Quechua MH500 Review – We Test Decathlon’s Great Value Waterproof Jacket
Looking for a waterproof, windproof jacket that will not break the bank. We grabbed Decathlon’s £79.99 Quechua MH500 Waterproof Jacket and put it through its paces…
What we like about the Quechua MH500: Lightweight, packable, waterproof, breathable and VERY competitively priced.
What we don’t like about the Quechua MH500: The hood peak can get floppy after some use and the sizing is slightly smaller than expected.
In this post I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Quechua MH500 waterproof jacket from Decathlon. As a regular hiker, camper and outdoor adventurer, having quality rainwear is essential for me. So when Decathlon released their new 3-layer Quechua jacket for under £80 (miraculous!), I was eager to test it out.
If you’ve read any of our other posts, you’ll know that I take pride in providing honest, unbiased reviews to help fellow campers find the right gear. My aim is never to hype up or put down a product but to objectively assess how it performs in real-world conditions. And that’s exactly what I did with the Quechua MH500 over the past six months.
I put this jacket through its paces in all sorts of wet weather. I wore it hiking through drizzly Dartmoor, camping along the blustery South Devon coast, and even dashing about town during those unexpected afternoon downpours. After subjecting the MH500 to endless wind, rain and mud, I can comprehensively evaluate how it stacks up.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty details, let me give a quick overview for those unfamiliar with the jacket. The MH500 is Quechua’s mid-line waterproof shell designed for hardy outdoor use. It features three layers of protection – an inner waterproof/breathable membrane sandwiched between an outer durable fabric and inner mesh lining. Fully taped seams and water-resistant zippers help keep the wet stuff out.
Other key specs include an adjustable hood, velcro cuff adjustments, underarm vents and zippered front pockets. Retailing at £79.99, it’s notably cheaper than comparable 3-layer jackets from other prominent outdoor brands. In fact, I would go so far to say that it’s by far the cheapest 3-layer jacket available on the market.
So how does this budget-friendly shell actually perform out in the wild? Does it provide good rain protection and breathability for the price? Is it durable enough to withstand frequent active use? Over the next few sections I’ll cover the MH500’s size and fit, design features, real-world performance and my overall verdict.
I’ll be upfront with my assessments, highlighting both the jacket’s strengths and weaknesses. My goal is to provide an objective view to help you decide if the Quechua MH500 is the right rain gear for your adventures. I aim to give fellow outdoor lovers straightforward info to make informed gear choices.
Okay, let’s get to it! In the next section, I’ll cover the sizing and dimensions of the Quechua MH500…
Design and Key Features of the MH500
Now let’s dive into the specifics of how the Quechua MH500 is designed and what features it offers.
First and foremost, the Quechua MH500 Waterproof Jacket provides impressive waterproofing thanks to its 3-layer fabric membrane. The inner polyurethane film is sandwiched between durable outer fabric and a mesh liner as part of a bonded technical layer. All seams are fully taped to prevent leakage, and the zippers have water-resistant covering as well.
In lab testing, the membrane achieved a whopping water column rating of 25,000mm, meaning it can withstand pressure equivalent to a 25,000mm vertical column of water. Quechua also validated the jacket’s water resistance by shower testing it under 18cm of simulated rainfall for 2 straight hours. Safe to say this shell should keep you nice and dry!
Breathability is also crucial for comfort during active use. The MH500 scored a 6 RET (thermal evaporative resistance) rating, indicating a highly breathable fabric that ventilates well. This is supported by the 29cm underarm zips which allow you to dump heat quickly when working up a sweat.
At 574 grams for a size large, the MH500 is not exactly featherlight but still fine to carry around in your backpack on a trip to the hills. The nylon fabric incorporates 13% elastane, providing stretch and mobility. The athletic cut and raglan sleeves further enhance freedom of movement on the trails.
Other thoughtful design details include adjustable velcro cuffs, hem cord, and fully adjustable hood. The hood has both height and circumference tuning via elastic cords and toggles. A semi-rigid visor keeps rain off your face, while side openings maintain peripheral vision.
