2007 Model No Longer Available
Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Balaclava - 2007 BCS
Bring the Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Balaclava on your next alpine climbing excursion or backcountry ski trip for full face warmth. This fleece head gaiter feels soft, wicks moisture, and fits snugly under your hood or helmet.
Talk shop with all the gear freaks out there: ask 'em questions, upload/browse photos, and give your 2¢.
Warm but Large
January 3, 2011
The balaclava is very warm but if you have a small head like me this product may fit a little bit loose. Tested in below zero fahrenheit temperatures.
Great for what it is, but i returned it
January 6, 2011
This is a great warm balaclava. However, the more I thought about it, the more I figured I really didn't need something THIS warm. I'm a 10-20 day a year snowboarder and I figured it would be nice to have something to bundle up with at the Bird when the winds get nasty going up Little Cloud but I saw this getting very hot in a hurry when I got active again. I wore this under my Smith Variant Brim Helmet which is already insulated and addding this was just too much. I'm going to go for a much thinner clava.
Is this material as thin as say, polypro underware so that it
Is this material as thin as say, polypro underware so that it will not be a problem wearing under a helmet?
December 10, 2009
It is not as thin as poly underwear but it will fit under a helmet no problem. It is made with Power Stretch fabric from Polartec is really warm and super stretchy. If you are looking for something thinner check out Mountain Hardwear's Butter Balaclava. Cheers!
By: Jon Webb
December 11, 2009
November 8, 2010
I own three different thin balaclavas in my quest for the perfect one. I haven't found it, but I do have three balaclavas with pros and cons each. I own this one, the Outdoor Research Sonic and the Smartwool Balaclava, and typically use them for winter bike commuting, but they all pull double duty on the trail. This one excels in how stretchy it is. It easily stretches down below my chin or becomes a neck gaiter. The Smartwool tends to deform after repeated stretching, so I am hesitant to use it as a neck gaiter by stretching it over my huge head. This one always pops right back into place, and doesn't start to sag around the face. It also fits reasonably well as a neck gaiter, which the OR does not because of it's design (nose hood and mouth mesh). This gaiter isn't as warm for standing around as the other two, but the tight smooth knit of the outer face means it works fairly well once you start moving, even in the wind of riding.
The problem with all this stretch is that the face area smooshes my nose so that it becomes uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. While the power stretch wicks sweat away as well as the other two, but the material itself is not breathable enough to allow your breath to pass through easily. This and the shape means most of the exhaled breath exits on either side of my nose, instantly fogging up any eyewear I am using. I avoid this balaclava for hiking or anything else "stop and start" when I'm wearing sunglasses or goggles. If you've got smaller nose than myself, both of these problems I've had might be non issues, but I don't know.
The other problem with the balaclava not breathing well is that after just a couple uses it can start to smell around the face area. The other two do not have this issue. I find I have to wash it every couple of days to keep this from happening.
Is it flexible enough to put it over your nose, down over your
Is it flexible enough to put it over your nose, down over your chin, or pull it down all the way to just around your neck?
By: Kirsten Valentine
November 21, 2008
You sure can. It's possible to turn this into a neck gator if that's what the climate requires. This is a great Balaclava! I love mine!Hope that helps.
By: Steve Tibbitts
November 21, 2008
Recent convert to the Balaclava
November 11, 2008
This was a life saving piece of gear on a recent trip to Mt Whitney with 30 mile per hour winds. I'll always keep one in my pack for extreme cold. Looking forward to using it skiing this year.
January 14, 2010
This was absolutely perfect for a head/face covering for downhill and backcountry skiing in 10-30 degree weather. It is exactly what I needed to keep my head warm. You'll love it. The one size fits all fit me perfectly. I also wore a TNF headband over the balaclava around my ears for a little extra protection there.
is this sucker windproof? or rather is the "windstopper"
is this sucker windproof? or rather is the "windstopper" tech really that much better?
November 19, 2008
This one's not intended to be windproof, since it's not supposed to be the outermost layer on your head, but I have a Windstopper hat and gloves and they are practically magical. It's astonishing how well they block wind. If that's a priority and you'll be wearing the balaclava with no hood or helmet, that's probably worth it.
By: Angus Bohanon
November 19, 2008
Warm and cozy
January 12, 2010
I bought it for my boyfriend, and he likes it. He rides scooter to school and work every day, and it really keeps him warm in the winter. Finally he still could feel his chin in freezing days.
Soft and warm
November 24, 2009
Really warm but not itchy like some Balaclavas I've tried.
February 4, 2009
Great balaclava. Kept me warm on -5 degree days up in VT. Some wind does get through when it is gusty, but all-in-all great piece of headwear.
December 22, 2008
Bought this sucker for a ski friend and she loves it! Its cheap and a great gift idea for the bad ass in your life.
December 11, 2007
Fits nice and snug around the head so no need to worry about it shifting while screaming down the hill.