Mountain Hardwear Drystein

First Impressions

Mountain Hardwear pulled out all the stops with its new Drystein Jacket. It’s near the top of the heap of the company’s new line of outerwear employing its DryQ Elite fabric, which is designed to challenge W.L. Gore for waterproofing and breathability. The Drystein has just about every featured we want in a ski jacket. And it comes in three different color combinations including the eye-popping hot rod red that we tested at GearGuide.


Starting at the top, the Drystein has a nicely sized helmet-compatible hood. Mountain Hardwear stiffened the brow to keep it from flopping around and added adjustments at the rear and sides to customize the fit. When not in use, the hood rolls up and secures with a neat collar flap.

There are three exterior pockets – one on the upper chest and two at the sides. These two side pockets double as ventilation points and are lined with mesh to aid in air flow. Inside, Mountain Hardwear placed an additional zippered pocket for valuables. None of the pockets are large enough for a pair of goggles, but that’s a pretty minor complaint.

Construction: Stitched, welded and taped seams
Fabric: Mountain Hardwear Dry-Q Elite
Weight: 21 oz

The Drystein is built out of Mountain Hardwear’s new DryQ Elite fabric. In our waterproofing test, the Drystein and the DryQ didn’t disappoint. No water passed through the fabric in our test even after an hour of saturation. Seams are welded and taped in key areas helping to keep the interior of the jacket dry. The zippers are also waterproof.


Mountain Hardwear cut the Drystein for an athletic alpine fit. In other words, it fits close to the body, so close in fact that I’d suggest you consider going up a size. There’s plenty of stretch panels to aid in mobility, but it still might be too snug for most.

Final Verdict

The Mountain Hardwear Drystein is an excellent hardshell built for athletic skiers. It’s very lightweight yet packed with features, pockets and adjustment points. The DryQ fabric does a great job of waterproofing. The DryQ fabric is also a touch thinner than I’d like in an everyday-use storm shield, but if you’re looking for a lighter jacket for getting out on the mountain or into the backcountry, the Drystein may be just the ticket.

First Impressions:
[Rating:4.5/5] Features:
[Rating:4.5/5] Fit:
[Rating:3/5] Final Verdict:

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to Mountain Headwear for providing product for this review. Written by Matt K.