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Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams
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Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/19/2012 05:58:35 MDT Print View

Noticed this on Outdoorsmagic:

The stand-out item is the Montane Minimus Smock - which is claimed to weigh just 143g.

It's also made of Pertex Shield +, which is the more breathable iteration.

Related question - why isn't BPL reporting from Friedrichshafen?

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/19/2012 07:16:37 MDT Print View

I recently put my hands on this and tried it on - very nice piece IMO. I do think that the Pertex Shield+ has a nice hand and despite not really breathing like the magical membranes, is a good fabric nonetheless for UL BPing pieces. I look forward to seeing this released in the fall - thanks for bringing this up!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Minimus Smock et al on 07/20/2012 21:35:55 MDT Print View

Between the Montane Minimus Smock (5oz), Westcomb Focus LT (7oz) and Haglofs Gram Comp Pull (7oz), there's going to be some really nice rain jackets for this fall (Focus) and next summer. All of these use better membranes that the PU ones found on most UL rainwear.

Montane Minimus Smock (5oz/143g) = Pertex Shield+
Westcomb Focus LT (7oz, 195g) = eVent DVL
Haglofs Gram Comp Pull (7oz, 200g) = Goretex Active Shell.

The Focus LT looks the most promising to me. It supposedly offers a nice long 'full cut' instead of the 'abbreviated' fit of most UL jackets. It's the only one of these three with a full zip, eVent and velcro wrists.

The Haglofs Gram Comp Pull looks like have really nice fabric and hopefully has the great cut of the Ozo it replaces, but it looks like the [highly desired by me] thumb loops are gone. Great jacket, but unless the fit is amazing there's not many reasons to buy it over the likely cheaper Focus LT.

The Minimus Smock is the true lightweight champ and it does have that huge belly pocket for your maps. My wife has the regular womens Minimus Jacket and I have the Minimus rain pants. We've both been quite happy with them so far (quite limited use). The face fabrics are nice, but the actual membrane on the inside looks quite thin. Hard to say how long it will hold under pack straps etc. Appears to have non-adjustable hood, unlike the other two jackets. Likely the best choice for a rarely used jacket, but for 2oz more you can get a lot with one of the other coats.

Haglofs Gram Comp Pull:

Westcomb Focus LT:

Edited by dandydan on 07/20/2012 21:44:12 MDT.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/21/2012 01:01:58 MDT Print View

"I recently put my hands on this and tried it on - very nice piece IMO. I do think that the Pertex Shield+ has a nice hand and despite not really breathing like the magical membranes, is a good fabric nonetheless for UL BPing pieces. I look forward to seeing this released in the fall - thanks for bringing this up!"

Do you mind me asking where you got to try it on? Was it a trade show?

I'd like something genuinely breathable to carry in my bike panniers for when rain gets uncomfortable heavy/steady, so something this light would be good - Pertex claim that Shield+ is as breathable as eVent, is that what you have found? (and I have to say that unless it's quite cold, I don't really find eVent breathable enough when cycling anyway).

Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Minimus Issues on 07/21/2012 06:29:18 MDT Print View

I am on my second Minimus Jacket. The first one I wore around town a lot for over a year and used on three weekend hiking trips, including one flooded trip where I experienced eleven inches of rain in less than 24 hours! The fabric, especially around the shoulders would wet through more than I thought it should, not just under the straps. Ultimately, the fabric delaminated. I sent photos to Montane who confirmed the problem and concluded that I must have some defective fabric and recommended that I return the jacket to the retailer for a refund which I did.

However, the jacket is so darn comfortable (I bought one size up) and light that I used the refund to buy another. I have several Montane products and hope that my experience with the Minimus Pertex Shield was an aberration. I haven't had the replacement jacket long enough to be able to evaluate it yet but I will post my results in time.

