Liam from the Epicentre has been testing the Mountain Hardwear Optimo jacket for several months: "I'd seen the figures for breathability on this jacket but it wasn't until I was flogging up a hill with a sack on that I could appreciate how good it is. The use of micro-taped seams coupled with its close alpine fit contribute massively towards the breathability of this jacket."
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I've been using the jacket predominantly in your stereotypical British summer conditions: warm, wet and incredibly humid. Its close alpine fit and articulated sleeves make the movement of this jacket more comparable to that of a soft shell. However, the welded tight chest and side pockets, micro-taped seams and waterproof zippers mean it will keep even the toughest mountain conditions at bay.
Another fantastic feature is its chest high pockets and massive hood space. These both mean that performance isn't sacrificed in the slightest, when the wearer has his/her harness and 'lid' on. There's nothing worse than wearing a heavy shell that doesn't fit well and having to deal with excess fabric and material hanging over the top of your harness when you're climbing. I can honestly say this isn't an issue with the Optimo.
If it's a lightweight, but super durable and robust shell you need, whether it be for your alpine adventure, British summer or Scottish winter conditions, the Optimo will stand up to anything you chuck its way. This jacket is all you will need.
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