I was able to fully appreciate the Mountain Hardwear Micro Grid Fleece Jacket during an outdoor Independence Day celebration in Denver: Thunder and hail storms moved into the area and the temperature dropped quickly. I threw on the Micro Grid like a Batman uniform – sleek, stylish and ready to fight crime. This was an urban test of its capabilities, but it fundamentally proved that the Micro Grid is indeed a 365-day, year-round jacket. An alpine trail running assessment would come next. For snowshoeing, it would have to wait.
I’m Batman! I’m also a sucker for good marketing. I admit it – and not above it. It’s when the brand outlasts the eccentricities of the marketing and offers a solid product, complete with exclusive characteristics. Mountain Hardwear exudes quality without sacrificing the labeling of “big box” retail outlets. No selling out, which is big for me.
In the past, Mountain Hardwear has done me well. The company’s line of backpacks, jackets and accessories are among my favorite go-to selections when trudging around the winter trails. In fact, some are currently hibernating among my snowshoeing gear.
Am I just a fan? True reporter? Neither. Just a reviewer of gear (see handsome dude in photo).
I understand that the product marketing is essential, especially with a jacket like the Micro Grid: Its Polartec and Stretch Hardface paneling offer an essential all-weather
combination. Wear it in July and in the dead of the January northern hemisphere winter (with additional layers, of course), it’s all good.
With its streamlined fitting, the Micro Grid (new to the MH lineup) moves with the spastic and sudden twists of trail running. It’s just a simple, lightweight jacket. It can also be easily stuffed into or strapped to a daypack.
The Gridlock fleece material – exclusive to Mountain Hardwear – is mildly breathable. If it gets too hot, unzip the chest and keep moving. There are no annoying pit zips, mesh lining or farcical technological overkill. (Whoa, I better pump-the-brakes on that description. I don’t want to offend other manufacturers and their feature-rich product offerings.)
The Micro Grid offers three pockets: one zip chest stash and two front zip handwarmers. If it’s snowing and the wind is blowing up your skirt, use the hem drawcord for a quick cinch adjustment. Keep the cold air out and keep the warm air in – that’s what makes the Micro Grid an all-season fleece pelt (if there is such a thing).