Mountain Hardwear Quasar Lite II

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Mountain Hardwear Quasar Lite II Review Facts

When your love of the outdoors calls for an adventure, having your go-to jacket is a must. Taking off on your next big adventure can lead you to areas where the climate can change quickly. In the mountains, it’s possible to go from cool and windy, too rainy, then back to warm and balmy without much notice. Choosing a versatile, waterproof shell to take along on these types of excursions can give you the opportunity to enjoy yourself without the additional worry of preparing for the different types of weather you may experience. When choosing the right jacket for these adventures, the Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is an option you should keep in mind.

The Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is a versatile jacket that not only protects you from rain and other forms of moisture, but it has the ability to keep you warm when needed. It is easily packed away when temperatures start to rise. The breathable, incredibly stretchy, polyester membrane used in the construction of this jacket allows for this rain shell to be one of the most protective yet breathable jackets on the market, allowing you to move freely. Whether you are on the mountain, biking the trails, or taking a long hike, you’ll find this jacket one of your best travel friends. In this review, we will discuss both the ups and downs of adding the Quasar Lite II to your activity wardrobe, allowing you to easily decide whether this purchase is ideal for you.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Made from super stretchy materials
  • Very breathable
  • Waterproof
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Feels clammy
  • Not considered lightweight
Waterproof

Waterproof

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is its ability to keep moisture at bay. In most tests, reviewers found this jacket was able to stand up to everything from heavy downpours to light showers without any real issues. Whether you find yourself out on the trail or climbing a mountain, you’ll find this jacket offers you the best protection available, while also being compact enough to pack away when the sun comes back out to play.

The Quasar Lite uses Mountain Hardware’s own proprietary fabric known as Dry Q Elite. This allows this jacket to be both waterproof and breathable at the same time. This is also what allows the material to be stretchy. By comparison, the Quasar Lite ranks up there with some of the best waterproof rain jackets on the market, but it is important to remember that there are other options available that offer superior protection.
Breathability

Breathability

The breathability of the Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is quite remarkable. By being air permeable, the Quasar doesn’t take much before the heat resisting breathability kicks in. When working hard, whether you are doing chores around the house or taking part in an afternoon run, having the ability to release the heat your body works up is a benefit most find themselves appreciating. If you find yourself needing a waterproof jacket for active days, choosing this breathable wardrobe addition will help you stay cooler when needed.
Ventilation

Ventilation

Another aspect in which the Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II excels is ventilation. When searching the market for a rain jacket that offers true ventilation options that can be used when out in a downpour, you’ll find the picking is quite slim. The Quasar Lite offers wearers two, zippered, opening at the area behind the elbow. Each of these openings measures around seven inches and allows users to dump moisture and heat when needed without affecting the jacket’s waterproof abilities.
Comfort

Comfort

Taking on the great outdoors in the Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II can be a comfortable trek. The combination of breathability, ventilation, and stretchy material that moves with you allows you to be both cool and comfortable while working hard. Add in the fact that you’ll be keeping the rain at bay with this jacket and comfort is a must out on the trail. By using a laminated, polyester membrane, the Quasar Lite goes above and beyond to ensure you enjoy your day out while feeling comfortable while doing so.

When talking about the comfort of the Quasar Lite, there are a few downsides one must keep in mind. While the exterior of this rain jacket offers you great protection from the elements and the breathability most look for to feel comfortable when geared up, the interior of the Quasar can feel quite clammy. Yes, the Quasar has the ability to dump both heat and moisture, but most reviewers made mention of the stickiness that is associated with this in the interior.
Weight

Weight

The Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is not a lightweight jacket. In all honesty, it is considered to be of average weight when compared to other rain jackets on the market. This doesn’t mean it is heavy. This rain jacket can comfortably be worn whether you are backpacking, biking, or even hiking and the rain finds its way to you. When the skies clear, you’ll find this jacket still packs away easily enough to carry along with you without causing any issues. Many reviewers still found themselves preferring the Quasar Lite to other, lighter, jackets due to its waterproofing ability but if you are in the market for a lightweight rain jacket, you may need to keep looking for an option more suitable to your needs.
Durability

Durability

When constructing a rain jacket, using polyester has a slight advantage over using nylon. This is how the Quasar has the ability to hold up under pressure. It showed itself to be resistant to tearing even when under heavy activities such as climbing and hiking. The DWR also showed itself to be quite sturdy. Compared to other rain jackets where waterproof abilities began to weaken over time, the Quasar showed signs of lasting much longer.
Key Features

