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Reader Reviews

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Montbell UL Down Inner Jacket

in Clothing - Insulating - Down

Average Rating
5.00 / 5 (12 reviews)

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Mitchell Keil
( mitchellkeil )

Deep in the OC
Montbell UL Down Inner Jacket on 08/29/2005 15:05:58 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I am reviewing these two items as a paired offering.


In size Large the jacket weighs in at a light 8.12 oz and the pants at an equally light 7.5 oz. I am 6'3" and weigh 175lbs. The size large fits me perfectly with the pants being, if anything, a little long. The loft is the same for both at 1.15 inches. the stitching is sewn through, uniform and tight. the 725 fill white down is held in individual compartments of approximately 2 inches square. I have observed no down leakage in the pants and only a minor amount in the jacket, not enough to be of concern. The jacket and pants are completely wind proof. The jacket has 7 snaps with two at the neck to form a standup collar as well as a shirt tail back that drops the back about 2 inches longer than the front. The pants have a zipper fly and snap at the waist to accompany a drawstring.. Elastic at the pant cuffs and jacket sleeve cuffs comfortably cinch those openings.
They are also coated with a DWR that is marginal at best. Good for the ocassional splash or drip.
I have used these two items in temps down to the low 20's in the Sierras. I can't tell you how comfortable I have been when gettng into camp and changing out of my hiking clothes and into these down PJ's. The usual camp activities like preparing food, sitting for an extended period reading, walking around, stretching out on my mat to watch the stars until 10pm or so is made so much more pleasurable when you are not shivering. The Montbell folks have a real winner in the jacket and pants. If you combine them with a set of IBEX wool undies, one can easily get down to the teens and use this UL Down set to make even light summer sleeping bags true shoulder season sleepers. These two would certainly make a good 3 season bag a candidate for all but the most hardcore winter use.
They also layer well under my PreCip top and bottom when things turn inclement around camp. (I would not hike in them or work up a sweat. Not good for the down!)

How small is small? I have these two stuffed into a single XS Granite Gear stuff sack and cranked down to the size of a large grapefruit. Do that with fleece or any other layer you might care to pack. I have even stuffed these two in with my sleeping bag and the whole thing still fits a small Granite Gear stuffer.

Final Thoughts:
Are these two down pieces of apparrel worth the cost. ABSOLUTELY!! Because one can create a plethora of combinations of sleeping bag and these UL garments over a large temperature range, the packer owning these garments can really feel comfortable that he has the ability to handle anything nature can throw at him short of the afore-mentioned rain issue while walking or exerting oneself.

If rain is of concern then turn to the equally well made Montbell Thermawrap jacket and pants. Heavier (slightly) and definitely not as compressible but then rain will not be an issue.

Edited by ryan on 08/30/2005 21:59:00 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Women's priced at: $98.95
Montbell UL Down Inner Pants - Women's priced at: $150.00
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Men's priced at: $72.47 - $144.95
Shop Granite Gear, Ibex, These, USE products at GearBuyer
James Pitts
( jjpitts )

Midwest US
This is "MY JACKET" on 01/06/2007 18:03:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I love this thing. It's one of my favorite pieces of insulation. It's very light, super well built, and very warm. I have the new model with the front pockets ("handwarmers") and they are quite the luxury. I toss this over my sleeping bag at night when it gets cold like a "quilt" or wrap it around my neck like a draft collar.

DO NOT go near anything that makes sparks. The material is very thin and melts instantly leaving a hole. I wear my Drop Stoppers jacket over the Down Inner Jacket around a campfire.

Also, you will lose a little down now and then. DO NOT tug at it. The stuff comes out like Kleenex... I stip it off and push the down back into the hole. This is, in my opinion, to be expected in a jacket of this weight.

I have the MonteBell Vest that is basically the same as this jacket. Both are total winners in my book.

Look for them to go on closeout. You'll save a ton.

Lynn Tramper
( retropump )

The Antipodes of La Coruna
Perfect UL jacket on 01/08/2008 14:32:03 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I can't add a lot more to what the others have said except to add my vote. With the 2008 addition of zipper and handwarmer pockets this jacket now lacks for nothing in the 3-season warmth department

Edited by retropump on 07/20/2008 23:04:36 MDT.

Margaret Snyder
( jetcash )

Southern Arizona
The Furnace on 01/13/2008 18:59:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My girlfriend christened this jacket "the furnace." It is super toasty and super light. I love to let people try it on so they see how light it is. The zipper cover by your chin is a nice touch. The sleeves could be a bit longer, but I'm a tall freak of nature. Overall, I love this jacket!

