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The heck with Montbell
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
The heck with Montbell on 02/10/2012 11:28:23 MST Print View

So I bought this UL Down Jacket off of them a little over 2 years ago. Literally from the store in Boulder. It has leaked pieces of down out of the seam ever since I bought it. I called a few weeks after I bought it and wanted to return it but they said just give it some time and it will stop. It never did and my time to return it went past. It is still leaking small pieces of down out of the seams every once so often. I sent it to Montbell. They said this was normal and that they would do nothing about it. Really? It is still normal for there to be pieces of down still leaking out of the seams two years on? I have owned quite a few down coats and another one by Montbell and have never had this problem. And I never will again because I am never going to buy from them again.

Not to mention they kept my receipt, tags and stuff bag I sent along with also.

Edited by bpeugh on 02/10/2012 11:33:11 MST.

Dan Smith
Leakage on 02/10/2012 11:32:55 MST Print View

Most of the very light denier down jackets leak. It's a part of owning the jacket. If you want a down jacket that doesn't leak down, buy one with heavier material or has inner baffles and not sew through construction.

I have a Black Rock Gear down vest and while I love this vest, it leaks down due to the 7D material.

If you see a feather poking through, pull it back in from the opposite side.

With UL jackets, you have to take the good with the bad. Just my opinion, others may differ.

Ed Hayes
(ejhayes) - F

Locale: Northwest
Hmm on 02/10/2012 11:35:41 MST Print View

I mostly agree with Dan that it is somewhat normal and a nature of the beast.

However, I don't think Montbell's customer service was good to you. I'd avoid their products just for that.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
customer service on 02/10/2012 11:36:47 MST Print View

Well they should have told me it is always going to continue to leak when I originally called or post it on the website.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Hmm on 02/10/2012 11:48:19 MST Print View

For what it's worth, I have the UL Inner, about 6 months old now, and it's really never leaked any down at all.

Dan Smith
Out on 02/10/2012 11:48:35 MST Print View

In theory, it should eventually stop leaking when the jacket runs out of down or feathers.

I'm not defending Montbell and understand your frustration, especially losing your stuff sack and keeping the receipt.

I do like my UL down jacket, but would purchase the Alpine Light the next time around.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: The heck with Montbell on 02/10/2012 11:55:49 MST Print View

While it's always 'painful' to see down making its way out ... it is indeed normal and something to be expected. It's not supposed to degrade performance to any noticeable degree (or so I've been told) -- unless, you've got seam separation or pin holes in the fabric itself that's causing more than usual leakage.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: The heck with Montbell on 02/10/2012 12:07:15 MST Print View

What I find so strange about all this is that they kept your receipt, tags and stuff bag.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
no more really thin 'downproof' material for me on 02/10/2012 12:32:06 MST Print View

I can now see that down leaks out of the really thin materials. Never knew that until I owned one and really never saw it up on here. I have had many down jackets including a Down Alpine jacket from Montbell from the same year and none of these have leaked any down past the first few weeks to a month when it is 'settling'. Marmot, Cabelas, REI, Montbell,Patagonia, and a whole bunch of cheapo ones. Nada. Oh well, live, learn and be out $150.

Noel Tavan
(akatsuki_the_devil) - MLife
re on 02/10/2012 13:47:04 MST Print View

Ask for your receipt and stuff sack back. That's plain stealing ...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: no more really thin 'downproof' material for me on 02/10/2012 14:16:17 MST Print View

Hi Brett

What you have not asked yourself is whether losing a few specs of down really matters.

Given that there are hundrds of millions of those tiny bits of down inside the jacket, does losing a few affect the insulation? Hardly.

Anyhow, with UL fabrics, some down loss is normal.


Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
geting the the stuff back on 02/10/2012 14:22:53 MST Print View

I did ask for that those back and they did say they would send it to me in all fairness.

I wouldn't say the jacket had millions of specks. These were more smaller pieces of down with spines that measured a 3/8" or more in addition to other pieces and they just kept working their way out every time it was compressed by wearing or stowing. The little chambers that the jacket has only has so many of these and that is why it worried me. I would have been fine if it stopped after a month or two but it continued.

Edited by bpeugh on 02/10/2012 14:24:26 MST.

