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Reader Reviews

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Montbell Thermawrap jacket

in Clothing - Insulating - Synthetic (Polarguard, Primaloft, etc.)

Average Rating
4.92 / 5 (13 reviews)

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William Siemens
( alaskaman )
Montbell Thermawrap jacket on 11/05/2005 21:16:06 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I really like my they say, about the weight of a t-shirt..I checked on my kitchen scales, and it is true. And so much warmer...I don't know how they do it, because there's not a lot of loft there...but it is EXTREMELY wind-proof, that's part of it. Bottom line is, I don't know what Montbell thinks is the coldest you can wear it comfortably, but its winter here in Alaska, and it is just fine down in the teens for me. And only 8.8 oz, a tiny stuff sack. Only issues, due to the tightly woven fabric, it can feel a bit clammy in humid conditions...and because it derives its warmth (IMO) from windproofness rather than loft, it does not add as much warmth inside a sleeping bag as a down garment would. But for lightness, resistance to dampness, warmth and windproofing, it is really a marvel. Bill

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Women's priced at: $98.95
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Men's priced at: $72.47 - $144.95
Scott Peterson
( scottalanp )

Northern California
Comfort is King on 01/10/2006 22:51:12 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I find myself wearing the Montbell UL Thermawrap jacket in the office when the heat is not working properly. I find myself grabbing it when it is gray and rainy out and I need to run errands. And all the while, going inside to out and wet to dry, I do not feel clammy or too hot, or chilly. The only thing I think about while wearing it is..."am I going to wear this thing out wearing it so much?".

This was my first clothing purchase with weight as the primary selling feature. I had no idea I would be able to save a ton of weight(and space) over my other layer options and actually end up with something that is so nice to wear.

I do not sense an inordinate delicacy with the fabric. Obviously sharps or granite will not be forgiving, but my epic fabric tent seems to be the same.

The only caviat would be sizing. I am not sure any big folks are going to find a good fit. At 6 feet 175 I find I just fit the large...which means that much past 6'2" or a 38 inch waist you are probably no longer a candidate for anything Montbell makes???

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Women's priced at: $98.95
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Men's priced at: $72.47 - $144.95
Shop Comfort products at GearBuyer
paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Looks can be deceiving... on 01/11/2006 03:34:17 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

...this jacket is SO much warmer than it looks.

Minimalist on features, but "maximist" on warmth, and it doesn't look half bad to boot.

Every bit as good as the ThermaWrap vest, but it keeps your arms warm too (cf. see review of the Thermawrap vest here which contains more details

Would it keep me warm down into the mid-to-uper teens like a prev. reviewer wrote? I don't know, but I have used the sleeveless ThermaWrap vest under an unisulated Anorak shell and, other than my arms, was warm at 26 deg F for 20 minutes. So, the jacket would do as well and most likely a bit better. Upper teens for me...hmm...i'd "gamble" on that for a weekend trek.

I can only compare it to the BMW Cocoon Pullover. The Cocoon is ~0.3oz lighter (based upon Mfr. claimed weights for size M) and is warmer, IME (in my experience). Just for fun (yeah...i sure know how to party!!!), i tried them one-after-another outside, Thermawrap first (perhaps(?), a slight advantage) for twenty minutes. some wind, but not windy, nor calm (sorry, i don't know the wind speed - i haven't bought one of those gizmo's yet). Temp was ~28 deg. 20 minutes standing around & walking slowly, checking out birds and plants in the back yard, and watching the squirrels forage and the stray cats stalk them. Face was feeling, not cold, but was feeling the cold. Body and arms were warm. Felt like I could wear this all day. Was careful not to move too much and overheat. Went in and changed. Now the Cocoon; every bit as good as the Thermawrap Jacket - probably better/warmer - my very subjective impression. I know, not much of a test. Haven't done much cold weather trekking this winter (sprained right knee). All i know is that i wouldn't want to do much on the move hiking with either of these - overheat too easily that's for sure. Obviously, if they had to be worn while on-the-go due to very cold temps, the full-zip of the ThermaWrap would help expel more warm air than the half-zip of the Cocoon pullover though.

If you need a full-zip jacket, then the Montbell is the way to go. If you want something warmer, or prefer pullovers and Anoraks to jackets (like i do) then the BMW Cocoon is your choice. Either way, you can't go wrong.

