Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Kramer Softshell Jacket

Back in the mid-Twentieth Century, 2010 predictions indicated people would be wearing futuristic jackets that had removable hoods and powder skirts, and combined waterproof breathable fabric and stretchy softshell panels.  They were right.  In 2010, Snowshoe Magazine tested the Mountain Hardwear Kramer Softshell Jacket – everything the future was predicted to be.  As always, Mountain Hardwear doesn’t disappoint with a jacket that’s stylish and extremely durable.  

As a vote of confidence among the outdoor-enthusiasts community, the Kramer received the Outside Magazine 2009 Gear of the Year Award.  Why? The Kramer features Mountain Hardwear’s MicroClimate Zoning (MCZ) construction technology. MCZ combines various materials strategically placed to increase warmth, reduce the need for bulky mid-layers and breathe during high exertion activities.

In addition, the Kramer combines hard and soft shell fabrics for durability, breathability, stretch, and protection from precipitation with warm, Flat Back Monkey fleece lining.  It was the durability feature that I noticed the most out of all the features.  My experience with the Kramer was uniquely tied to several snowshoe outings in the bitter Rocky Mountain cold.  Specifically, an early morning snowshoe hike near Henderson Mine became the testing grounds for the Kramer.  It was a combination of sub-zero temperatures and some aggressive hiking up to Jones Pass that allowed for a thorough (and successful) test.  

The Kramer comes equipped with a full snowsport feature set including: removable, adjustable, stretch powder skirt; drop-down season pass holder and lift ticket ring; a zip off, Ergo hood with laminated brim; exterior taped, water-resistant seams; superlight pit zips; water-resistant zips throughout ; plenty of interior and exterior pockets; and one handed hood, waist and hem drawcords.

Other features:

  • Micro-Chamois-lined chin guard prevents zipper chafe
  • Welded handwarmer pockets
  • Superlight, welded pit zips for ventilation
  • Zip chest and sleeve stash pockets
  • Interior mesh glove and goggle pocket
  • Interior MP3 pocket with earpiece cord exit
  • Interior water bottle pocket
  • Molded Velcro cuff tabs seal in warmth
  • One-handed hem drawcord for quick fit adjustments
  • AXF Super DWR finish repels water five times longer than standard DWRs

For more information on the Kramer jacket, visit  To purchase the Kramer jacket, click here

About the author


Ryan Alford