Brett Ayer

Locale: Virginia
I think you will be fine on 02/10/2012 15:31:49 MST Print View

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Montbell.

I love my sleeping bags and Alpine Light Parka, and have not had a problem with them.

As for leaking, I have an Eddie Bauer lightweight down sleeping bag and it leaks down and has since new in 1978 :)

I think you will be fine.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Leakage of down feathers on 02/10/2012 16:42:33 MST Print View

In 2006, my UL down liner leaked feathers as did a sleeping bag from one of the big box manufacturers, but I was not that impressed with the warmth of either, so eBayed it a few months after buying it. Used the proceeds to buy a Feathered Friends Hyperion (made in Seattle) with Epic shell and have lost one or 2 feathers since 2006 using it in the field and in the city. Same with my Western Mountaineering sleeping bags. Have a Patagonia down hoody that hasn't leaked either. It's all in the quality control for only a few bucks more. If a company is going to cut corners manufacturing overseas, paying their workers peanuts, ask yourself: where else are they going to cut corners??

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
EB on 02/11/2012 01:16:10 MST Print View

bought an EB downlight for a friend ... it leaked down after awhile

we brought into a EB store with no receipt ... they just gave her a new one

some of the "popular" companies on here may not have the best customer service ... while other ones that may be scorned by some have a no questions asked replacement/refund guarantee ....

REI, MEC, OR, Lands End, EB, CD, etc ... are well known for making you happy ...

sometimes you have to ask yourself how much is a bit of weight or a certain popular brand here worth ....

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Leakage of down feathers on 02/11/2012 06:57:33 MST Print View

"Have a Patagonia down hoody that hasn't leaked either. It's all in the quality control for only a few bucks more. If a company is going to cut corners manufacturing overseas, paying their workers peanuts, ask yourself: where else are they going to cut corners??"

I would be surprised if Patagonia did any manufacturing in the US: as for Mont Bell, they manufacture in China but a lot of their stuff seems to be made in Japan - where workers get paid far more than "peanuts".

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Leaky down garments on 02/11/2012 09:24:46 MST Print View

All of my down items from multiple brands inevitably leak at least a couple feathers every now and then.

However, my one montbell item, the ul down pants, do seem to leak significantly more feathers than the others. Not so much through the fabric as along the seams, especially the inner inseam. It's like the stitching is a little loose or something. There's pretty much always a few feathers poking out along the seams.

It hasn't been bad enough for me to be concerned yet or do anything about it, but it's certainly noticeable and hasn't left me impressed with the workmanship of the montbell down goods. We'll see what happens in the long run...

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Leaky down garments on 02/11/2012 09:42:33 MST Print View

Interesting. I have had a UL Down Inner Jacket since 2008 that has literally been used and abused for a a couple hundred nights. It just gets stuffed around, used a a pillow, etc, and I have never seen the first feather come out of it. I also have a Mont-Bell UL Down Snap Vest, UL Down Pants, and UL Alpine Light Parka that don't get used quite as much but have never leaked any down either.

I do have a RAB Mircolight, and a Nunatak Skaha that do leak down ever now and then. In fact out of all of my down gear quilts and sleeping bags included, the Mont-Bell stuff is the only gear that I have not seen leak the occasional feather.

Did you not have a problem with Western Mountaineering as well? It may very well just be bad luck, but those are two UL companies with very good reputations that you have had issues with.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
da heck with montbell on 02/11/2012 10:37:41 MST Print View

like others, i find down super susceptible to surface damage.
i usually duct tape any small holes
(those not easily repairable through needle & thread)
before they erupt into a down flurry.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Montbell, Montane, Patagonia, etc... on 02/11/2012 12:52:36 MST Print View

@D W

More about satisfaction than country of origin, though most of the brands I've been satisfied with and stuck with with are US-based. Not all, as my Patagonia tags say Asia and central American, maybe my new Montane too - haven't checked. It's more about performance after hiking and backpacking for close to 2 decades .. and not being an early adapter I just barely got into dyneema packs in 2012 after watching everyone else test them for the past 10 years. The next question is whether 2020's or 2030's will be the decade of cuben fiber for me...

Everyone has a personal preference and their own budget limits - I just do not like having to eBay an item after 1 or 2 unsatisfied uses.