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beta wanted: mont-bell ultralight thermawrap vest?
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Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
beta wanted: mont-bell ultralight thermawrap vest? on 11/30/2011 08:19:40 MST Print View

hey kids. anyone have feedback to share re: subject line? i'm looking to replace my puffball vest with something lighter and more compressible (sans sacrificing warmth, function and trademark versatility) in the doing so. as the proud owner of two mont-bell products, i'm gravitating towards this model. got beta?
hit me up with all ya gots! thanks!

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
didn't like it on 11/30/2011 13:21:38 MST Print View

I had the full-sleeve thermawrap. I did not like it. It wasn't all that warm. It had an odd, not-comfy, shiny-squeaky texture to it. Did not like the pockets. Not flattering. I sold it.

I'm thinking of getting a synthetic vest too. Something with zippered pockets that will do well if it rains. Interested to see what other women are looking at.

- Elizabeth

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"beta wanted: mont-bell ultralight thermawrap vest?" on 11/30/2011 13:35:54 MST Print View


Check out the Arcteryx Atom LT vest before you decide on the Thermawrap.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: beta wanted: mont-bell ultralight thermawrap vest? on 11/30/2011 13:51:18 MST Print View

I use a Power Stretch vest with a windshirt for summer day hike CYA insulation. When I want more, a Patagonia Micro Puff is my choice. I agree with others that the Thermawrap doesn't deliver when you are cold; likewise the Nanopuff line. A light fleece/mid layer and your windshirt will deliver as much or more and will be more versatile.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: beta wanted: mont-bell ultralight thermawrap vest? on 11/30/2011 15:41:03 MST Print View

I have the full-sleeve Thermawrap and love it. Extremely lightweight. Note that this is not a warm jacket; it's perfect for coolish evenings on a middle-of-summer hike. Fit is a little small around the middle--I normally wear a large-tall but had to get an XL Thermawrap (no tall available).

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
fleece on 11/30/2011 17:14:20 MST Print View

I don't mean to hijack, but: Someone here mentioned fleece, and I sort of wonder if that might work better for you.

What's the warmth-to-weight of fleece versus some of the other synthetics?

Anyone recommend a specific brand/model of fleece vest?

Fleece is certainly cheaper, too.

For the record, I love Montbell's down stuff! - just didn't like that Thermawrap.

- Elizabeth

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Fleece on 11/30/2011 19:44:32 MST Print View

the thermawrap, atom lt, and nanopuff is roughly equivalent to a mid-heavy fleece + windshirt

They are lighter but less breathable and more $$$$ of course

Fleece also lasts longer

It depends what you use it for

For the OP .... Consider a 100g/m synth vest such as a micropuff if you want something warmer

For elizabeth ... Decide what weigh of fleece u want an type of fleece material ... Then my opinion is to find whatever is on sale at lands end, ll bean, cabela, rei , mec... Etc

No need to spend $$$$ ... All the above brands fleece have great warranties and work as well as any y-pp- brands

Edited by bearbreeder on 11/30/2011 19:48:49 MST.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Thermawrap durability on 11/30/2011 21:19:38 MST Print View

Eric Chan said: "Fleece also lasts longer"

I'm not so sure of that. I used my thermawrap vest for a few hundred miles of trail in 2008, ditto last year, and I carried it for most of my long trip this year, so I must have hiked now a good 3000 miles with it and it's still in fine condition.

I like having a synthetic vest to layer with a windshirt or light rain jacket when hiking in colder weather, and this one has worked great for me. I've gone from someone who never really understood the appeal of vests ("I want my arms to be warm too") to now having this as the piece of clothing that most often goes along on any but middle-of-summer backpacking trips.

I can't compare it to various other options, I just know that I'm quite happy with mine (!).

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Rab generator vest on 12/01/2011 00:58:54 MST Print View

100gm primaloft 10 ounces all the Rab products i've owned are superb

Scott H.
(handyman439) - F
thermwrap on 12/01/2011 06:24:36 MST Print View

I use a thermawrap for three season backpacking, and layering while skiing.