In September I am hiking for four days in the Cascades and am debating whether to take the Minimus or my Rab Event Smock. The Minimus is so much lighter and compact but I am not sure whether I should take the chance to test gear then or to take the proven performance of my Rab smock.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
warranty on 07/21/2012 11:45:47 MDT Print View

one thing i would not do is buy one of these UL jackets without a killer no questions asked warranty ... while i suspect fabrics have improved, IMO youre still taking a decent chance with these low denier fabrics ... whether its delamination or abrasion, there are too many stories i hear about these UL jackets having a few issues

i own and use an OR helium so im definately not against them ... but the i have an absolute no questions asked even if i get mauled by bears warranty ... OR will still take care of it ... some of these other manufacturers may not have such

when in doubt, buy it from REI or backcountry

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Pertex Sheild on 07/21/2012 13:05:25 MDT Print View


If you used that first Minimus jacket for over a year, then I think it would be the older version of the Minimus that used the regular Pertex Shield membrane instead of newer Pertex Shield+. So it's possible the delamination issue is now fixed.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Pertex Sheild on 07/21/2012 13:21:27 MDT Print View

I tried the Jacket on today and it looked very nice, but the lack of pockets put me off.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
Re: re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/21/2012 17:49:35 MDT Print View

Hi DW,

Per the norm, my watched threads here usually don't get forwarded to me...irregardless I found your question in the mix.

I tried the Minimus SMOCK on here directly from a friendly Montane rep in the states. IIRC, the HH breathablility ratings are 20,000mm for Pertex+ which as you may know doesn't mean all that much. Hydrostatic head ratings are decent comparisons among PU membranes, but arguably antiquated compared to CFM. It is CFM that you probably want (eVent=0.1CFM and NeoShell=0.5CFM) vs PU membranes (GoreTex, Shield+ etc = 0.0CMF) that essentially rely on wicking, not air permeability. If eVent is not breathing well enough for you, then NeoShell is your only true option I believe.

Somebody please correct me if my numbers/ideas are off, as I'm not cross referencing this info.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/21/2012 18:51:35 MDT Print View


You correctly referenced the numbers provided in the recent Polartec marketing literature. I lab tested a few eVent jackets last year; the light-face-fabric versions averaged .54 CFM and the best I tested was .84 CFM. Also, last year Will R. published an article, based on his subjective tests, in BPL, where he concluded they had similar breathability while hill climbing a fixed course.

Backpacking averages 7 MET and only aggressive venting options will typically expel the resultant body moisture for either membrane type at that exertion level. If you are an average in-town user, either membrane is typically adequate to expel the body moisture without aggressive venting.

Edited by richard295 on 07/21/2012 18:53:18 MDT.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
Re: Re: re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/21/2012 19:37:55 MDT Print View


Thanks as always for your info, it is greatly appreciated!

I have owned and used most of these membranes for high exertion activities and I have found NeoShell to win IMO. Its even *noticeably* more breathable than my eVent jackets, which are marginally more breathable than my PU based pieces. Anecdotal evidence, I do realize, but lots of personal use all the same. As for average town use or lower exertion levels, I agree that nearly any WP/B will suffice. I believe that's why Gore-Tex has won for so many years and will probably continue to do so - most avg users find it to work fine in mostly avg situations. But I can personally attest to all season mountain use where eVent and NeoShell have won in my book. I also realize there is probably no holy grail in WP/B, especially when it comes to hard use in wet weather.

Disclosure: None of these companies pay me, nor am I under obligation to say anything about the products I use/buy/test - I just use what works best for my given application. Currently this is eVent and NeoShell. Taken all with grains of salt...

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Disclosure on 07/21/2012 20:50:56 MDT Print View

Im confused about your disclosure comment. What are you disclosing? Do you work in the industry or something?

Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Re: Pertex Sheild on 07/22/2012 12:47:16 MDT Print View

Dan, Thanks. I did not know that there was a change or improvement in Pertex Shield.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 07/23/2012 04:39:05 MDT Print View

"Per the norm, my watched threads here usually don't get forwarded to me...irregardless I found your question in the mix."

