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Puffy Top Layer (Down Jackets)
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Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
MB UL Down Inner Jacket on 08/07/2009 12:27:31 MDT Print View

"The Montbell seems to be significantly because:
- it snaps up instead of having a zipper
- no pockets
- lighter denier fabric"

This is no longer the case. Mont-Bell has used a zipper on the UL Down Jacket for the past few years. I would stay away from the older ones (they shouldn't still be in stores this was 3or 4 years ago) with the plastic buttons as they were notorious for breaking.

The newer jackets also have pockets.

Mont-Bell is a great value for insulation. I have a 2005 Thermawrap Jacket (synthetic 8.2oz) that I have carried on almost every trip I have taken since I bought it. I recently bought a UL Down Jacket to replace it and it is a super nice piece. I would recommend it to anyone. According to Richard Nisley's testing data, it has a clo rating of 1.78 which is outstanding for its weight. I also have a Mont-Bell Alpine Down Jacket that is baffled and has 6 ounces of down.

The Mont-Bell is lighter than the jackets you mentioned because it probably has a thinner shell, might not have as many features (for example it's hand-warmer pockets are not zippered), and might use less down. It isn't designed to compete with a 16-20oz full down parka.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Puffy Top Layer (Down Jackets) on 08/07/2009 12:46:55 MDT Print View

"I wear my beanie without my jacket often. It happens virtually every time that it's cold and I'm hiking. Generally I'll overheat if I put the jacket on. But I need the beenie to keep me warm and to protect my ears from cold injury. Skiers would be a user group that wear beenies without down jackets on a regular basis."

Yes, but highly unlikely that these are insulated beanies or you would overheat very quickly. These would be lightweight synthetic-type beanies that are ideal for moving but do little to keep one warm when at rest or when sleeping. Using a quilt (or hoodless bag) with a hoodless jacket and one of these beanies is not going to be nearly as efficient in temperature management than using a jacket with an insulated hood.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Re: Puffy Top Layer (Down Jackets) on 08/07/2009 13:06:44 MDT Print View

Jack, my "few inches of down" comment was in reference to sleeping arrangements, layering down jacket with a quilt. It's stunning how many people don't incorporate some kind of good head insulation with such setups. That said, I'd bet your beanie is about 1/8 of an inch thick vs. your 1 inch of down in your jacket. Jacket is proportionately lots warmer. Not saying you'd want that hood up while you're walking around camp and so forth, but it's nice to have when you're sedentary or sleeping.

647575757 347474747
(686425) - F
Down sweater on 08/08/2009 22:33:13 MDT Print View

You could get the First Ascent Downlight sweater. it weighs only 9oz and it's $160.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: Down sweater on 09/03/2009 00:17:05 MDT Print View

Rich: "You could get the First Ascent Downlight sweater. it weighs only 9oz and it's $160."

From their website, the Downlight sweater weighs 13.4oz.

Edited by dandydan on 09/03/2009 00:18:18 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Re: inner parka on 09/03/2009 00:20:39 MDT Print View

te-wa: "the fit of the Montbell parka is odd.. i have a 38" chest and a 30" waist and the parka is just plain box-shaped. no taper, and no drawstring or elastic at the waist. the hood is also not fitted so a drawstring would have been a bonus there as well. im going to try my hand at adding elastic to the hood opening to have the ability to cinch it down (sleeping mode)."

Interesting that Montbell addressed both of your complaints with the revised parka that was released today. It now has a cinch-able hood and waist. It also had another 0.3oz of down (2.4oz total) and it gains 1.6oz so it weighs 9.0oz now. I'm buying one as I write this.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: inner parka on 09/03/2009 00:36:15 MDT Print View

Hey Dan, let us know whether the new parka is "athletic" or "boxy" in fit. Like Te-Wa I've found the original version is quite boxy and I'd prefer a slimmer fit.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Boxy on 09/03/2009 01:02:26 MDT Print View

I'll post up for sure. I've ordered a Olive Green Medium and it should be here in 5-10 business days...hopefully I'll get it late next week. I'm up in Canada so it takes longer.

I wonder if the old women's parka has a boxy fit? My wife ordered the old parka w/o the adjustable hem & hood because she really wanted black.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Montbell UL series on 09/03/2009 02:55:50 MDT Print View

I'll reiterate what BRad said- the Montbell UL Down Inner series uses a zipper now.

I like mine, but I would caution you that 2 oz of down fill is pretty flippin light. Which I suppose is appropriate if you are replacing such a light fleece, but for real shoulder-season use some people like something a tad heavier. The WM Flash is a good option if you do want something a bit heavier. Will Rietveld just reviewed it:

Babak Sakaki
(persianpunisher) - F
MHW stuff on 09/10/2009 16:56:15 MDT Print View

I have gear tested the MHW Nitrous jacket as well as the Patagonia Down sweater, and must say they are some of the finest lightweight insulation out there.

The Nitrous is much narrower in the hips (you skinny folks would love this jacket). It has has more stitching.

After using the down sweater for a season, I decided to sell it. I already have an R2 jacket, and a Siphon Primaloft jacket, and needed something warmer. After 25 degree weather with the Down Sweater, I wish it was warmer.

I replaced it with a MHW Phantom Down Jacket, which is 4 ozs heavier but MUCH MUCH warmer.