mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Hoody

I’ve been using the Preshell pullover for the last couple of months as my ‘go to’ spring outer layer for… everything. Morning bike commutes to work, afternoon runs in the wind and light rain, spring skiing, rock climbing, alpine climbing, big cycling days in the mountains, you name it. I never knew I needed a layer that’s dedicated to versatility, but now I’m never going back.

Mountain Hardwear Kor Preshell Hoody

Product Description: Lightweight, water-resistant durability with the stretch you need to make every move. Use it as a do-it-all layer for spring runs, rides, and more.

Price: $130 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

Ounce for ounce, it provides more value and versatility than anything else in my kit for climbing, skiing, biking, hiking and more; and given the nearly non-existent weight and packing size – it belongs in my kit for all of them. It’s the missing link between suffering in a base layer or sweating in excess material.

Overall
5

Pros

  • Extremely versatile
  • Very light
  • Great for should season

Cons

  • No hand pockets in the pullover version
  • Sizing runs slim

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

I’m one of those unabashed gear junkies who spend way too much time and money researching and building up a closet and gear rack of every tool for every job, but a 4oz softshell wasn’t something that had crossed my mind before. I have lightweight windbreakers and rain jackets, it’s got to be pretty similar, right? Wrong. Imagine wearing a long sleeve lightweight base layer that doesn’t quite cut it in the cooler temps, wind, and rain, then pushing a magic button that adds huge wind and rain resistance without adding noticeable weight, restriction, or breathability issues… That’s the Kor Preshell. 

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Versatility

My windbreaker and rain jacket get 10/10 at their respective jobs, but their versatility ends there. They don’t breath, they feel plasticy, and they rip before they stretch. After putting this through the ringer in every environment I can think of, instead of a 10/10 in one category and 0s in the others, it earns a solid 8+ across the board – and at a weight and size that is more reminiscent of a piece of paper than a shell, that’s some sort of magic that Mountain Hardwear pulled off. It’s windproof enough to make all the difference in the world when racing back down a mountain road on my bike, it’s kept me dry while spring skiing and mountaineering in pounding snow, and it breathes well enough that I don’t sweat through it while biking to work. It isn’t an alternative to my more heavy duty bomber shells, it’s an alternative to suffering uncomfortably being too cold in a base layer or too sweaty with a bigger/beefier layer.

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features

I have to tip my hat to Mountain Hardwear for the clever design of the interior chest pocket it’s designed to stuff into. Those pockets usually come with teeny tiny hard to use and easy to break zippers that always seem to catch the fabric, but they saved weight and made it easier to use and abuse with a clam-shell style that securely closes around itself. Once it’s stuffed in it’s good to go and down to the size of a tennis ball, which makes it a negligible contribution to the pack and easy to clip to the bottom of your bike seat. Once un-stuffed the softshell material seems to shed the wrinkles much faster than my wind and rain jackets, too.

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Durability

20D Ripstop is on the lighter side of what I like to trust for more abrasion prone activities, but at this price point, I’ll happily take the risk for the tradeoff for minimal weight and maximum breathability. The stretchiness seems to help the durability, and that elasticity works amazingly well to keep it from restricting movement when climbing!

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Room for Improvement

The harness compatible zip hand pockets on the full-zip version would have been a nice addition, even if it meant sacrificing the chest pocket. The sizing skews more towards an athletic fit; at 6’1 and 175 the large fits me perfectly and I prefer this cut, but buyer beware if you need a little more room.

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Final Word

Ounce for ounce, it provides more value and versatility than anything else in my kit for climbing, skiing, biking, hiking and more; and given the nearly non-existent weight and packing size – it belongs in my kit for all of them. It’s the missing link between suffering in a base layer or sweating in excess material.

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

mountain-hardwear-kor-preshell-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Shop the Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Hoody on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Alex climbed four of the seven summits by the age of 19, including a speed ascent of Kilimanjaro, a solo on Aconcagua, and as an expedition leader on Denali. His career has taken him in and out of the guiding industry, and he takes an “all of the above” approach to adventuring from alpine climbing in North and South America to canyoneering in Utah to competing in adventure and endurance races at home in Colorado. You can connect with him on Instagram at @shockleystuff

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