Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Balaclava


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Great for alpine climbing but also superb for skiing and snowboarding, this Power Stretch® Balaclava provides excellent face and neck coverage in cold conditions. It features four-way stretch Polartec® fleece with a brushed, bi-component construction that does double duty both as a source of insulation and a moisture-transfer base layer. The construction is intentionally snug to comfortably fit beneath all but the tightest helmet configurations.


  • Moisture-wicking Polartec® Power Stretch® fabric
  • Fits beneath most helmets and hoods
  • Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship
  • Weight: 2 oz. (57 g.)

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Review Summary

4.8 out of 5

33 Reviews

  • Build quality: 8
  • Great design: 8
  • Ease of use: 6
  • Great value: 6

Comfort: 5 / 5
Quality: 4.9 / 5
Durability: 4.6 / 5
Warmth: 4.2 / 5
Warmth Gloves: 4 / 5

33 Ratings & Reviews

Good job
June 01, 2009

Perfect for snowboarding. I recently climbed Mt. Whitney with this on and it did just as good as more expensive balaclavas I've bought.

Comfort: 4 / 5
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 4 / 5
Warmth: 4 / 5

from Fargo ND
35-44 yrs

Warm, Especially for the weight!
January 18, 2011

Very Lightweight and warm, construction seems to great, but I can not speak for long term durablity as Ihave only used this out and about 5 plus times. It does drie quickly and is very comfortable. My only complaint, if it is really a complaint, is that it gaps around the edges of my eyes when worn full faced. I am sure it is just my goofy shaped head ;-) love it, I have the lightweight OR one also, not as warm, but fits more snug, love it to ;-)

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Great value
Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
Warmth: 4 / 5
from Grantham,NH

Highly Recommended Balaclava
November 21, 2010

This balaclava is very comfortable to wear and put on. It stretches well and feels good on the skin. In very cold conditions I wear it under a hat.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value
ComfortShoes: 5 / 5
Durability: 3 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
WarmthGloves: 4 / 5
from ohio
45-54 yrs

good fit
October 03, 2010

I have been searching for a lightweight but good fit balaclava and this balaclava is what I was looking for. I will use it mainly for clearing snow in the winter when it's really cold. It's not winter yet so I haven't use it yet so I can't attest for durabilty but the fit is great.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value

wont ski without one
March 25, 2008

Once you've worn this thin balaclava on the slopes you'll recommend them to everyone. They keep all the cold and wet off your face and head, I wont ski without one anymore

A great balaclava
May 18, 2005

This low bulk balaclava should work great alone or under a helmet. I bought it to replace my 200wt balaclava as it did not fit under my helmet well. The thin Power Stretch conforms nicely to my head with very little noncontact areas around my face. My only concern is the thinness might cause problems at high altitudes when not wearing a helmet to help trap the heat (but a Micro Dome Beanie should fit under it well enough). -I'll have to report back after next year's trip to Orizaba. In the mean time...this hat is going to the Alps for some great climbing!

Serious balaclava
March 13, 2006

I've just bought this balaclava and was fortunate to give it a good test on a recent walk - its fabric is extremely warm yet thin enough to allow a hat to be worn over it - by pulling the head portion back off your head it also acts as a neck gaiter - great item - looks trendy too with the big nut logo of mountain hardwear

Quality: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Comfort: 5 / 5
Warmth: 4 / 5

from SF, CA

Cozy day and night sleep
September 14, 2010

I like breathing in cold air, but there is a limit especially when the air burns your nose and wakes you up at night. I had never worm a backlava to sleep, but I had the best sleep ever wearing this one. I was warm and comfortable and did not have hunker down in my sleeping bag to do it.

Pros: Great design, Lasts forever, Performance, Ease of use

Good stuff
February 04, 2005

Very warm and breathable. Would recomend to anyone looking for a nice lightweight Balaclava.

ComfortShoes: 5 / 5
Durability: 4 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

Very comfortable and protects from biting wind
September 28, 2010

Used the balaclava when hiking at 14,000 ft and proved perfect to protect from some bitterly cold winds. Snug fit and very comfortable. Highly recommended

Pros: Build quality, Performance, Ease of use
Comfort: 4 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
Warmth: 5 / 5
from San Diego, CA
45-54 yrs

Power Stretch Balaclava
November 03, 2011

I purchased this for high-altitude mountaineering and it was fantastic. Light-weight, easily packable, and ready to wear. During the freezing nights, the Balaclava kept my head, and face warm and cozy. Excellent wind coverage and when I wanted to reduce the warmth, I just pulled it down around my neck and it acted as a neck gaitor. Brilliant piece of equipment - necessary for high Alpine climbing and windy environments.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use, Great value

Fits under helmet
January 05, 2005

Fits very comfortably under my cycling helmet. Adequate warmth even for the ears so far, but haven't tested it any colder than 10 deg F.

