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Montbell Ex Light Down Vest:: Owners Is it Really Warm?
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Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Montbell Ex Light Down Vest: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 04/06/2011 23:20:02 MDT Print View

I guess I have way too much time when I am thinking of replacing a 5.0 Oz Long John Top with a 4.3 oz Down Vest to wear under my Thermawrap Jacket.

My thought is to get more warmth for my weight by swapping the BPL Top with a down vest.

Any owners of the EX Light Down Vest out there care to tell me what they think of the vest and if they feel it gives them more warmth than thermal tops?

Looking to supplement the warmth of the little too thin Thermawrap jacket with the vest.

I have no desire to replace my Thermawrap as I want something synthetic to keep me warm if wet.

My base layer is the BPL Merino Hoody, which I also sleep in.

I had thought about getting the EX Down Jacket at 5.7 Oz, but figured that under a Thermawrap jacket, the sleeves would be so compressed that it would negate much of the value of having a jacket and my thoughts turn to the Vest.

Anyway, thanks for indulging my geekness here....just looking to tweak my kit for comfort/warmth by replacing something with something else that might be warmer for the same weight.

P.S. Scary Feb I had a similar post regarding this, but think it was regarding the down jacket. I must be sick, really sick.....need therapy.


Edited by Valshar on 04/06/2011 23:28:31 MDT.

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Therapy on 04/06/2011 23:28:36 MDT Print View

We can attend group therapy lol I have a older down vest and was very surprised at how much warmth it adds I am comfortable with it under just a windbreaker down to about 30 if I stay somewhat active it weighs 12oz but I know it's a lower fill power down people think I am obseive too it's a addiction :) a good one

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Montbell Ex Light Down Vest:: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 04/06/2011 23:29:41 MDT Print View

In my opinion, it's not warm at all. It's the type of layer that's a nice addition when just your rain jacket and tshirt aren't quite cutting it. It's not cold out, but something else is needed. It's no where near warm enough when it's actually kinda chilly. Like in the mountains.

k web
(kbweb) - F

Locale: Tacoma, WA
Re: Montbell Ex Light Down Vest: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 04/07/2011 00:13:53 MDT Print View

"Looking to supplement the warmth of the little too thin Thermawrap jacket with the vest."

Maybe try the Thermawrap BC? Has more insulation in the torso then the standard thermawrap.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
warm on 04/07/2011 00:47:55 MDT Print View

theres nutting warmer for 5.5 oz ...

i wear the exl under a dead bird atom lt ... it takes me down to 20F

just try it on under the thermawrap to see if it fits ...

some people expect it to be a wonder jacket ... it isnt ... a 10-14 oz jacket like the EB downlight or patagucci will of course be warmer, and weight twice as much

combine it with a synth jacket and youll be good to around 20-25F ... by itself its only useful to no lower than freezing or so

its a booster or midlayer ... nothing more

Edited by bearbreeder on 04/07/2011 00:50:20 MDT.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Montbell Ex Light Down Vest: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 04/07/2011 01:29:55 MDT Print View

I do not know of any other piece of gear that offers it's warmth for such a low weight. I do miss pockets though in a vest because they sure can warm up hands quickly. I have the jacket also, but use it less in the PNW because it is so warm. It is great for higher altitudes, though, when the temps drop steeply.

FYI, on my scale, my Montbell Ex Light Vest size L = 3.9 oz. + .2 oz. stuff sack

jim draucker
(mtnjim) - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah Valley VA
Ex Light Vest on 04/07/2011 07:00:10 MDT Print View

Hello All

Ditto on warmth to weight. I don't like the collar on WM Flash Vest. Montbell takes up minimal pack volume. Most of my trips lately have been low weight/volume.


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Ex Light on 04/07/2011 09:48:04 MDT Print View

As mentioned, the Ex-light vest often comes in under the weight spec. My size medium weighs 3.64oz.

Is it warm? It's not really warm per say, but it is unbeatably warm for 3.64oz. I would say it's warmer than a thermal top. I consider mine to be enough insulation for '2 seasons' assuming you are not in a cold area. Also, if the vest isn't warm enough you could always just call it a night a bit earlier and crawl into your sleeping bag.

I also use my ex-light vest for ski touring (the only insulation I bring on most day trips) and it's good insulation at the ski reason too when the conditions are fairly moderate.