Key Features

The Quasar Lite isn’t what you’d consider a flashy, over the top, rain jacket. It does, however, have quite a few features to aid it in being considered one of the most popular jackets on the market. Here, we will discuss a few of these features and give you a more in-depth look at what this rain jacket has to offer.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Quasar Lite is its waterproofing abilities. Of course, the DWR is used to help water bead off without soaking you through but Mountain Hardware went a bit farther by using other design aspects such as the Velcro wrist cuffs, and a waterproof front zipper to help keep stormy weather at bay. The hood of the Quasar Lite is quite large in size, which makes it helmet compatible. Mountain Hardware has also decided to both lateral and vertical cinches to allow for different users and possible headgear that may need to be covered. The toggles are quite efficient, allowing users to tighten them with one hand and loosen with both. The design of this hood also allows wearers good peripheral vision. Reviewers found themselves able to look around without turning their head into the jacket. Another aspect of the jacket that many found themselves loving was the brim. This brim is constructed of a lightweight wire and is used to keep rain out of your face when the rains set in. This brim is considered to be large in size which makes it easier to take part in the activities you love without the worry of stormy weather.

Although the Quasar doesn’t go overboard in the pocket department, the ones included are quite functional. The first two pockets are both harness and hip belt friendly while also being hand warming. Featuring a stretchable mesh covering, these two pockets can also be used for heat and moisture venting. This rain jacket is also one of the few that offers a place to store your water bottled. Featuring two interior pockets without snaps of zippers, Mountain Hardware has designed a space large enough for your, on the go hydration bottles. For those who find themselves a bit adventurous, when facing cooler weather, using these pockets to provide the additional warmth of hot water bottles is an ingenious idea.
Price

Price

The Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II can be considered one of the pricier rain jackets on the market. It ranks up there in price with other rain jackets of similar quality so nothing about the pricing can be considered beneficial. One thing the Quasar does add that most of the others on the market doesn’t is the super-stretch materials it is constructed from. If this material is enough to make you want to purchase this pricey rain jacket, then grabbing the Quasar Lite is something you should strongly consider. If you are in the market to save money, it is important to remember that there are other quality rain jackets on the market for less.
Terrain

Terrain

Thanks to the durable design of the Quasar Lite II this rain jacket is great for use in any terrain. Whether you are a fan of mountain climbing, hiking, biking, or camping you’ll find the Quasar Lite to be quite multi-functional. With this jacket’s ability to shed moisture, you’ll find it a great companion wherever you go. It is also important to remember this jacket is light enough to be packed away easily when not in use.

Another key consideration when speaking of the best terrain to use the Quasar Lite II is its ability to be layered with other, warmer, jackets when the cold weather sets in. Although it isn’t considered a lightweight jacket, the Quasar cannot be considered overly heavy. This is why it makes for a great shell to cover other jackets you need to be wearing. When facing hotter, wet, climates this jacket is great to have on hand. With its ability to vent heat as your body temperature rises, you’ll find it a great addition to your gear arsenal.
Style

Style

When choosing a rain jacket, most people don’t consider style to be a deal breaker. With the Quasar Lite II, this isn’t truly an issue. This shell is composed of super stretchy materials that make it comfortable but don’t truly take away from the look of the jacket itself. This jacket may not be something you would consider wearing out on a date or a night on the town, but it is quite functional for any type of outdoor activities. Whether you are taking off for a long weekend of hiking and camping or prefer skiing or backpacking this jacket is versatile and great looking enough to make you one of the most stylish people on the trek.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

The Mountain Hardware Quasar Lite II is one of the most versatile and functional rain jackets on the market today. Comprised of super stretch materials and top of the line waterproof elements, you’ll find yourself thrilled with its ability to shed water while remaining comfortable. Using Dry Q Elite, Mountain Hardware has made it possible to provide the ultimate in waterproofing while also providing amazing breathability and ventilation. All these factors come together to provide you with one of the best rain shells available. When taking the leap and buying the Quasar Lite II for your weather-fighting wardrobe, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Quasar isn’t one of those jackets that go overboard with features. In fact, each of its most notable features, such as the hood, water bottle, and hand warming pockets are designed for functionality, not for being flashy. This means the Quasar is dedicated to providing you with all the protection and function you need for your outing.

As with any product on the market, the Quasar has a few cons you should consider before hitting that buy button. Although this jacket is superior when it comes to breathability and ventilation, the interior can feel a bit clammy against your skin. It is also important to note that this jacket is not considered lightweight. If you are alright with a heavier rain jacket then this purchase could bring you the comfort, breathability, and protection you’ve been searching for.