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There’s also enough torsional stability built in to negotiate the steep boulder-hopping trails you’ll find, say, on Mt. Katahdin,...more...


Mountain Hardwear Men's Tanglewood Jacket : Tough Skin, Great Fit

Ever since I first donned my Mountain Hardwear Tanglewood Jacket, I haven't taken it off -- except to sleep. I've worn it on bike rides, trail runs, burrito runs, and Home Depot runs. Heck, I've even worn it while dry- walling, and it worked well for that, too.

The wind-, water-, and abrasion-resistant Tanglewood comes in black, dark blue, and gold. I have the gold one, which looks great, and I'm not even a fan of yellow.  It's made of Mountain Hardwear's Thornguard, a DWR-coated nylon/elastane blend that's super beefy for a lighter weight fabric, with the added bonus of 4-way stretch. I feel like I could thrash up a body-swallowing granite off-width in this thing, and it would emerge unscathed.

What I like most about the Tanglewood is the cut. I'm a skinny guy, and I hate big baggy jackets that flap in the wind. They don't keep me that warm, and the extra material represents nothing more than wasted space in my pack and a heavier load on my shoulders. Not so with the Tanglewood, which almost seems custom made.

It goes on like a glove but leaves just enough room beneath for anything from a t-shirt to a heavy base layer. The jacket doesn't even have cuffs -- the forearms just stay put due to the tapered cut. I wore it on a chilly evening trail run the other day and enjoyed using the integrated thumb loops to keep the shell in place when I put on my gloves. Nice touch. I also felt safer on the final paved stretch home thanks to well-placed reflective strips. Drivers could see me from 360 degrees.

Other nice features include two well-placed hand pockets, a cycling-style rear zipper pocket, a small earphone port for music-fueled exercise sessions, and a nice fleece lining at the collar. The jacket has a two-way zip, which is great for cycling. I unzip it from the bottom and don't turn into a human parachute at 30 miles an hour. The two-way zipper also allows for easy access to goodies in rear jersey pockets, and it won't interfere with belay devices.

Bottom Line:   A burly, lightweight, multi-sport shell that's ideal for running, cycling, and climbing. The Tanglewood breathes well, moves well, and fits just right.-- N.W. (Nov '07)

Price: $120

BUY ONLINE : Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping

Manufacturer's Site: www.mountainhardwear.com

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