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Updated Mont-Bell UL Down Jacket
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
New vs. Old on 09/11/2009 17:03:33 MDT Print View

I just checked out my wife's Down Inner Parka (size small), which is the older style because she really wanted black. Here's a couple differences I noticed:

- The new parka does not have the pockets inside the jacket
- The fabric of the new parka is noticeably less crinkly, softer and a little bit less shiny. I still consider both of them to be fairly shiny.
- With the elastic around the wrists gone and replaced with just a triangle of stretchy fabric on the underside, the wrists seem to fit looser. They still fit well, but they aren't tight to your wrists like the older parka seems like it would be. Kinda hard to say though because the womens small is obviously way too small for me.
- The loft my parka is noticably higher....I'm speculating here but I would say mine has about 50% more loft. I didn't measure, but hers seems to be about 0.5" to 0.75", whereas mine is 0.75" to 1.1".
- Weight is 196g or 6.9oz which I believe is right on spec.

Edited by dandydan on 09/11/2009 17:06:56 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: New vs. Old on 09/11/2009 19:37:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for the excellent review Dan.

The waist adjustment is definately an appreciated feature, although I would be happy without it IF the waist was tighter. They would need to reduce the circumference of the waist by about 4-5" to fit me nicely without a cinch cord.

Sounds similar to the old version... I wish they would make it a slimmer fit. Too much wasted space which isn't good when you are trying to keep warm. Their fit-models are obviously more generously proportioned than us.

It's the combination of "short" and "wide" that I find weird. They've really skimped on the length of the jacket, but have given far more width than necessary. At least you've got the waist cinch cord.

The new parka does not have the pockets inside the jacket

Not sure what you mean here. It has pockets doesn't it? Or are you saying that they are not insulated?

With the elastic around the wrists gone and replaced with just a triangle of stretchy fabric on the underside, the wrists seem to fit looser

That's a pity. The one thing I really like about my inner jacket is that the arms fit pretty nicely. I like the fact that it closes reasonably tightly around my wrists to stop air coming in.

Well, I won't be rushing out to buy it. If I was buying a new one I would go for the recent version though. I really wish they would make an alternative "slim fit" jacket. Like you say, if it were narrower the waist cord wouldn't even be necessary and I'm sure it would be warmer.

At some stage I'll try modding my existing jacket to make it narrower.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: New vs. Old on 09/11/2009 20:32:22 MDT Print View

"Not sure what you mean here. It has pockets doesn't it? Or are you saying that they are not insulated?"

My wife's parka (which is the old version) has the 2 pockets on the outside but then it ALSO has 2 more pockets on the inside of the jacket. These pockets are right behind the outside pockets, but they accessed only from the inside of the coat. Does that make sense?

This is the womens version, so perhaps the mens version never had these? Regardless, my parka does not have pockets on the inside and hers does.

One recommendation I have for Montbell (besides the width issue) is to make one of the pockets into the stuff sack. It would rather store the jacket by stuffing it into one of the pockets than I would by having to find a stuff sack and put it there....plus that's extra weight to carry both the stuff sack and the pockets when the pocket could double as the stuff sack. The pockets probably aren't big enough right now and they'd need a zip or cinch cord, but that would still be lighter than carrying the jacket and 7g stuff sack. I think the WM Flash jacket has a breast pocket that it stuffs into.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
A few more thoughts on 09/15/2009 22:51:49 MDT Print View

I've had this new parka for a few days now and I'd have some time to get to know it a bit better now that I've been wearing it everywhere.

Some observations:

1) The new fabric is indeed signficantly softer, less shiny and quieter (less crinkly) than the old fabric. My wife ordered the older version of the Parka so it was easy to compare. At first I didn't realize how significant this was, but today we were out for a hike and was really noticing how much less shiny mine is and how much quieter it is.

2) The new hood adjusters are weird. There is a velcro flap on the back of the hood that works well in controlling how much the hood hangs over your face (ie. how much beak it has). The actual bungie adjusters around the face opening are hard to use though. The adjusters are tucked up in the fabric is sort of a tube. I haven't been able to adjust them while wearing the jacket. Maybe I'm just missing something, but it seems like you need to take the jacket off and then fiddle with these because they are so hard to use. That's not really ideal when you are falling asleep at night but want the hood a bit tighter....and that's pretty much the only time I would bother to tighten the hood because it fits well normally with no adjustments.

3) I'm thrilled with how warm this parka is. My parka has significantly more loft that my wife's parka which is the older version. This parka is pretty darn warm. I would say warmer than any fleece...perhaps by a factor of 2.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Updated Wms Parka on 09/30/2009 17:03:16 MDT Print View

After returning the old version because it was too short, my wife ordered the new version after MontBell said the cut was about 1 inch longer. This arrived today.

The cut is indeed longer. I would say the new parka is a solid 2 inches longer. The old one was too short and the new one fits perfectly.

The weight for the new version is 191g (6.7oz) vs. 196g (6.9oz) for the old one. That's sweet! Less weight, more down (hopefully), better fit and an adjustable waist and hood. The loft looks to be at least as much as her old jkt. Maybe a bit little more...

The new parka still has the two interior pockets which are making me a smidge jealous since the men's version doesn't have them. It's not a big deal, but these are nice deep pockets that I'm sure will come in handy.