Storage options include two zippered hand pockets, an inner zipper pocket, and an additional inner stash pocket. These provide ample secure storage for small essentials you want to keep close at hand.
After many months of use, I’m impressed by how well the MH500 balances weather protection, breathability, packability and freedom of movement. The anatomic patterning and clever features like the underarm zips make this a very hiking-oriented shell.
Yet it remains lightweight and compressible enough for backpacking. It’s obvious Quechua designed the MH500 specifically with rugged mountain use in mind. Small touches like the hood’s side vents and the easy-access hand pockets demonstrate how every detail is optimised for active outdoor pursuits.
For a sub-£80 jacket, they certainly didn’t cut corners on technical performance or functionality. The 3-layer fabric and seam sealing hold up just as well as what you’d find on premium models costing twice as much or more.
Of course, the MH500 isn’t without some disadvantages. The budget price does result in a bit of a rubbery feel to the fabric, but this is compensated for by the lack of rustling which is an annoying feature of Gore-Tex alternatives costing three times as much. The MH500 fabric seems generally durable and has shown no signs of abrasion since I’ve been using it, even with rucksack straps rubbing the shoulders.
For most general hiking, camping and backpacking, the MH500 provides a well-rounded blend of water protection, breathability and packable performance at a very wallet-friendly price point.
So far I’m quite impressed by the thoughtful design Quechua put into this affordable 3-layer shell. Next, I’ll discuss how it’s held up during real-world use on the trails and in foul weather over the past six months. Stay tuned for my hands-on thoughts!
MH500 vs MH900 – Which is Best?
Now that we’ve covered the MH500’s features and performance in-depth, some of you may be wondering how it stacks up against Quechua’s higher-end MH900 jacket. As their flagship waterproof shell, the MH900 costs £109.99, about £30 more than the MH500. Is it worth the extra investment? Let’s compare the key specs.
Both jackets utilize the same proprietary 3-layer waterproof/breathable membrane with a 25,000mm rating. However, the MH900 was tested under more intense conditions, withstanding 3 hours of 30cm simulated rainfall versus 2 hours of 18cm rain for the MH500.
Breathability is excellent on both models, with each scoring a 6 RET. The MH900 does have a more articulated cut for better mobility along with more ventilation options like dual chest zips.
Storage is improved on the MH900 with its 4 exterior zip pockets plus 3 interior including a waterproof zippered pocket. The MH500 makes do with 2 outer and 2 inner pockets.
The MH900’s hood offers a deeper cut and 3-way adjustability for complete coverage. Its longer length also provides more storm protection.
When it comes to weather protection and technical performance, the MH900 is a slight step up from the already capable MH500. The more sophisticated design and features like the helmet-compatible hood make it better suited for serious mountaineering and ice climbing.
That said, the MH500 still provides impressive waterproofing and breathability for most general hiking, backpacking and camping. Unless you need the MH900’s premium performance for extreme alpine pursuits, the MH500 gets the job done admirably for £30 less.
For occasional users or budget-conscious buyers, the MH500 is a great value choice that doesn’t sacrifice core functionality. I’ll have more final thoughts on its overall value proposition in the conclusion. But for now, the MH900 takes the edge for technical performance while the MH500 offers the best value for your hard-earned cash.
In Use: My Thoughts
Now that we’ve covered the technical details, let me share my hands-on impressions after months of testing this jacket across various conditions.
Overall, I found the Quechua MH500 Waterproof Jacket provides impressive waterproofing for the price. The 3-layer membrane kept me bone dry even in torrential downpours and windy conditions on the trails and hills. I did notice some leakage during prolonged exposure to heavy rain. While not 100% impervious, it withstood all but the most extreme deluges.
Breathability also scored well in my experience. The pit zips were great for venting heat and moisture during vigorous hiking and climbing. It avoided that clammy feeling better than with most budget rain jackets. However, I did notice more sweat buildup on strenuous hikes where I was exerting myself more.
