The curiously named Mountain Hardwear Chocklite is a neat looking windproof number with a great fit, but which doesn’t handle wet weather well.
The Chocklite is a windproof shell and as such is comfortable, super-stretchy and pleasant to run or bike in. The close fitting hood is great to keep the wind off, and the chest pocket (with earpiece cord exit) and two zipped hand pockets are well sized and secure. The jacket stuffs into its own left hand pocket for easy transport when not in use and the elasticated waist cord cynches in tight.
In terms of performance, the Chocklite keeps the wind off…as long as it stays dry! Once wet is sucks up the moisture and tends to drape a bit and become quite heavy, and when wet the wind pieces through the fabric. It is marketed at rock climbers (presumably in dryer climates) and I can see the attraction for that – the give in the fabric really does make it one of the most comfortable long sleeved shells we have ever tested. The hood fits snugly and zips right up so that you could forget you were wearing it.
It is also quite good for popping on for that early morning commute, when the British sunshine has not quite taken the edge off the chill yet. I can also imagine this would be great gym-wear. And let’s face it, looks are important and this does look very good. The blue is stunning.
We loved the comfort factor in the stretchy fabric which is great for spring/autumn light exercise, when a short sleeve t-shirt or light long-sleeve top won’t quite do it. But the moment those clouds burst and the British winter descends, then reach for something more waterproof. This is a dry weather jacket, or even one to be avoided if you are a ‘sweater’ - your self-generated moisture would soak in and let the windchill in.
What Mountain Hardwear says about the Chocklite: A lightweight and packable carry-everywhere wind shell in an extremely abrasion-resistant fabric. Tough enough for rock climbing and extended backcountry travel.
Used for: running, commuter cycling, trekking
Weight: 9.4oz/265 g
Center Back Length: 26″/66 cm
Body: Chock Ultralite Double Weave Softshell
Colours: Bay Blue, Plum, Tippet, Black