Mountain maven.

The Mountain Hardwear Men's Quasar Lite II Jacket is ready to take its place as your go-to shell for everything from summer peak-bagging missions to winter ski mountaineering adventures. While other waterproof, breathable technologies don't start breathing until your body heat is already high, the Quasar Lite II's Dry.Q Elite 2.5-layer fabric offers breathability the moment you put it on, so you don't have to start sweating to get the performance to kick in. Of course, this fabric still offers premium waterproofing to shield you from the sideways snow and sudden rainstorms that are an ever-present threat in the mountains. Stretch construction lets you swing ice axes and pole plant on your skis without restriction. When the ascent gets really tough, open up the venting hand pockets and cross-flow tricep vents for welcome relief. Plus, it packs up small and weighs well under a pound, so you can easily stash it in your pack when skies are clear.

  • Lightweight and versatile jacket for traveling in the mountains
  • Dry.Q Elite waterproof fabric offers instant breathability
  • Stretch construction allows freedom of movement
  • Cross-flow tricep venting keeps cool air flowing
  • Large hand pockets with venting improve airflow and store gear
  • Helmet-compatible hood fits over your head protector
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Most breathable Shell I've Used

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

The Quasar Lite II is designed for getting after it. It is the most breathable shell I've used. Period. Besides the high performing Dry Q Elite membrane, it also features venting down the back of the arm instead of the underarm. I was a little skeptical of this feature but have found it to work amazingly well. It also has venting in the mid-section via the hand pockets. Fit wise, it's trim but does allow for light layering(think light fleece and a ghostwhisperer puffy). It's also built with stretch and articulated nicely. It's perfect for moving in the mountains. If it's lacking anywhere, it is in ruggedness/durability. While it is not as durable as a GTX Pro piece, it definitely breathes better and is plenty strong for the majority of activities. It's also under 11 ounces and highly packable.

All the features! Returned due to color.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

This jacket has all the features in one! Nylon, Ultralight 2.5 Layer Q-Elite, 2 large vented pockets, 2 large inner vented drop in pockets, tri vents, embedded draw cord mechanisms, totally cinchable! It really checks all the boxes as far as features! I sent mine back because the darker grey color that is almost black is actually a really deep shimmering green in the light. Didn't vibe with that or I probably would have kept it! Requested an exchange for the lighter grey but they didn't have it at the time. I am an athletic build and this was a little boxy on me but good for layering with a light down underneath. I use a Black Diamond Hot Forge hooded jacket and it felt good to me! Mountain Hardware makes a nice product i'd say. I haven't tested the water proof feature but I can say that the Dry.Q Elite gets good reviews as far as function. I looked up the Tech because there are no reviews on this specific jacket yet. I am very concerned with features, fit and color so this one lacked in some of those areas. I'm excessively picky though...