In terms of comfort and fit, I found the athletic cut allowed good mobility, but the slim fit may be restrictive if you need to layer much underneath. The jacket runs small, so sizing up is recommended.
I found the MH500 lightweight and packable. The stretch fabric and articulated shape provided freedom of movement for active pursuits. The pocketing capacity was adequate for the basics, though I wished for more storage space at times.
A few minor flaws emerged during my testing. The peaked hood was protective overall, but I experienced issues with it flopping in high winds. The zipper tags and elastic cording seemed a bit cheap and may be prone to breaking after repeated use. And the fabric developed a slight plastic-like noise over time.
But overall, the Quechua MH500 delivered impressive waterproofing, breathability and packability for the sub-£80 price. It handled general hiking, camping and backpacking well. I’d recommend sizing up and being mindful of the hood and durability limitations. For budget-conscious adventurers, it’s one of the top-performing budget rain jackets out there.
I tried to assess the jacket as objectively as possible based on extensive real-world use. While no product is perfect, the MH500 achieves a lot for the affordable price. I hope this detailed review helps you determine if it’s the right rain gear for your needs.
After months of thorough testing across varied conditions, I’m overall quite impressed with the Quechua MH500 rain jacket. For a sub-£80 shell, it delivers excellent waterproofing, breathability and versatility.
The 3-layer membrane provides reliable protection even in heavy rain, while pit zips and mesh lining manage moisture well during aerobic activity. The athletic cut and stretch fabric allow good freedom of movement for hiking and climbing.
While not flawless, the MH500 avoids major performance or quality issues given the budget price point. I do wish the hood was a bit stiffer in high winds, and sizing runs smaller than expected. Some may find the slim fit restrictive for layering thick mid-layers.
But considering the sub-£80 price, the MH500 offers tremendous value for most outdoor enthusiasts. It kept me dry and comfortable across all my general hiking, camping and backpacking adventures this past year. I’d gladly recommend it over any other rain jacket under £100 that I have tried.
For hardcore mountaineers or extreme alpine use, the limitations may warrant spending more on premium options with better breathability, helmet-compatible hoods and reinforced fabrics. But the MH500 hits a sweet spot for casual adventurers wanting quality waterproofing on a budget.
I appreciate companies like Quechua making reliable outdoor gear more affordable and accessible. The MH500 skills the balance between cost and performance – no small feat for a sub-£100 rain jacket.
Importantly, it comes with a 2-year warranty, providing added peace of mind on the purchase.
So if you’re seeking an impressive entry-level shell that can stand up to weekend warrior use, look no further. The Quechua MH500 Waterproof Jacket once again proves you don’t need to break the bank for good waterproofing. I’ll be reaching for this jacket all year round when the weather turns wet.
Here are some FAQs for the Quechua MH500 rain jacket:
Is the MH500 100% waterproof?
The MH500 is highly waterproof thanks to its 3-layer membrane and fully taped seams. While not 100% impervious, it provides excellent protection in heavy rain and should keep you dry in all but the most extreme conditions.
How breathable is the MH500?
The jacket uses a breathable polyurethane membrane along with ventilating mesh and underarm zips to provide good moisture control during aerobic activity. It’s among the most breathable budget rain jackets available.
What activities is the MH500 suited for?
With its athletic cut and focus on waterproofing and breathability, the MH500 is ideal for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and general outdoor pursuits. It excels as an active shell for weekend warriors.
How durable is the MH500?
The 3-layer fabric is reasonably durable for a jacket in this price range. It can withstand typical outdoor use and abrasion but may show wear sooner than premium alpine shells.
Does the MH500 work for layering?
The MH500 has a trim, athletic fit that allows layering of base and midlayers, but sizing up is recommended if you need more room for bulky insulation pieces.
Is the hood helmet compatible?
The hood is designed more for weather protection rather than helmet coverage. It may be too tight over many climbing helmets.
What is the sizing like?
In general, the MH500 runs slightly small/slim. Going one size up from your usual is often recommended for layering capacity.
What is the warranty for the MH500?
Quechua provides a 2 year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. This provides helpful peace of mind on the purchase.