No probs.

Well, if it's raining when I leave home then I wear my Paramo Velez - it's far and away the most effective waterproof I have. The problem with it is that it's otherwise too warm. I have a Montane Air eVent jacket, but even with that I get sweat inside. It is however better than my old Paclite jackets which are basically plastic bags.

Which leads me to the eVent DVL: hopefully this will be the solution ... but those little rubber nubs on the DVL bring back bad memories of first gen paclite ...

What I really want is a Dryskin cycling jacket, but there just don't seem to be any around.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: re: Montane Minimus SMOCK - 143 grams on 11/04/2012 04:30:00 MST Print View

Pictures of the Gram Comp

Also interested in the Windstopper one.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
westcomb features? on 11/07/2012 06:07:21 MST Print View

has anybodyput their hands on one? to me it also seems worth while (as @dan durston pointed out) to pay the price of 50 grams for velcro cuffs, fuller cut and full zip....

how does the hood here cinch? has anybody seen a picture from the back? is it a well made "storm" type hood?

is the hem just elastic or does it really cinch?

any experience?


Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Jackets on 11/07/2012 09:01:32 MST Print View

I'm interested in the Westcomb Focus LT, but I'm wary of 2.5 layer materials. I've been disappointed in their durability in the past. My Marmot Mica started peeling after about a year of moderate use, despite the pretty design printed on the membrane that was alleged to magically quadruple its durability. I use a 0.33 oz cuben quilt and a 0.51 oz cuben tarp, and I'm happy to treat lightweight gear gently and accept that it won't last a lifetime, but 2-layer and "2.5 layer" WPB materials are a flawed idea, in my opinion. I think a sub-10oz 3-layer event jacket is possible (the Spektr needs a redesign to be practical, I think). I'll wait for that rather than invest in the Westcomb Focus LT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Durability of 2.5 layers on 11/07/2012 13:01:20 MST Print View

I'll agree that historically 2.5 layers haven't faired that well. My Marmot Essence is starting to bubble after 3 years. However, I don't think there's anything fundamental about the 2.5 layer concept that is causing this, but rather the adhesives for bonding nylon to PU/PTFE haven't been that great from a few popular makers (most notably Marmot).

Because the Focus LT is using an eVent product (eVent DVL) and I have a lot of respect for eVent (compared to any other WP/B maker), I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt that they've done a good job bonding the membrane to the shell. Waiting a few years to see how things actually turn out would be ideal, but as it is I'd rather run the risk it only lasts a few years rather than adding a bunch of bulk/weight for a 3 layer shell.

I think CampSaver is going to have these in stock any time now, and you can use a 20% off coupon there pretty easily (ie. sign up for newsletter).

Nathan Stuart

Locale: Hunter Valley - Australia
eVent on 11/07/2012 20:06:55 MST Print View

There's a heap of us Aussies that purchased Montane Air eVent jackets on a great clearance sale earlier this year. A few of the user's have reported issues with delamination very early on. I'm pretty sure they were replaced under warranty but it shouldn't happen. Now mines fine and I cannot see any issues.

Just thought that you should know that eVent has/can have it's fair share of delamination issues as well.

Even so it's my pick in a WPB shell

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
cinch hem and pockets on 11/09/2012 10:51:48 MST Print View

hmmmm - these all seem like great choices.

I see the Montane smock isnt on their website yet...but the minimus jacket is 215g so I guess at the end of the day the diff in weight is more due to design (smock vs jkt) rather than the actual materials used in the minimus vs others? am i missing something?

RE features - im a bit partial to "storm" features on hardshells - it seems silly to save maybe 15g and forgo hem cinch and sleeve velcro....when you put these things on it usually means that weather is foul and windy...

Also - 60g diff btw a smock and the minimus jacket...hmmmm I love the full zip and ventilation options it gives -and also the option to drape it over something (end of sleeping bag for instance) if i need some protection...

Of course if i had 350USD to spare i would buy both