Power Stretch Balaclava
December 31, 2009

I could only give 4 stars because I haven't trialed it in the cold yet. My husband tells me I have very stringent requirements for balaclavas. I need one for snowmobiling that's warm, fits well and isn't too bulky. I also like to have my nose covered. It seems that whenever I find one I really like I lose it and can't find it again on line. This type fits ALL of my requirements, so before you discontinue it or I leave it behind in a restaurant I plan on ordering more!

December 30, 2009

This fits my son's head (8 yrs old) and mine too! It's light, very comfortable to wear and warm.

Great Balaclava
March 15, 2010

Nice and warm, yet light enough to wear under a helmet or hat

Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
Warmth: 4 / 5
from Jacksonville, FL
35-44 yrs

Great product
December 27, 2010

Wear mine for cold weather cycling under my helmet. It is thin and works great.

Pros: Performance, Great value
Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
from CA
45-54 yrs

Excellent balaclava
March 22, 2012

Have used this item for 2 seasons and find it to be among the most functional items I own for skiing. It is the perfect weight and thickness in that it fits under my helmet without being too bulky. Equally, it is about the right weight in terms of warmth vs breathability so I can use it in a broader temperature range than other head/face items I have used. When it warms up during the day, it also stows away in a pocket much more easily than typical fleece neck gators, which have more loft. Overall, a great and functional product.

Pros: Great design, Lasts forever, Performance

Great Feel
April 29, 2007

This is a great balaclava with typical Mt. Hardware quality. I used this balaclava this winter for climbing, backpacking and snowshoeing. I would highly recommend this product.

Just what I was looking for
August 30, 2008

Not overly think. Does not smush your nose. Thin enough to be worn under a visor.

Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5
Warmth: 4 / 5
from Colorado
55-64 yrs

Great Balaclava for Skiing
January 27, 2012

I purchased for skiing on very cold days. Not only for warmth, but to prevent frostbite. Very good fit under helmet, and also very comfortable. Breathes very well, and extremly warm. Great for skiing in the Rockies!!!

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Great value

April 13, 2006

Warm balaclava.Fits and work under helmet well.


Lightweight Warmth
January 08, 2006

This balaclava is pure performance. Light, warm, wind resistant and most importantly it keeps you dry.

soft and tough
January 03, 2006

thats the softest balaclava ive got so far. the fit is perfect for me and since it is strechty i think it would fit anyone. unlike some other balaclavas i had before mt hardwear is one piece, no sewing to bother you. even tough the fabric is very thin i was amazed how well it performed in the windy white mountain of new hampshire. happy customer here!!!

Winter commodity.
September 07, 2007

It is very warm. Good product. this product is very low in price.

September 07, 2008

Not too bulky, but feels cozy. I love it.

Very nice
March 11, 2010

Quite thin yet surprisingly warm and super stretchy. Very versatile to use as a neck gaiter by simply stretching opening through the head.

December 29, 2004

This item is excellent. Very durable, warm, lives up to the mountain hardware name. The added stretch helps to get the perfect fit

June 10, 2010

This wasn't exactly what I was looking for. If I pull it up over my nose, which I'd planned to do to, I can't really breathe. I will probably exchange for a model with breathing holes.

July 03, 2006

It's a very good product. I've used it in different situations and I have worked absolutely perfect. First of all, its size is OK and it fits exactly.

This product does what it claims
October 28, 2007

I bought this to keep me warm on chilly days when I take my motorcycle to work. It is lightweight and real warm. I highly recommend this product.

Very warm
February 26, 2006

This is a great Balaclava. The warmth to wieght ratio is superb. I wore this on my latest snow camping trip while sleeping and was perfectly comfortble. This balaclava will definately accompany me on every excersion.

Comfort: 5 / 5
Durability: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

from Colchester, CT
55-64 yrs

Power Stretch Balaclava
January 24, 2011

I normally wear this during work on midnights. Fits great and keeps my head warm when I am outside for extended periods of time. Fits snug enough. Blocks some wind but not all, should be expected. Will probably buy another to keep in my ski bag.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance
Comfort: 5 / 5
Quality: 5 / 5

Very nice balaclava
February 19, 2012

I have found this balaclava to be warm and comfortable. It doesn't make my head itch either. The opening for my face is good and the material is stretchy enough that I can pull it down under my chin or wear it up over my mouth and it is comfortable both ways. I have a relatively small head and the balaclava wasn't baggy. It's warm enough that it takes the bite out of the cold winter wind in Iowa. I plan to wear this on my next mtn climbing expedition.

Pros: Great design, Build quality, Performance, Ease of use

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Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Balaclava Photo


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