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17

Nov

2009

Mountain Hardwear Refugium Jacket review
Written by Jason Elliot   
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Mountain Hardwear Refugium Jacket
images/Mountain Hardwear

Its sundown and you are flying up a high-speed lift to your next run down the slopes. The lift suddenly comes to a screeching halt and you are not moving. The wind is blowing harder than a Mike Tyson right cross to the jaw.

Frustration sets in since you are antsy to start the next run, and it's now getting much colder. So, you reach up and click the button on your left-breast pocket – instant warmth. This is what you get from the Mountain Hardwear Refugium jacket – a jacket that provides several hours of added heat to keep you toasty.

The Mountain Hardwear Refugium jacket showcases the marriage of portable heat power to outdoor apparel. The jacket features Ardica Technologies Moshi Power System. Mountain Hardwear states that the Moshi Power System provides 8.6 hours of continual heat on the jackets' low setting.

Their statement is true and verified through testing the jacket on several cold days. If you crank the jacket to its highest setting, the Moshi system will give you up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit of heat for 3 hours.

The Moshi power system can also provide power on any electronic accessory requiring less than 10 watts. Mountain Hardwear is targeting MP3 players, mobile phones, PDA, and other portable electronic to be powered by the Ardica technology.

A big pain snowboarding is your iPod power draining before the end of the day. There are no worries with the Refugium. An iPod can be plugged into the USB port located in the left-side pocket. The USB port is also where the charging unit for the Moshi power system is connected.

The Refugium is a hard shell jacket. The shell consists of a water resistant taffeta. It has a soft feel but does provide protection for you and the Ardica technology in a rain storm. The lining is also a taffeta material with the filling being a synthetic micro fiber. The Refugium is a low-profiled jacket and extremely lightweight. Without the Moshi power system installed, the jacket weighs less than 4 pounds.

The jacket has several pockets on the interior and exterior of the coat. The cuffs provide ample room for ski or snowboarding gloves. The Moshi power system tucks into a specifically designed pocket located between both shoulder blades.

It provides 1 pound of added weight and takes a short time to get accustomed to the feel of it on your back. The toggle switch activating the heat and power is located on the left breast.

Mountain_Hardwear_logoThe Mountain Hardwear Regufium jacket provides instant heat and power for your snowsport adventures. The Refugium is available in 3 colors – black, sapphire, and otter. The Moshi power system and the technology connector kit are sold separately from the jacket. The kit may not be necessary unless you want to power more than one electronic device (e.g. iPod and iPhone) at a time.

The MSRP is $240 for the jacket, $145 for the Moshi power system, and $50 for the technology connector kit. The Refugium jacket carries Mountain Hardwear's lifetime warranty and the Moshi power system has Ardica's 1-year warranty.

Product Recall

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, Mountain Hardwear voluntarily recalled the Refugium and Radiance jackets. The recall was due to electrical connections in the warming components causing the jacket to overheat and posing a burn hazard to consumers.


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Jason Elliot

JElliotJason Elliot is the Editor and Publisher of OutdoorInformer.com. Elliot has established a respected following with the top industry professionals and gearheads for his nonbiased reviews of outdoor gear and apparel. Elliot is a regular contributor to Examiner.com, Trails.com and other publications on top of his editorial and writing role with OutdoorInformer.com.

Elliot left a successful fifteen-plus year management career that he worked at Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies to pursue his passion for writing about the outdoors. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from La Roche College.

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