Mountain Hardwear B’Layman Jacket ReviewFebruary 9, 2013
- Good value for warmth and features
- Fits well over climbing gear
- Two way zipper for harness access
- Sheds water well
- Not very compressible
- Cuffs felt restrictive and exposed wrists on reaches
If you’re looking for a dependably warm, synthetic fill jacket, this a good choice. It was one of the warmest synthetic puffies we've tried and proved its ability to shuck weather. It’s a great choice for coastal places where precip doesn't always fall as snow.
This is a full, winter-weight, hooded belay jacket with a water resistant nylon shell and 200 grams of synthetic fill.
The Mountain Hardwear B’Layman Jacket is not as toasty as the Marmot Greenland or Mojave, but the B’Layman’s 200 grams of Thermic Micro (a proprietary synthetic fill) kept us warm down to 25-degrees Fahrenheit, standing around with just a T-shirt underneath.
Check the arm length—my medium feels just a touch small. The jacket itself is cut roomy for easy layering, but that leaves extra space that needs to be heated for long term warmth.
Synthetic fill is never as compressible as down. That said, the Thermo Micro packs relatively small for the warmth it provides, about the size of a kids soccer ball—about the same as the Helly Hansen Odin Belay, but several degrees warmer.
At 28 ounces, the B’Layman is a mid-weight compared to other down jackets we tested. It scores extra points for making that weight with weather shedding shoulders and hood.
On the shoulders and hood, Mountain Hardwear added Air Shield Elite, a water-resistant, wind-proof nylon, to keep drips and soggy precip from soaking in, making this the most weatherproof of the jackets in this test. A two-way front-zip allows easy adjustments when wearing a harness, which is perfect for climbers. The inside pockets are ideal for safely storing essentials and one is roomy enough for keeping a water bottle handy and ice free.
Loaded with features and that weather-shedding exterior, the B’Layman is an above average value, despite its middle of the road price.