Shop Cocoon, Felt products at GearBuyer
Mark Verber
( verber )

San Francisco Bay Area
Would be better with Variable Insulation on 01/15/2006 22:10:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

A simple, light weight layering piece. Full zip to make it easy to take on and off. The shell is fairly windproof. The collar seals well and has a comfortable micro fleece liner. There are no pockets.

I have found that the thermawrap jacket + a light base layer is comfortable (if not a bit too warm) down to around 30F when I am moderately active (walking at a slow pace on level ground). When the temp started to approach 20F I found my shoulder starting to get cold while the rest of my body was comfortable. I think the jacket would be perfectly balanced if it has a bit more insulation around the shoulders.


For several years I have carry a thermawrap vest, an unlined windshirt and a r.5 base to suppliment my light weight hiking shirt on three-season trips. I found this would keep me adaquately warm down to 20F if I was moderately active (walking at a slow pace or doing some sort of camp chore). On a few trips my arms had gotten chilled. I have a Patagonia Micro Puff Pull Pullover, but it's just too warm for many of these trips. I picked up the thermawrap jacket because I thought that I could switch the r.5 and vest out for the jacket, save a bit of weight and space, and keep my arms warmer.

But it didn't work out that way. I found that my hiking shirt + windshirt + thermawrap jacket felt a bit warmer (almost too warm) than the r.5 + vest + windshirt down to around 30F. But when the temp got down to 20F I found that my shoulders were feeling chilled with the jacket. I would rather have my arms periodically feeling chilled than my upper body always feeling chilled at this temp.

So it's back to the vest and either my r.5 or a montbell inner fleece. I do continue to use the thermawrap jacket as a layer than goes above the vest in weather down to 0F. It's just about perfect for that. These days, my Micro Puff almost never comes on trips because the combination of the Thermawrap Vest and Jacket give me a huge comfort range.

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Kevin Land
( fishwich )

Pacific Northwest
One great jacket! on 02/18/2006 19:33:23 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I purchased this jacket in January of this year.I live in the wet but slightly warmer pacific northwest and never thought I would get to use it on a cold (teens and 20's with minus windchills)winter week(this never happens for us very often).This jacket is outstanding for wind resistance and warmth for the weight.I wore it on a 15 mile day hike in the Columbia River Gorge(temps in low 30's)and overheated many times even on level terrain.This jacket has definitely earned a place in my pack and is coming with me on my thru hike of Washington on the PCT this summer.This Montbell Thermawrap UL packs down so small you hardly know it's there! I was concerned with thin material when it arrived but it holds up very well and the quality of the jacket is outstanding(I own a Montbell Alpinelight #3 sleepingbag with same exterior material and it seems very durable).All in all this jacket was a great purchase and makes most all my fleece and other jackets obsolete.I will review it again after my summer trip and let you know how it performed.

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obx hiker
( obxcola )

Outer Banks of North Carolina
the emperors new jacket on 02/25/2006 16:32:31 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

William Siemens has it right about wind-resistance being a key. This jacket is wonderfully wind resistant. The Northern Outer Banks of NC can be an incredibly cold place due to the combination of wind and moisture laden air ( which is somehow different than relative humidity ) a 45 degree day around here when the wind is up and it's on the wet side can feel like about 20 or colder out west, and this jacket is the lighest, softest most comfortable I can imagine, like the emperors new jacket! ( invisible! ) I've owned mine now for nearly 2 years. I'm very careful with it but it's like new. The fabric has proven a lot tougher than it might seem.

I also think Mark Verber is on to something about the potential temperature range layering with the vest.As he puts it "Thermawrap Vest and Jacket give me a huge comfort range "

I'm comfortable wearing it walking under a montane shell with a smartwool light zip t to 25 anyway, and that translates to much colder in dryer or less windy environs.

The biggest reason I wear the Montane shell is for the hood and the great chest pocket. More manufactures/designers ought to copy that pocket design; it's excellent! And while I digress on pockets let me add that the rear pockets on shorts and pants made by Solstice out of Portland Oregon are also the VERY best! They are large and allow you to carry stuff kinda hanging out under your butt completely out-of the way but easy to get to instead of bouncing off your thigh or or poking out of your side bugging you with every step, especially going up-hill or through tight spots or brush. ) I hate those bellows style cargo pockets! Anyway........

Imagine the temp range with the vest, jacket and new parka! 50 + to what? 30 below with one piece or any 2 layered? This jacket layered under the new parka Which I believe also has thicker insulation (80 g/m2) Exceloft, vs (60 g/m2) Exceloft,). Might even make a safe enough ultralight belay jacket for good weather summit climbs like Ranier in the summer at a total weight of less than 21 oz in the medium or @ 24 large. It's also a lot safer for wet conditions.

