November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter

Reader Reviews

Add your own review

Montbell UL Down Inner Parka

in Clothing - Insulating - Down

Average Rating
4.38 / 5 (8 reviews)

Display Avatars Sort By:
John Haley
( Quoddy )

New York/Vermont Border
Montbell UL Down Inner Parka on 12/15/2008 14:40:51 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This is a perfect jacket, but the parka hood made me drop my score from a 5(+) to a 4. At 7.5oz for a Large, it's the lightest jacket I own, by far. Packs up smaller than a softball. Perfect over my Icebreaker Nomad on cold days, to break the chill on off-season mornings, or to wear inside a quilt. This one is snug, but big enough to wear over a fairly thick base layer, while being thin enough to fit under my athletic cut Mountain Hardware Beryllium Jacket. If it had an adjustable hood it would be PERFECT. For me, the natural fit around my face is too loose to preserve heat as it should, so I dropped the score.

Edited by Quoddy on 12/15/2008 14:46:32 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Nomad Snug - Women's priced at: $25.45
Shop Icebreaker, Montbell products at GearBuyer
Patrick Young
( lightingboy )

Great concept that needs refining. on 09/24/2009 08:23:48 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I agree with the poster above except my large weighed 8.9 oz. I found the hood not sealing well irritating and the loose fit around my waist letting heat out.

I'm a medium in every other company's clothing but this parka was tight around my 40" chest in a medium so I went large.

Was good for me down to low 20s F with the BPL Hoody and hooded windshirt.

Looks like Montbell took care of my complaints with the 2009 version.

Shop Montbell products at GearBuyer
Dan Durston
( dandydan )

Very Pleased on 09/30/2009 16:45:18 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I'm very pleased with my parka which is the new version that was released fall 2009. The adjustable wait hem is a plus since the cut of the waist is large, but I would be happy without this if they gave the parka a slimmer cut. I am 5'11" and 160lbs. The medium fits me pretty good but it could be an inch longer and tighter in the torso.

My medium weighs 8.5oz.

The hood adjusters are a pain. The adjusters reside in fabric sleeves and you need to manipulate them out of there to adjust the hood. This is process that is very difficult to do while wearing the parka. It's not a huge deal though because the hood fits well without adjustment so I would only be doing this if I am wearing it to bed for a really cold night.

The warmth is good. It's what I expected.

I'm impressed with the price of this jkt. It's very comparable to the Western Mountaineering flash jkt yet it is $95 cheaper. With the fall 2009 revisions came an increase in the amount of down from 2.1oz to 2.5oz which is appreciated.

Edited by dandydan on 12/19/2009 23:55:02 MST.

Matt Lutz
( citystuckhiker )

2009 changes put this jacket on top on 10/03/2009 09:24:47 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have a 2008 MB Inner down Parka, and I wish I would have waited until the 2009 models were released before hitting "submit order."

I have a size small, which weighs in at 7.2 oz. The jacket is warm, and is my go-to insulation piece in 3-season weather. In my 3-season clothing set, I can layer it over a S/S and L/S base layer and a windshirt. I could also fit it under a windshirt if necessary. It also works well underneath my hardshell. Because of the close cut, I cannot layer a puffy vest underneath.

What kept this jacket from being a five are a few features (or lack thereof) that have been corrected in the 2009 model. My biggest complaint is that there is no hood draw cord. Because the hood is large, it can fly off in wind. Second, the cut is boxy at the bottom. I have mostly corrected this by going with a small size, but it could be nice if the jacket was more form-fitting. Also, the jacket could use more insulation so it could be used more effectively in a parka/half-bag situation.

Will Reitveld, in his review of the WM Flash jacket, compared the MB inner down parka with the WM jacket and the Nunata Skaha plus. All are lightweight hooded down jackets. While the MB was the lightest and cheapest of the lot, it was also the coldest because it used less down than the other two.

The 2009 jacket adds features that are not present on prior model years. First, they narrowed the cut for a closer fit. Second, they added more down, up to 2.5 oz, to bring it close to the WM model, which has 3 oz. Third, they added a draw cord to the hood and bottom hem - all of which create more thermal efficiency by sealing off drafts.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Western Mountaineering Flash Jacket - Men's priced at: $280.00 - $290.00
Western Mountaineering Flash Jacket - Women's priced at: $280.00 - $290.00
Shop Western products at GearBuyer
Elena Lee
( lenchik101 )

Pacific Northwest (USA)
excellent parke don't look any further on 12/01/2009 22:43:02 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Ok, everyone has beef with the hood. I couldn't have honestly thought of one fault with the Montbell UL Parka before reading this thread.

Lightweight, warm, wind and water resistant- a perfect jacket! perhaps the hood works for me because i almost always wear mine under a shell which has an adjustable hood, and clinches my parka's close to the head. a second adjustment would be just a pain .. and even if i wear it alone that my head heads cold, i always wear a fleece hat underneath anyways. the hood just stretches over my face.

i used this jacket on a summer climb to Mt. Rainier and it was my ONLY down insulation over the top of polartect and other mid-layer fleeces. It Worked! Not mentioning Mt. Adams and Mt. St Helens, and a few snowshoeing winter trips, and each and every hiking trip.

Perhaps one of my most favorite pieces of gear, ranking out there with Evernew pots and Photon Freedoms...

I love this jacket... i now wish I could spend the $ for the FF Hyperiod as my next in line warmer winter layer.

Adam Frizzell
( adamf )

Down Inner Parka on 12/21/2009 11:15:03 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've gotten really good use out my MB parka. It's been my go to insulation piece for temps for to 30 degrees F. I have the newer version with the better DWR and cinch cords. The cut is great and my parka in a large weighs 9.1 oz. The cut is trim, but I can also easily fit an MB Thermawrap vest (also in large) under this parka for added torso insulation.
I think the hood is great and use it all the time. My only gripe is that, when I have hood pulled up while sleeping, the cord locks on the hood stab me in the cheek. Leads to 2 am grumbling and tossing around to find a better position. But, I believe I could just remove them, as I don't feel the need to ever cinch down the hood.
All in all, a great down insulating parka and a fairly decent price, comparatively.

Laural Bourque
( lauralbaby )

the hood is the point on 08/08/2011 21:54:56 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

What's the beef with the hood? I would have bought the jacket if I didn't want the hood, but I did want the hood, so I bought the Parka.

I've seen complaints that the women's doesn't have the same down fill as the men's, but it appears to me that the newest version does. At least when I tried the Men's S and Women's M on in the store, they were equally hot... just get whichever has a better fit for you.

So. The hood! The current hood is adjustable, which is very nice if layering hats. Or other hoods.

Lightweight and a great layer under a windshirt. (My windshirt also has a hood.) And if it's warm, it makes a very nice pillow.

Edited by lauralbaby on 08/08/2011 21:56:20 MDT.

Art Tyszka
( arttyszka )

2011 Version - Awesome on 12/17/2011 12:07:03 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I couldn't ask for more in a lightweight down insulating layer. The MB UL Down Inner Parka is awesome in every regard.

The fit of the XL is perfect for me and leaves plenty of room for a fleece layer underneath if need be. 6' - 200 lbs. I like the way the hood fits and it keeps plenty of warmth in.

This thing is like a furnace when I put it on, I'm instantly warm, and wasn't with a different synthetic puffy. I've worn it into the high 20's with nothing more than a Smartwool long sleeve mid-weight underneath and was fine.

It blocks the wind very well, and packs down to one of the lowest weights in its class.

I couldn't be happier with this parka and even wear it out and about in the Minnesota winters, it's "that" warm.

Shop SmartWool products at GearBuyer

Add your own review