When I first got it, it replaced a fleece as my mid-layer while skiing in cold (0-20) weather. It is certainly much warmer than a standard fleece, possibly because it breathes less. However it really seamed to hold heat well, and feels instantly warm when you put it on.

I just had mine out last night and was baffeled by how thin it is. There really isnt much insulation in the jacket.

Emmett Lyman
(ejl10) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: on 12/01/2011 07:48:27 MST Print View

I've been using my thermawrap vest for the last 3 years an I like it a lot. In the summer it's a great warm layer to carry just in case the temps dip at elevation, and it's also comfy to throw on in the evening/morning if you're in camp for a bit. I use it as insulation under my legs when I sleep, and it's been great for that.

In winter I've used it as a spare layer, but it's pretty much been relegated to camp use. Somehow the "garbage bag" appearance doesn't give me a lot of confidence that it's breathable, and so i haven't given it much of a chance to prove itself. But it's a nice warm layer to add into the system, and it's also light/compact. Works for me!

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Long term durability on 12/01/2011 08:12:41 MST Print View

I think what Eric meant as far as fleece lasting longer is how many compression cycles an high-loft garment can survive before it begins to break down/lose loft. I usually get a couple of years of intense use (100-150 days) before I notice that high-loft synthetic insulation has degraded. In comparison, I have numerous fleeces that are more than 10 years old. Right now I'm wearing a Patagonia Marsupial that I remember purchasing at the Patagonia outlet in SLC in '97. Outside of a little wear on the lycra cuff binding, it's as good as new. In comparison, an old Puffball pullover purchased the same day is dead; the insulation is totally compressed out and it feels as though it has started to seperate in places. That said, when newer there was no comparison in warmth between the two, with the Puffball being significantly warmer.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Thermawrap durability on 12/01/2011 09:28:09 MST Print View


As scott indicated there isnt as much concern about loft loss with a fleece IME

Also there is no ultralight shell

Ive had fleeces last over a decade ... They get fuzzy and pile but they still work

Gary L. Thompson
(covah) - MLife
montbell thermawrap on 12/01/2011 11:51:39 MST Print View

I have both the jacket and vest. They are well made. They do not breathe well; they are not suitable for even mildly aerobic activity. They are not intended to breathe. The fabric is calendared (ph sp) to increase wind resistance. They are very windproof. The jacket is a great around town piece during cool to modertately cold weather. Both could serve as an in camp, rest stop jacket during cool (for me down to 50F)weather. They compress well and are light. I would rate the jacket's warmth as equal to an R1 with a windshirt like a Pat Houdini. The R1-Houdini combo is more breathable and more versatile but heavier and bulkier. The sleeves on the MB jacket run long but are easy to roll up a little and generally stay rolled up. Note that neither piece is remotely close to the warmth of an equal weight down garment.

Hope this helps.


Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Thermawrap on 12/01/2011 21:55:59 MST Print View

Thermawrap jacket user here. Great for mild conditions above 45 degrees IMO. I too find it about equivalent to a 100wt fleece + windshirt for half the weight and bulk. It is not warm enough as a standalone insulator below 40 degrees for me though.

As William suggested, you may want to consider the Rab Generator vest or jacket. I know a guy that has the jacket and loves it. The Thermawrap has a clo of only 0.48, the Generator has a clo of 2.27 (significantly warmer).

Take a look at Richard Nisley's thread,
A New Paradigm for Understanding Garment Warmth.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re Thermawrap durability on 12/02/2011 04:11:06 MST Print View

Scott said: "I think what Eric meant as far as fleece lasting longer is how many compression cycles an high-loft garment can survive before it begins to break down/lose loft"

Ah, good point. I never use the little stuff sacks they provide for these things, but put them away in a larger light sack of some sort, just compress them insofar as "fitting everything in the pack" does so. So I have no idea what the "warmth durability" of these would be for a person who crammed them into the supplied stuff sack on a regular basis.