It’s hard to think clearly about gear with all this gender-bending going on. Maybe that’s the naming inspiration for Mountain Hardwear’s Transition jacket. It’s the unholy offspring of a soft shell and a base layer, made possible by 3-layer laminated Gore-Tex Windstopper Featherweight.
The Transition does a fair job of wicking and is definitely windproof. At a mere 13oz it doesn’t sacrifice on features: side stretch panels, inner cuffs with thumb loops, zipper flap, reflective highlights and flat taped seams. The inner finish is a soft tricot kind of material, and there’s a single small inner zip pocket with headphone port. There’s even an elastic keeper a little higher up inside to route a cord through.
The fit is trim, including the hood, and the stretch material makes it a great aerobic piece. I love it for cross-country skiing in cold, windy conditions, or as just-in-case gear to throw in the pack. I used to have an early pre-hood version of this jacket and didn’t wear it much because the seams were scratchy and it felt stiff. MH is obviously listening, because this jacket solves all those problems and is a perfect lighweight backcountry partner.