Derek Cox
( derekcox )

Great Jacket on 02/24/2008 20:57:36 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Packs small. Very light. Fits great. Soft material. Keeps me warm down to about 40 degrees over just a t-shirt. Full zip is very handy and pockets are a great touch. Absolutely nothing but good things to say about this jacket.

Ryan Gardner
( splproductions - M )

Salt Lake City, UT
Great piece of gear! on 03/07/2008 21:25:24 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I love this jacket. My size large weighs in at 7.2 ounces. So far I haven't noticed any real down leakage. It is so light that when I toss it it "floats". It also packs nice and small.

The times when this jacket really feels warm is when you put it on and the wind is blowing. It blocks wind exteremely well.

The few downsides to this jacket are fairly minor.

1) If you are tall and skinny, you will have to end up dealing with a big bulky chest in order to have the sleeves and body length long enough. If your body shape is a little more "normal" (whatever that is) sizing shouldn't be as big of a deal.

2) The bottom of the jacket has no elastic stetchy hem on it (unlike the Alpine Light jacket, and I think the Thermawrap). This means it doesn't hug your waist unless you are an exact fit. This can result in some cold air influx depending on your movement.

3) The zipper can get caught in the fabric if you don't pay attention. I've gotten used to watching when I zip it - it's no big deal for me.

A nearly flawless jacket! If it had the elastic hem I would give it a 5. Since it doesn't, I give it a 4.5.

Edited by splproductions on 03/07/2008 21:27:04 MST.

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Peter Atkinson
( sewing_machine )

Yorkshire, England
Ace bit of kit on 08/02/2008 07:27:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the perfect jacket for so many conditions and places.

With layering I wore it as my main warm wear whilst camping at 700m in winter on a col in Scotland, in snow and winds; it's also great to wear over a T shirt to go outside/to the pub on cool evenings.

No durability issues as yet. Pockets are great.

Ace bit of kit!

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Eric Fredricksen
( efredricksen )

Silicon Valley
Comfy cozy on 08/07/2008 13:06:35 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Fit is a bit loose around the body for a large, I think; other than that the amount of warmth it provides for so little weight is lovely.

(And there I am wearing it in my avatar picture.)

Edited by efredricksen on 08/07/2008 13:07:46 MDT.

gdinero senior
( gmoney )
Awesome gear on 08/21/2008 17:12:12 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've owned the MB UL Down Inner jacket for over two years and absolutely love this thing. Mine has snap closure system, and comes without the new pockets and zipper, and yet, I love it.

By itself, I am perfectly comfortable down to 40 in this jacket. Add a rain shell, I go lower. Add my micropuff vest, and I'm really happy in all of the 3 season conditions I find myself in.

Love it, love it, love it. The down makes me a little nervous in wet weather, and I wouldn't mind trading it in for the newer zipper/hand warmer model. But really, this is my go-to jacket on every trip.

James Lantz
( jameslantz )

North Georgia
Great insulating layer & sleep system adjunct on 02/21/2009 19:54:05 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is one of my most indispensible articles for cold weather backpacking. When coupled with a lightweight baselayer & a lightweight waterproof shell layer like the GoLite Virga, I have been warm in camp down to 17F. If you are a quilt afficionado as I am, this jacket is awesome when worn to bed. It also makes my usual 3 AM micturitional sojourn much more bearable! ;) Not only that, but just wait until you wear it in public. It gets noticed. I personally do not know of a lighter down jacket with a full zipper & pockets. Do not be fooled by its sewn thru quilting- it is warm & a great value! The only down side I have noticed is the static electricity generated by this thing. The friction of taking it off & then touching a metal ground will rock your world! :0

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Aaron Zuniga
( gliden2 )

Great Jacket! on 03/25/2009 15:44:20 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This thing really shines in soo many ways. It's slim fit keeps the core warm nicely preventing convective heat loss- great for boosting temps in your sleep system, and wearing during breaks-or cold evenings/mornings. My size L weighed in @ 7.8 oz with the stuff sack;This allows me to me to carry a lighter bag+which reduces my pack weight=Longer, happier days on the trail,with no sacrafice! Since it is a down inner jacket, it pairs nicely with a shell for when the weather turns nasty-I would highly recommend this jacket to anyone looking for a light, highly functional insulation layer.

Edited by gliden2 on 03/26/2009 14:42:05 MDT.

Zack Karas
( )

Lake Tahoe
Great for 2-season trips on 09/08/2009 09:42:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I picked up this jacket in 2003 and have used it for a PCT and CDT thruhike with zero problems. For the 5.5 oz that it weighs, I'm always impressed by the warmth it provides.

I does lose some feathers at the seams that prove difficult to pull back into the garment, but the quality is overall very good. I imagine I'll have this jacket for quite some time.

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