Rating: 5 / 5
I've combined the Montbell U.L. ThermaWrap Inner Vest (only 5.2oz) with a Montbell Wind Blast Anorak while wearing a cotton T-shirt and cotton sweatshirt. Clearly with all that cotton (the "death fabric" as someone else called it in a Post a year or so ago), I wasn't doing any hiking. Only waiting outside to be picked up by a friend. Waited for approximately 20 minutes and alternated between sitting down on a bench and slowly walking around the parking lot in 26 deg weather - only my arms felt cold. The vest and Anorak kept my torso warm with no sensation whatsoever of coolness. I don't understand how an insulating garment as thin as the Thermawrap U.L. Inner Vest could have kept me as warm (not hot = no sweating while slowly walking) as it did.
Also, the 15denier fabric with Montbell's "standard" DWR finish has a very nice feel to it. I wear a 40 extra-short suit (40 is the chest size, not the waist size); a size medium vest fits fine - it's very slightly snug over the sweatshirt/T-shirt combo mentioned above.
The vest's zipper has yet to snag and is easy to operate. It's NOT the Montbell "hidden" zipper, and so, in my experience, operates much easier than the "hidden" style zipper - both initially engaging the two sides of the zipper and zipping/unzipping it.
The collar has a nice "chameece" fleece lining - feels very nice on the neck.
While I haven't needed it yet, i could imagine that some might desire more loft for more warmth. If this is the case, Montbell has another, somewhat similar vest, just called an "05 Thermawrap Vest" without the "U.L." designation of this vest. To my mind however, if it's cold enough for more loft in a vest, then my arms would be too cold, so i'd opt for an inner jacket instead of the vest. Furthermore, accepting this vest vs. jacket observation and considering the warmth that this vest's synthetic insulation provides, as well as its 5.2 oz weight, i wonder why i would ever use a more expensive down vest?
My naive guess is that the "inner" designation, besides indicating that the vest is normally worn under another garment (e.g. an uninsulated shell), might, in part, have something to do with the very delicate 15 denier fabric that the vest is made from, but that's just a guess on my part. I always wear a windshell/jacket over it to protect the delicate material the vest is made from.
Since it's an "inner" vest, it has no pockets. Worn/Used as intended, pockets, if it had them, would be inaccessible. Even though it's an "inner" vest, it is treated with a "standard" DWR (?? perhaps just in case a windshell/jacket wets through???).
At this point, this vest gets a 5. Just on principle, if decimal scores were permitted, i'd give it a 4.9 since there is always room for improvement. However, having said that, i can't offer any suggestion as to how this vest could be improved.
Note: if i've created more questions than i've answered with this review, Post to Forums and i'll reply to it.