Mountain Hardwear Chugach jacket

Chugach_jacketSynthetic has two advantages over down: cost and performance when wet. Anyone who has ever spent the night in a wet down sleeping bag can verify this, usually with liberal use of profanity. The Polarguard 3D used in the Chugach jacket is a great choice if you’re worried about wet spots.

I like the trim fit of this jacket and use it frequently when the temps are in the single digits to freezing range. Colder and I go with down, warmer and it’s a soft shell. Mountain Hardwear also makes the Compressor with PrimaLoft One, which is basically a lighter-duty version of the Chugach if that’s what you need.

The only quibble I have with the design is that the collar doesn’t have the same cushy felt-like material that is on the wrist cuffs, and so it can feel a little clammy from perspiration.

$108 (on sale from $135) at


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