ProView – HIMALI Men’s Ascent Hoodie
The Himali Ascent Stretch Hoodie has become one of my all-time favorite pieces of outdoor gear to date! I rarely rate something 5 stars since most things can be improved upon. However, Himali hit the nail directly on the head with this jacket. Completely bombproof with everything you want in a jacket and nothing you don’t. From Colorado to Montana, rock to ice, and everything in between, I put the Himali Ascent Stretch Hoodie to the test.
HIMALI Men's Ascent Hoodie
Product Description: The Ascent Hoodie by HIMALI™ is a stretchy, lightweight, mid-to-outer insulated layer designed for high movement activity in the mountains. It utilizes compressible Primaloft® Gold Active+ insulation, making the Ascent Hoodie warm, while the stretch and breathability make this performance piece extra comfortable. A proprietary Toray® Primeflex stretchy nylon shell, and an eco-DWR coating to maximize its first level of defense against precipitation. The Slim, Athletic Fit reduces the volume and ‘dead space’, thereby increasing the performance.
Offer price: MSRP: $249.95
The jacket is a standout in every regard. Very comfortable four-way stretch fabric, fantastic athletic fit, and amazing warmth to weight among many more.
- Very comfortable
- Great movement
- High warmth to weight
- High breathability
Aside from knowing Himali from living around Boulder, Colorado and seeing people at the crag wearing their gear, I had little to no experience with their gear. I jumped at the opportunity to review the jacket based on Himali’s reputation alone. Since then I have used the Ascent Stretch Hoodie in many different forms. So far the jacket has seen almost an entire season of ice and mixed climbing, some skiing, some mountaineering, and even some rock climbing use. The weather on all of these outings has ranged greatly from brutally windy days in RMNP to brisk, sunny days on the Flatirons. As an avid alpinist and mountaineer, I am constantly refining my clothing systems for each intended objective. It is difficult striking a balance between minimizing my clothing to lighten pack weight, but also ensure I’m not reducing my chance of success in the backcountry.
The fact that the Himali Ascent Stretch Hoodie was able to effectively replace multiple layers of clothing into one comfortable, warm and durable outer layer earned it a place above the rest.
The Ascent Stretch Hoodie excelled in so many regards it is hard to describe without sounding like a massive fanboy, but that’s exactly what I am going to do. Although I stated it above, I really do very, very rarely think outdoor gear lives up to a true 5-star rating since almost everything can be improved upon. Therefore, the 5-star rating is well deserved.
As soon as I unboxed the jacket I loved the slick athletic fit and gorgeous “Glacial Melt” blue coloration. The jacket in size large fits me very well (6’ 1” 185lbs) with a nice long length to fit underneath a harness and sleeves that are just perfect in length to accommodate gloves.
The Ascent Stretch Hoodie is also surprisingly light for its size which was a big bonus. When I was first handling the jacket I was amazed by its softness, but at the same time worried that this may mean that it wouldn’t hold up to the abuses that a climbing outer layer endures. I was very wrong. The proprietary Toray® Primeflex stretchy nylon shell coated with an eco-DWR coating and filled with Primaloft® Gold Active+ insulation hit a perfect medium between protection and comfort. The Toray® Primeflex shell was able to easily ward off snags and cuts from my ice screws, ice tools, as well as the abrasive rock and ice all throughout testing. Whenever I thought that I had finally punctured the jacket I was amazed each and every time to find no hole in need of repair. The eco-DWR coating on the shell helped bead up water and minimize penetration of moisture to the point that I rarely donned my hardshell if I encountered water or snow on the route.
These external protections are complimented well with the Primaloft® Gold Active+ insulation that Himali chose ensuring a jacket the also breathes remarkably well. I really enjoyed the synthetic insulation because it allowed me to keep warm even after I had sweat into the interior of the jacket while simultaneously being barraged by moisture from above while climbing. The jacket’s versatility became very apparent when I was able to sweat on the approach to a climb, climb without overheating, and then belay without having to throw on my belay parka for added warmth. This wasn’t a one-time affair either, I was actively hiking and climbing in the dry, windy alpine of Colorado as well as the humid, cold of Hyalite Canyon in Montana on multiple occasions. I never had the jacket “wet-out” either where moisture was enough to penetrate the shell and the DWR coating, but I am sure the Primaloft® Gold Active+ insulation would do very well keeping that moisture away from my body while also keeping me warm. The only thing I wish the jacket had was slightly larger zippers that were easier to manipulate with gloved hands or an internal mesh pocket for gear, but these aren’t critical at all.
The Final Word
It is hard to express in writing how much I love this jacket! With unbeatable comfort and mobility coupled with strength beyond expectation, the Himali Ascent Stretch Hoodie has become a mainstay in my gear closet. I don’t see that ending anytime soon, that is unless I get myself more Himali gear!