Mountain Hardwear Nitrous Hooded Jacket

It was freezing. Climbing over the 13,000 foot pass was grueling enough, but now it was almost dusk and we had to descend three miles to avoid an insanely cold and dangerous camp. Postholing the last few hours helped stave off the chill. When we reached Our camp we knew we'd be sleeping on snow.

That said, I knew that I would need a bump in heat on my sleeping bag. Thus I switched out my hiking shirt for my merino wool Mountain Hardwear long sleeve and threw back on my Nitrous Hooded. Unzipping the jacket down to my stomach allowed the heat to escape into my sleeping bag. I left the hood on to duplicate the heat up top. Needless to say I was toasty.

After over two months of living outside on our Pacific Crest Trail thru hike I find that this jacket is my most essential piece of gear- Lightweight, warm and built with convenient pockets, I use it everyday.

The only downfall, as is with most lightweight downs, is the material can easily rip. For this reason whenever I wear my down on the trail, or in camp I always throw on my shell to protect it. It's a great system, keeps any wind off me and the hood makes it one of the most used items in my pack.

- Andy