- Stretchy, soft face fabric
- Dialed for backcountry use
- Smarter pit zips
- Very weatherproof, very breathable
The Compulsion is a state-of-the art do-it all shell loaded with innovations. The fabric is waterproof, breathable and fairly stretchy. It’s loaded for backcountry with huge storage pockets, smart pit zips for ventilation and RECCO, but is just as at home inside the ropes.
Mountain Hardwear’s Dry-Q Eliete fabric is nice stuff. Its got a soft hand, and is fairly stretchy for a hard shell, but is as breathable as nearly any waterproof shell material on the market. It’s fully seam-taped. Thanks to all that, it is expensive.
The freeride cut is pretty well dialed in for fit. It’s long in the hem and arms for total coverage even when flailing your arms around. The high collar blocks the wind and the arms are pre-articulated for an easy fit and the cuffs are angled for better weather protection on the top of the hands. It's roomy for dynamic riding but not boxy. Runs big.
The Compulsion has a zip-out powder skirt, a huge hood that cinches down effortlessly if you don’t want to wear a helmet, two huge interior pockets to stash skins or goggles or extra gloves. It’s got RECCO in case something goes wrong in-bounds or near the resort. The handpockets are high, out of the way of a pack waist belt. Our favorite two features are the giant zipper pull on the front zipper—no fumbling around even in gloves—and the pit zips that are positioned towards the front. That keeps the bulky zipper out of your armpit and allows for more efficient venting when moving forward. It’s protected by a beefy storm flap.
How We Tested It
Three different testers skied slopes from Utah to Jackson Hole to British Columbia, and one foray to Azerbaijan.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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- Helmet Compatible Hood: Yes
- Gender: Men's
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