MHW Quasar Lite – Performance
Mostly everyone liked the basics of the Quasar Lite. At 330g it’s decently light and packable for an alpine jacket and in the same ballpark as the Alpkit Balance for example. The fabric went down well too. It’s quite light, but the 40D face material means it doesn’t feel remotely fragile.
It seems to breathe pretty well – MHW says it uses ‘a revolutionary air-permeable membrane’ if you’re interested – and kept us dry and comfortable. There is a little bit of a slick, ‘waterproof’ feel to the inside of the jacket, but it’s not a big issue.
The cut went down well with all our testers. In a nut-shell it’s ‘just right’ for those with hips, but not so shaped that it overwhelms narrower physiques. The only negative comment here was on the stealth rear hem-adjuster cord.
It’s a slightly fiddly operation to release it even with bare hands let alone gloves, though tightening it initially isn’t so bad.
Pocket provision is good. There are two pack and harness-friendly front ones that double as vents and can take a map, plus inside are two more: one is phone sized, the other tall and narrow. Water bottle sized maybe.
‘No matter how I adjusted the hood, I could not pull the peak back far enough to give me the ability to see ahead more than 20 feet’
The elephant in the Quasar Lite room however, is the hood. ‘The worst hood in the world,’ said one tester, a tad harshly. The thing is that the hood’s been designed to work with a climbing helmet, but as a result, is pretty dire without.
There’s lots of excess fabric particularly around the neck, where it gapes open alarmingly for at least one of our test crew. It was hard to adjust the pull-cords so the hood sat evenly and even when fully adjusted, the commendably stiffened hood tended to fall forward and obscure vision.