Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor Hooded Jacket and Compressor Pant - REVIEW
There are people who swear by real down insulation and would never be caught wearing synthetic but I’m not one of them. Although down offers more insulation per gram and is generally lighter, it can also be finicky. Try going out in a freezing rainstorm with your down hoodie on and see just how well it performs. Or watch what happens when you accidentally tear your down jacket on a protruding tree branch and don’t have any duct tape to seal it up. (This actually happened to me once and by the time I was at the bottom of the run, half the jacket’s down feathers had escaped and floated away.) Synthetic insulation does not have this problem. Granted, it tends to be a bit bulkier, but it also retains its structure when damp. In the case of Mountain Hardwear’s Thermal.Q™ Elite insulation, the company says “it uses stiffer fibres to create a unique 3D grid structure and finer fibres to fill in the gaps the structure creates. The result is a warmer synthetic whose structure gives it better compression rebound.” It also claims that Thermal Q Elite insulation is 20 percent warmer than the industry standard for synthetic insulation but without a proper laboratory I have no way of proving that. What I can say is that the Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor Hooded Jacket and the Compressor pants keep you warm when skiing in -20°C weather.