Mountain Hardwear Blazar Pullover ReviewJuly 18, 2013
- Extremely lightweight
- Very breathable
- No pockets
- No wrist closure
The Blazar Pullover is all about ditching weight. By combining their highly breathable and waterproof DryQ membrane with their ultra-light Ghost Whisperer fabric, Mountain Hardwear created one of the lightest hard shells available. The cost is steep in price and in loss of conveniences like pockets and full length zips. It's ideal for wet weather running and climbing.
A minimalist in every way, waterproof, breathable, anorak style mountain shell.
For the steep price you get a lot of technology and performance. If weight and packable size are all important, then this is a reasonable price to pay.
Despite its light weight, there is no noticeable loss in weather shedding performance. It cast aside down pours and wet snow and deflected chilly breezes. MH eliminated cuff closure in favor of soft, fast drying sleeve inserts. Expect water to slip into your sleeves, but the thumbholes in the sleeve inserts add a bit of warmth for colder weather. The hood is helmet compatible, as we’d expect, and the stiff brim helps keep drips off our face, but it lacks any adjustability, so the hood tended the fly off in a headwind.
Even sweaty folks who usually crack their pit zips at even a hint of exertion didn’t miss venting on the Blazar. Credit the DryQ Elite, MH’s proprietary membrane. Like Polartec NeoShell, it relies on air permeability to help kick up the A/C, allowing even an unnoticeable amount of wind to slip through the membrane to help move sweat vapor and excess heat out.
You either love the anorak style or hate it. And the distinction often comes down to body shape. Narrower, more athletic builds never complained about pulling this style of jacket on—the half zip and square shape allowed it to slip on. But wider shouldered folks found it a contortion trick. When it was on, all liked the fit and found it roomy enough for layering. Everyone noticed the lack of exterior pockets; none on the outside and only one mesh one on the inside. The solo pocket required unzipping the jacket and it didn’t have a zipper, a concern for valuables like keys.
An ultralight jacket like this requires more care. Membrane pores will clog more easily, so wash it regularly. We did not, during the duration of this test, notice any durability issues.
We don’t know of too many shells that are fully waterproof and weigh eight ounces, the weight of the Blazar. No surprise it packs small too, orange to grapefruit in size, both test leading.