For days when you’re moving fast (or at least trying to), protection that is breathable, durable, and lightweight is key. The Mountain Equipment Dispersion Jacket grasps every point of this golden triangle, earning its $295 price tag.
The Dispersion clocks in at 370 grams (13 ounces), and blends both hard and soft shell tech. The jacket has breathable soft shell segments on the underarms, sides and back, and hard shell, water-repellent Gore-Tex 40D and C-Knit backer material everywhere else. This means it keeps you dry where you need it to, without toasting you like a sauna on the inside. I haven’t had any backsweating in the Dispersion yet, even under a pack on warmer days.
The Exolite 125 soft shell fabric does a decent job of precipitate protection itself, holding up well under indirect spray. The Super Alpine HC Ski hood on the Dispersion is stowable in the collar, helmet-compatible, and has an integrated drawcord to fit snug, as does the waist. The jacket sports two outer breast pockets with lining. I found myself wishing the openings came a tad lower, but I made do despite this. The sleeve cuffs are elastic, the waist cinches easily, and the YKK zips are sturdy, as expected. I don’t see myself backzipping or having any jammed zippers with the Dispersion, and it has a full zip to protect your chin. It does lack a self-stuff feature, which is something I find myself looking for in modern lightweight shells, but with the hard/soft shell combo, there isn’t really a reason to take this thing off anyway.
The Dispersion is an excellent pick for days when you’re moving fast in the hills, thanks to the unique combination of breathability and protection offered by its hard-and soft-shell blend.
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