Mountain HardwearSchematic Insulated Hooded Jacket - Men's

Plan for stormy weather.

If you flat-out refuse to use an umbrella, you might want to grab the Mountain Hardwear Men's Schematic Insulated Hooded Jacket. This midlayer sports a contemporary style that will blend in oh-so-well on the city streets, but with the amazing stretchability Chockstone has to offer, this would be wasted as a simple fashion statement. Instead, take this with you on your next trip to Mt. Hood and enjoy the warm-when-wet benefits of synthetic insulation while you hike through the soggy forest.

  • Technical layer for cold weather activities
  • Synthetic insulation keeps you warm rain or shine
  • Stretch material for an active lifestyle
  • Breathable liner so you won't overheat on the slopes
  • Arm pocket can hold you ski pass
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Very cool technology

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Size Bought: Large

I think this jacket is moving in a good direction technologically speaking. It has some very cool qualities, and i really like to see outdoor clothing manufacturers create something really novel like this. So the entire torso is insulated with the little rectangles that you see stitched through, called "Hardwave Capsules", and are presumably filled with 60g/m² of ThermalQ continuous strand insulation, and while they are very thin (1-2mm maybe), they resist compression with the same characteristic feeling of warp-knit mesh -- something someone described as "crunchy". The capsules are not crinkly or anything, in fact they are quite soft. One interesting trick is that it's easy to blow air out through (or between?) the capsules from the inside - but much less easy from the outside - kind of like the Arc'teryx Proton. The sleeves and hood are regular continuous strand drop-style with a lining that feels kind of like Pertex, but is polyester, not nylon.
Certain features make this seem kind of like a prototype, like the complete lack of adjustability to any part of the jacket. This makes me think maybe it's primary purpose is as a mid-layer, where i think it would excel. The "handwarmer" pockets are fleece-lined, which is nice, but they are otherwise uninsulated and a bit small . The left bicep pocket is made of extra soft and nice material, and even has a non-zip drop pocket on the outside. The minuscule zipper on the pocket is a little stiff and, well, tiny. The primary closure zipper is a great YKK Vislon, but the hand-pockets have reverse-coil ones. But they are still YKK and not too small. Overall, a very interesting and somewhat daring oddity, & reasonably priced (probably due to polyester shell and lack of features), & a very efficient low-mass mid layer that can possibly pinch-hit as an insulated shell for less extreme conditions. Edit: I'm going to say this jacket runs slightly large - it's not as fitted as some other jackets i have, and with a slightly boxy fit in the torso, & i wouldn't want the sleeves any shorter... So the body is typical large and the sleeves are medium, maybe.

Just an update... This jacket's "hardwave capsule" tech is fantastic. I decided to push it past its envelope of comfort - this morning was a breezy, gusty 13ºF, so i put on a silk-weight baselayer and then the Schematic and headed out. Due to my lack of confidence & experience with the Schematic, i wore my trusty Gamma LT over it, just in case. After a few minutes though, i took off the Gamma.
This relatively thin jacket with only 60g/m² continuous filament insulation kept me cozy. All by itself. I could feel the cold where my skin was touching the inside of the jacket, but after walking into a nice head-wind, i could tell i was not going to freeze to death. In fact, this bloody jacket kept me cozy and dry. It's like a down puffy without the down or the puff.
If this jacket just had better cuffs (instead of just a little elastic trim), a piece of shock-cord and a cinch at the back of the hood, and one or two at the hem, and then some pockets (it has hand warmer pockets - outside the insulation - and that's it. Just the two (and a really nice left bicep-pocket, but it's not like you can fit a hat or pair of glove-liners in the sleeve pocket... Maybe a (small) phone or an ID badge. So, add a pocket either inside or outside on the chest... Those few features (even just the adjustability) would make this hoody compete with the likes of Arc'teryx Proton, Patagonia's Nano-Air, Rab Strata, etc. Of course, then it would probably cost the same as those others as well. Unfortunately it's just not featured enough to be anything but a mid-layer -- or *maybe* an outer layer in a urban casual setting. But even then, sometimes in the city you need to look over your shoulder to see if cars are coming while walking or driving, and it would be nice to see more than the inside of the hood when you turn your head...
Considering everything, it still gets 5 stars because it really performs and is a great value, as it costs about the same as a grid-fleece...

P.s. While this jacket doesn't breathe (it has no lungs), and is not breathable (you can't inhale it - at least i can't), it IS phenomenally vapor-permeable. I never felt like i could overheat, and it does a nice job of moving moisture away from the skin/ baselayer. Really impressive combo of "breathability" and wind resistance - it feels like maybe a couple of CFM - more than enough to keep me cool and dry so far this winter...

Yea Kevin, I am a huge fan of MH. I have purchased the Thermostatic jacket over and over again after each wears out. I think they have the perfect balance between simplicity and technicality in order to create the perfect gear. In Economics it's called the cost/benefit analysis. I mean they have even figured into the equation if the zipper gets caught on the cloth, it will not have enough friction to cut or snag the cloth. They make sure the zipper and the material work perfectly together. MH is very technical. Mountain Hardwear is definitely a leader in mountaineering so I would generally have faith anything they make unless seen otherwise.