But the best part that is hard to describe is how light and soft and cozy it feels... hmmmmmmm

Edited by obxcola on 02/25/2006 17:39:35 MST.

Robert Stanek
( rstanek )

Southeast, Atlanta, GA
Superb warmth for the weight on 12/24/2006 19:21:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I own both the vest and jacket and love both pieces. Excellent quality and styling.

Enables me to take both in cold weather, and still weighs less than most other jackets by themselves.

A bit pricey and hard to find for less than retail, but if your persisitent, it can be done.

That being said, I absolutely love MOntbell products.

Shop Montbell products at GearBuyer
Sam Haraldson
( sharalds )

Gallatin Range
Maximum warmth for minimum weight on 01/21/2007 12:00:58 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket has been with me on two excursions and has been my key piece of insulating gear around town all winter.

Wear a baselayer and the Thermawrap for a vigorous hike or pair it with two bases and a fleece or shell for stading still.

It packs to the about 6" x 8" and paired with the U.L. Pants and a quilt is still smaller volume than most sleeping bags.

Quality construction with low profile zippers and seams. The jacket is no-frills yet still has deep pockets sewed in a way that keeps your stuff inside them while you're sitting.

I rate the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap a 5 of 5

Beth Correira
( Beth )

Beautiful New England!
Montbell Thermawrap on 02/01/2007 14:24:40 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I purchased the ladies version of this jacket and love it! It is lofty, super warm, super lightweight, repels wind and light rain, and dries quickly. Here in the northeast, it has been rather cold. I've actually worn this jacket running at night in temps around 0F with great results. The jacket kept me warm. When it starts to get a bit humid on the inside, it dries within a few minutes. Outstanding product.

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David Neumann
( idahomtman - M )

Northern Idaho
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket on 02/01/2007 22:40:54 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've had this jacket a few years and it never ceases to amaze me. It is feather light, warm, wind resistant, and a great safety item for me. Down does pack a little more warmth, but I feel this item provides a margin of safety if my other insulation gets wet. Expensive, but worth it and if you look hard you can usually beat the retail price.

Michele Mason
( bianchilvr )
Thermawrap Jacket on 05/27/2007 18:30:51 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Purchased in 2005
Size Small
Weight 8.6 oz without stuff sack

This is my insulating piece of my clothing system. It is incredibly light and incredibly warm. The velvety collar is a nice comfortable touch. This jacket packs down small. I don't wear it while hiking, but it is great for rest stops and evenings in camp.

Things I like

Very warm for the weight
Packs down very small

Things I don't like

Don't need stuff sack

Craig W.
( xnomanx - M )
Great Jacket on 05/15/2008 20:56:20 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

A great jacket- my XL weighs in at just over 10 oz. with its stuff sack.
Very simple, functional design- perfect for 3 seasons in the Sierras when combined with a base layer and/or shell system.

Brian Lewis
( brianle )

Pacific NW
Two thru-hikes now, going on three ... on 08/10/2010 08:23:57 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

For 3-season backpacking, my thermawrap jacket is my sole insulation layer, coupled in some limited cases with a thermawrap vest. It's just a fantastic piece of clothing in terms of both weight and bulk. I carried a thermawrap jacket along the entire PCT in 2008 and for the whole AT in 2010, and loved having it the whole way.

On the AT I did begin to have zipper issues; my version of the Thermawrap jacket was bought in 2006 I believe, and at that point Montbell was trying to be fashionable, or perhaps lightweight thermally efficient (heck, maybe both) by using a sort of "disappearing zipper". The problem with that, for me at least, was that part of the actual zipper mechanism was plastic, and this ultimately snapped leaving me to have to fiddle a fair bit to get it to zip up.

But I mailed it back to Montbell this year (2010) with an explanation and they replaced the zipper (with a clearly better zipper of the type they use now) and sent it back at no charge; given that this was 4 years after purchase and after I had used the jacket a great deal, that seemed like pretty darned good customer service to me.

I should give a caveat on my "thru-hike" use of the thermawrap jacket: for the early part of the AT and in fact perhaps for part of the CDT next year the thermawrap jacket will be at home while I use a thermawrap vest plus a Montbell Alpinelight down parka. But I nevertheless have a lot of backpacking days use with the thermawrap jacket and anticipate many many more to come.

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