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Shell Jackets

Mountain Equipment Dispersion Jacket

The Mountain Equipment Dispersion Jacket is a breathable, lightweight shell for outings when you're moving fast in the hills.

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MSRP: $295

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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Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not always been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice. We have opted to use affiliate links in our gear reviews. Every time you buy something after clicking on links in our gear articles you’re helping support our magazine.