The 2020 Mountain Hardwear High Exposure kit consists of a 3L Gore-Tex jacket, 3L Gore-Tex bibs, and Gore-Tex Primaloft Gold five-finger gloves. The High Exposure line is designed for dedicated backcountry use, maximizing weather protection and durability while minimizing bulk. Equipped with a ski-specific feature set, High Exposure outerwear comes in at an impressively lightweight 865.5 grams (jacket + bibs, 1066.5g including gloves), making it potentially the lightest Gore-Tex ski touring specific-kit.
The new Mountain Hardwear High Exposure Jacket, Bibs and Gloves are a ski touring kit for her or him, with great colour options for each.
As the industry standard, Gore-Tex waterproof technology offers wind and water-resistant membrane which allows vapour molecules to pass through, creating breathability while maintaining adequate weather protection in harsh environments. This is because each square inch of Gore-Tex membrane has over nine billion pours that are 20,000 times smaller than a droplet of water but 700 times bigger than a water molecule, allowing water vapour to escape while restricting the passage of liquid water. 3L Gore-Tex products consist of an inner lining, the Gore-Tex membrane, and an outer denier nylon bonded together, often treated with DWR. The High Exposure jacket and bibs feature Gore-Tex C-Knit material, a slight variation from Gore-Tex or Gore-Tex Pro, using a lighter circular weave in the membrane. This further enhances breathability and compressibility while reducing the overall weight of the garment. As far as hard-shells, the High Exposure jacket and bibs seemed exceptionally more breathable than other Gore-Tex layers previously tested.
The High Exposure jacket consists of a relatively simple design with a helmet-compatible hood, two oversized chest-pockets, an elastic powder skirt, articulated cuffs, and integrated RECCO reflector (located in the hood), plus three smaller pockets - one zippered outer and two inner (one zippered and one mesh), with a back length of 68cm. The hood and collar are comfortably oversized, allowing a generous range of motion with or without a helmet on. The chest-pockets could fit most narrower or lightweight specific skins, but most likely not anything over a 100mm waist and definitely nothing bulky - G3 Alpinists @ 86mm fit, Black Diamond Ascensionists @ 106mm not even close. The placement of the chest pockets is excellent, completely avoiding hip belt interference. The articulated cuffs fit well underneath most gloves, if you prefer gauntlets, else there is a velcro strap available. Interestingly, the effort to save weight shows in the size and bulk of the main zipper, which is frustratingly minuscule and hard to articulate, even without gloves on. There are also no pit zips, which may be crucial to users who prefer the ability to vent. The High Exposure jacket is available in three colours and sizes XS-XL.
The High Exposure bibs feature a low-profile suspender design, double zipper full-length side zips, enabling a full drop seat as well as generous venting, snap button cuffs with an integrated elastic gaiter, Schoeller instep patches, integrated RECCO, and two zippered hand pockets (the left one with a smaller internal mesh pocket and a lanyard loop). Other thoughtful highlights include different denier nylons in higher abrasion areas - keeping durability where it matters but also cutting down on bulk, and velcro access along the outside of the inner boot gaiter for quick access to buckles. The front zippered hand pockets are medium-sized and will fit most transceivers, cell phones, wallets, and maybe a granola bar, but not large enough to stow gloves, hats or other larger items. It should be mentioned that the position of the pockets renders them basically unusable if wearing a harness. The full-length side zips allow venting from the top down, but often interfere with a hip belt - a third zipper would be worth the few extra grams to avoid this. The drop seat design is excellent and easy to use, sans pack. The articulated female fit manifests in the top of the torso ending right at the natural waist, a very comfortable detail preventing bunching or riding underneath a pack as well as allowing for easy forward bending. The lack of a back panel between suspenders also prevents excess sweat accumulation. The High Exposure bibs are available in two colours with sizes XS-XL and three inseam lengths.
The High Exposure gloves may be the most feature-rich product of the three, incorporating Gore-Tex with 330D nylon, Primaloft Gold aerogel fused insulation, Gore Grip bonding for dexterity, touchscreen compatible thumb and forefinger (Stimulus), foam padded knuckles, leather palms, large carabiner loops, quick release gauntlets with comfortable elastic leashes, velcro wrist strap, moisture-wicking fleece lining and even a back-of-the-thumb nose wipe (also soft fleece). The overall functionality of the High Exposure gloves was impressive, being incredibly easy to wear and use while maintaining warmth. The seemingly small creature comforts such as the fleece nose wipe went a long way in leaving a fond impression and the elastic leashes are indeed very comfortable, plus the ability for quick on and offs - a dangerous feature to get used to if your routine involves other gloves without leashes. The generous gauntlet sizing easily slides over most jacket cuffs and doesn’t bind or constrict around large GPS watches. Ultimately the sleek, warm and durable High Exposure gloves serve their purpose remarkably well leaving little to be desired. They are available in two colours and (women’s specific) sizes S-L.
Mountain Hardwear High Exposure Jacket & Bibs
Ultralight and packable GORE-TEX C-Knit shell fabric is waterproof and breathable
Mountain Hardwear High Exposure Gloves
GORE-TEX, offering enduring weather protection and optimum moisture management
Primaloft Gold insulation with Cross Core is fused with aerogel
Tricot palm and fleece back of handlining
Touchscreen-compatible Stimulus technology on thumb and index finger
Durable leather and 330D Nylon
The Mountain Hardwear Women’s High Exposure Gore-Tex C-Knit kit includes durable, lightweight Gore-Tex weather protection in a comfortable, simplistic package with all the features you need and none that you don’t. The wide variety of sizes and colours (especially the inseam options) make these pieces customizable to individual needs and cater to women seeking high performing outerwear with a comfortable fit. The impressive packability and breathability of Gore-Tex C-Knit make the High Exposure line stand out among its competition for those seeking versatility in a variety of backcountry conditions.
Price: Jacket - $700CAN/$550US;
Bibs - $600CAN/$450US;
Gloves - $180CAN/$130US
Sizes: XS-XL; Gloves - S-L
Weight: Jacket - 390.5g / 13.8oz;
Bibs - 475g/17oz;
Gloves - 201g/7.1oz
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