Ben Barlin
(ben-ln) - F
Vest on 04/07/2011 10:08:46 MDT Print View

I use this exact setup. It works really well. Much warmer than a fleece vest for less weight. I was using a MH Compressor jacket. I traded for the new setup. Same weight, much warmer and still have the piece of mind with a synth jacket. I really want to keep the synth jacket as I sweat alot when moving, when I stop I throw it on to keep from getting chilled and all the sweat would kill a down piece. I have the older snap vest which is even lighter.

Evan Cabodi
(BlackRock) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Weight to Warmth is Great! on 04/07/2011 10:35:39 MDT Print View

I'd also agree that the jacket is really warm. You just can't get better than that for the weight and quality from Montbell is about as good as it gets.

I've switched up for the UL model though. I liked the Ex Light, especially for the 900fp down but I got rid of it and recently bought the UL model instead simply because the cut fit me a bit better and I really like having pockets. If I only used the Ex light on the trail as a functional layer then I'd have kept it, but I actually like to wear mine just about every day around the house and pockets are a must for keys, wallet, baby binkies, etc. :)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Montbell Ex Light Down Vest: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 04/07/2011 10:48:56 MDT Print View


It comes down to the right gear for the job you want it to do. I have the jacket, which weighs 6.10 oz. My Patagonia down sweater is much warmer at 11.70 oz; but not twice as warm... and it weighs almost twice as much.

The material in the Montbell might be too fragile; I am careful with it. I wear the Ex UL under other pieces of clothing, and do not worry about compressing the down, as I pick outer stuff sizing with the Ex UL in mind. I use the Ex UL more than any other down clothing for most of my trips.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Montbell Ex Light Down Vest: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 04/07/2011 14:53:25 MDT Print View

As always, you guys are great for giving me your thoughts and especially appreciate people giving me the weights of their vest.

Good to know that it comes in a little underweight.

Vest could be a good replacement option to replace my BPL merino wool thermal top that I would wear under my Thermawrap jacket.

So no issues with lacking pockets or that the shell is light, as it would be under the jacket and therefore protected.

So the only thing for me to monkey with in my mind is EX Jacket vs. Vest...this "stuff" never ends.

Guess the fact that I am sweating the little things means that I have myself pretty well dialed in.

A guy could have worse problems. :)

UL Self Help Group Started by me will be holding 1st meeting next week....hehehehe.

On a side note: Just ordered Goosefeet Down Socks for sleeping with 1 oz overstuff. Hoping to be a pretty toasty guy on the shoulder seasons with all of this.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
where to buy the vest now? on 06/26/2013 11:25:55 MDT Print View

It seems like it's hard to find the exlight vest. I can find the ultralight model though, dots anyone know g the weight difference?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: where to buy the vest now? on 06/26/2013 11:37:36 MDT Print View

Here is a thread with the weight and fill weight of the exlight vest,they are not made anymore,I own a couple. Here is an old listing giving details on the vest.

Edited by annapurna on 06/26/2013 11:54:31 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
@ Link on 06/26/2013 12:06:31 MDT Print View

So that nickname stuck, Anna--I love it!

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: @ Link on 06/26/2013 12:09:09 MDT Print View

Thank You giving it to me Gary,I Love it too!

Edited by annapurna on 06/26/2013 12:10:02 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: @ Link on 06/26/2013 12:35:31 MDT Print View

All hail Link O'Leary, the BPL connection queen!

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Montbell Ex Light Down Vest:: Owners Is it Really Warm? on 06/26/2013 15:56:21 MDT Print View

Warmth to weight I would expect the Black Rock Vest (4 oz , 1.8 oz of fill) to be better.
No experience with either...

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Black Rock on 06/26/2013 18:05:43 MDT Print View

Yeah it's been a long time since this thread was started and the Black Rock Vest does appear to be warmer for the weight - it sure looks it. One could argue if you need something this warm then you also should have sleeves, but there's many different approaches to staying warm.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 06/26/2013 18:46:35 MDT Print View

I looked at the black rock vest, it's $240 which is just too expensive for my purpose.

I do notice that montbell has the ultralight version still for sale, it has pockets and more features, it may have a waist draw cord too. But I'm not sure how much more it weighs.