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Montbell Thermawrap Vest

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

Average Rating
4.80 / 5 (10 reviews)

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Mark Verber
( verber )

San Francisco Bay Area
Montbell Thermawrap Vest on 08/02/2005 13:18:06 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

One of the lightest high loft synthetic vests on the market. It is lightly insulated which is ideal for three season trips when heavier vest or jackets would be too warm to be practical. The combination of this vest, a heavy base layer, hat, and windshirt keeps me comfortable down to 20F.

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Mark Larson
( mlarson )

Southeast USA
Enough and no more on 08/02/2005 20:58:52 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

No frills, just warmth. Not even much style, but it gets the job done. Other bonuses include snug armpit openings and a well-sized comfortable collar.

paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Light, Warm, and Priced Right. on 01/06/2006 19:22:08 MST Report Post Print

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.

Edited by pj on 01/07/2006 00:13:49 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell Down Vest - Men's priced at: $119.95
Montbell Down Vest - Women's priced at: $119.95
Robert Stanek
( rstanek )

Southeast, Atlanta, GA
A vest at 5.5 oz? Absolutely! on 12/24/2006 19:17:34 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Need I say more?

The stitching is excellent. It packs down tiny and allows me to take significant insulation for no weight or space penalty.

MontBell sizing can be a little funky, so be careful. My Medium vest fits much snugger than my Medium jacket. (great for layering them though).

It just doesn't get much lighter or smaller folks. Wish the price point would creep down a bit, hard to find them on sale.

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Sebastian Ventris
( sabme - M )

love it but could be warmer on 12/27/2006 13:45:29 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I know there's a fashion for 1/2 length zips but I like the full length one on this.
The insulation could have been stitched in place through the lining only and it could be warmer but some how I really love this item.
Packs down smaller, weighs less and looks nicer than the Paty Micro Puff Vest.

george carr
( hammer-one )

Walking With The Son
Worth every penny! on 02/10/2007 08:12:58 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've owned the Montbell Thermawrap UL Vest for 3 seasons now, and like many folks I puchased it to save weight. I originally carried a fleece vest that had trustily served me for many years, so I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised at the way this vest has surpassed my expectations.
I used this vest on New Years Day of 2006 to do the rollercoaster section of the AT and when paired with a midweight Capilene base layer it easily handled the 20 degree temps I started with in the morning. As the temperatures creeped into the 30's by midday, all that was required was to ventilate via the full front zip. I found that if I am inattentive (lazy?) during heavy exertion I never felt more than slightly clammy, but that was quickly remedied by adjusting the front zip. The UL Vest has completely replaced my old vest and I look forward to getting the UL Jacket next.

Edited by hammer-one on 02/10/2007 08:16:00 MST.

Matthew LaPatka
( gungadin - M )

Pittsburgh, PA
Fits snug, but it's very good on 12/15/2007 20:07:15 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Thermawrap vest has been an excellent addition to my summer, late spring, and early fall gear list. It weighs under 5.5 oz, provides some extra warmth when the temps. fall into the fifties (when nothing is too cool and a synthetic jacket would be too much). The Exceloft is quite compressible yet warm for the weight. The shell fabric can shrug off a light drizzle for a few minutes but is not as water-resistant as many other fabrics.
I really like how it is stripped to the bare essentials besides for having handwarmer pockets (they are well-placed and provide a nice boost of warmth for the hands). I appreciate how Montbell keeps their UL gear simple.
One word of caution (this is why it ranks a four from me): this garment's fit is odd. I have a 37.5" chest and wear smalls in most shirt companies' offerings, however the medium Thermawrap vest is just big enough for me to fit into without compressing the insulation. I could certainly not wear it over more than just a light base layer. Despite the snug fit, the arm holes are overly large. My arms are pretty skinny (I am 5'10, 150), yet cool air can work its way into the vest. To earn a five and be truly excellent, Montbell needs to align the torso size and arm hole size. This would increase the efficiency of the garment.
Despite the sizing issue, I really love this vest. The other Montbell insulation piece I have (a UL Down Inner jacket) fits more appropriately so perhaps they will figure this out in the update. The warmth it provides for cool evenings and mornings is well worth the 5.5 oz. "burden." It is one of the most important pieces I own.

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Adam Frizzell
( adamf )

Great on it's own or to supplement a cold weather set on 12/21/2009 11:20:06 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My Thermawrap vest has become a solid addition and I've found I've been able to use it to bolster my cold weather gear and well as use it for a light insulating layer in milder temps. My Thermawrap vest in large weighs 5.85 oz. and fits perfectly underneath my large MB Down Inner Parka. These two together (and a 200g wool baselayer) have taken me down to 18 degrees F around camp and while sleeping in a 32degreeF bag. I've also used it on that first cold morning mile to warm myself up for the rest of the hike.
If you can find it on sale, it makes it an even better buy. Great vest!

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Brian Lewis
( brianle )

Pacific NW
Great by itself or layered on 08/10/2010 08:15:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have a size medium Thermawrap jacket and a size large Thermawrap vest; I probably should have reversed those to be able to layer the vest under the jacket rather than over, but it actually works fine this way too.

I bought the vest to augment the jacket in the Sierras on a 2008 PCT thru-hike, but almost never used it as the jacket was warm enough.

I used the vest more this year thru-hiking the AT given an early start --- initially I coupled the vest with a Montbell Alpinelite down parka. The latter is so much more "beefy" insulation that the vest was a bit superfluous, but it nevertheless did help and in particular it was useful when walking in a lot of very cold wind and snow, layered over my windshirt.

Normally I can't walk with any sort of insulation layer on (I get too warm) but in these conditions the vest was a great layer option to be able to put on and take off.

I've never been much of a fan of vests before, but this is a great piece of gear to flexibly add targeted warmth to whatever else I'm carrying on a given trip.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Women's priced at: $98.95
Montbell Thermawrap Jacket - Men's priced at: $72.47 - $144.95
Mark Primack
( Bufa )

Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
Fantastic piece of gear on 03/25/2014 08:39:59 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is the single most versatile piece of gear that I own. As a very active outdoorsperson who lives in the mountains with a second home in the far north by the sea, and who backpacks, day hikes, xc skis, snowshoes, road and mountain bikes, and winter mountaineers, this is with me, either on or in my pack, even more than my Houdini. It provides just enough, in fact a surprising amount considering it light weight, core warmth. I wear it in cool weather biking in the spring and fall beneath a wind shell, a set up which also works well for above tree-line even in the summer when a shell just isn't enough to defend against the cooling wind. It provides just enough warmth for summer eves. I especially like it in the cold weather, when worn under my ultra-light down puffy or my Thermawrap jacket or my softshell. Though the fabric is very light, and though I wear this vest sometimes four or five days a week, I have not had one tear or one seam give way. Though not as warm as my several down vests, this is significantly lighter than any of them and twice or three times lighter than my fleece vests. These other vests did not come off their hangers once in the last year, when I got outdoors for 1-3 hours minimum four or five days a week.

Edited by Bufa on 03/25/2014 08:41:42 MDT.

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