I wish they made this women's parka in more colors than rust and dark mallard. My wife got the dark mallard and it's a nice color. She wouldn't have choose it if there was other nice options though.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Updated Mont-Bell UL Down Jacket on 09/30/2009 18:39:31 MDT Print View

Thanks for the review. I've owned a thermawrap jacket for years and it is the most wind-proof jacket; we live in the wind around here. Got to have something to do with the calendered treatment of the fabric. I've been eye-balling these parkas for a couple of years now. The addition of a hood has to extend the comfort range and pockets are always nice!. I can wear the thermawrap with a montane litespeed jacket and a beany under the hood and I'm good into the teens easily.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
question for dan on 09/30/2009 20:15:56 MDT Print View

what kind of guitar is that in the background? :D

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Guitar on 09/30/2009 23:00:20 MDT Print View

The one in the case is a Taylor Big Baby. The one you can see leaning against the case is a cheap Yamaha that has had the neck snapped clean in two twice. Both times I glued it back together with wood glue and vise grips :)

Peter Surna
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Shoulder fit on Montbell? on 10/04/2009 02:06:52 MDT Print View

I have an endless sizing question about the Montbell jacket you just bought.
I am 5’10” and 170, you are 5’11” and 160 so it’s close.
I am interested in the fit around the shoulders as my shoulders are disproportionately larger than the rest of me.
There’s a photo of you standing with arms outstretched but the more interesting position is with your arms folded across each other which would tighten up the back. When I sleep I end up in positions like that.

Would you be able to:

a) Comment on that position.
b) With the jacket inside out, provide a measurement of the distance between the arm pits. 22” is what I’m expecting for a loose fit
c) With my arms by my sides the circumference around my shoulders is 49”, what’s yours?

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Shoulder fit on Montbell? on 10/04/2009 02:29:09 MDT Print View

Based on the images, it looks like the length of the jacket is a little short for me, however I am also 5'11", I like clothing not to ride up when I bend over etc. Also the arm lenght looks a little short.

Thanks for the Images and details, it has helped me pick the size that I need, one up from the medium. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have one.

Cheers again,
Mark

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Pedro on 10/04/2009 14:08:27 MDT Print View

I replied to Pedro via PM before I realized he also posted here. Perhaps he can paste that text here since i can't find a way to access it now that the PM is sent.

Mark, post up some pics when you get it.

Peter Surna
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Dan's reply on 10/04/2009 19:31:35 MDT Print View

Here is Dan's reply:

Pedro,

a) I think your shoulders will fit fine in a medium. The cut around the shoulders is quite spacious and the sleeves are adequately long. However, your large shoulders might lift the jacket up a little, which might make it feel a bit short depending on how long your torso is.

I find the length of the jkt to be borderline and it will probably be similar for you since you are 1" shorter but with larger shoulders. It kinda depends how you like your jkts to fit.


b) 21"

c) 45"

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Pedro on 10/05/2009 05:20:34 MDT Print View

@Dan, I sure will.

Cheers

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Pedro on 10/10/2009 20:24:32 MDT Print View

Ok so I tried on a Medium Mont-bell down inner jacket lastnight that a mate of mine got in a few days ago.

Just as I suspected, it is a little short in torso length, arms seemed fine. I am also of the thinking that it is tight in the chest.

At this point I will be looking for a Large, just to be sure.

Cheers

Peter Surna
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
Mark - whats are your vital statistics on 10/10/2009 22:32:58 MDT Print View

Hey Mark,

What's your weight and chest circumference?

Do you usually wear mediums in anything?
I wear medium Icebreaker in everything as a guide.

Alexander Laws
(goldenmeanie) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
jack-it on 10/10/2009 22:33:39 MDT Print View

I just recieved my new style UL Down inner... Ordered the small and the medium to be sure. I am a small and was unsure after hearing about these jackets on the forum. Small fit perfectly. I am 5'10" 139 lbs... and from my measurements the small was right on. There is enough room in the chest to wear a few layers (thin layers... yes, seriously!) underneath, and there is actually quite a bit of room around the belly area. I will say that the jacket is a bit short compared to what some might be used to from street clothes(sounds like cop talk ;)... but nothing unusual... certainly not uncomfortable. I found the listed measurements to be right on. I suppose that you could size up... but the medium was still just as short, and was what I would consider a bit too loose/wide... lots of belly room here, folks... makes you wonder about how the rest of the world views us Americans ;) I think these jackets are just gonna be short... like their sleeping bags. Arm length was absolutely fine.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Mark - whats are your vital statistics on 10/10/2009 23:08:51 MDT Print View

Hey Pedro,

Weight is 79 KG, my chest measures about 37".

Generally a Medium is a good fit, same with Medium in pack torso.

Cheers

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Shorter Cut on 10/11/2009 12:45:22 MDT Print View

One thing I've come to appreciate about the shorter cut of these Montbell jkts is that it doesn't hang out the bottom of my outer shell layer. If it's raining, I don't want my down hanging out the bottom of my quasi-bomber cut rain shell jkt. As it is, I can cinch the bottom hem of my rain shell and the Montbell U.L. Down Inner is fully protected from the elements.

K E
(eastm002) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Montbell UL jacket on 10/12/2009 21:53:40 MDT Print View

Im looking to purchase on of the Montbell UL down inner jackets, but i cant decide between the parka version and the version without the hood. Any thoughts?

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Go with the parka on 10/12/2009 22:08:06 MDT Print View

My advise is to go with the parka. It is really nice to have the hood when you need it. The other option is to purchase a separate hood/balaclava to wear in your sleeping bag when the temp drops below your bag's rating.