm jacket for floating up ice walls
  • Insulated hood designed to be worn under helmet for comfy, warm fit
  • Hand pockets positioned to stay out of way of harness or backpack
  • Internal storm flat offers extra defense against the elements
  • Chinguard fleece protects chin and mouth from irritation
  • Articulated arms for high reach movement
  • Specifically tailored to prevent hem-lift and loss of heat
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Lightweight Alpha Jacket

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

This seems like nice lightweight Polartec Alpha jacket. The face fabric appears significantly more wind resistant than my Patagonia Nano Air jacket and as such might function better when being used as an outer layer under most conditions. I had two minor issues that led me to return the jacket:
1) the hood was too small/short to fit comfortably (I have a relatively long neck so others may not have this problem)
2) Every time I put my hand in the sleeve to put the jacket on an inch or so of the alpha insulation pulled through the elastic cuff and I had to stuff it back into the jacket. This probably could be fixed with a few extra stitches on the forearm to tie the insulation to the outer fabric before the cuff more securely, but I haven't tried it.

Breathable, light insulator

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

The Montane Hydrogen Direct Jacket is simple yet extremely functional for high-output activities (skiing, ice-climbing, skinning, etc) in cold weather. Polartec Alpha is relatively new insulation that is extremely breathable, and this jacket is 100% polartec alpha direct. This means that as you are skinning up, or bootpacking on a cold day, any sweat you build up will be whisked away by the time you can take your pack off at the summit and get your skis on. I use this piece for hiking Highlands bowl at Aspen, where even when it's zero degrees and howling wind, the 30 minute hike still gets a sweat going. By the time i've taken in the view at the top and "laced up", this jacket is bone dry for the rip down. It's amazing.

This works two ways. One is that Alpha is a more breathable insulation than down or primaloft (a traditional synthetic insulation). The other is through the face fabric which contains the Alpha. Think, the fabric on the front of the jacket. In order for Alpha to truly breathe, you have to let just bit of air into the insulation. This is achieved in the Hydrogen direct jacket by using Pertex Quantum Air, an air-permeable face fabric that lets a tiny (undetectable to your skin) amount of air into the insulation to help suck out any moisture.

If you like going hard in cold conditions, this is the mid-layer for you.

How do you feel about this piece vs Outdoor Research Ascendant? It seems like this one should be warmer, at least on paper? How does the breathability of the outer differ?