Rating: 5 / 5
I got this jacket after purchasing a Montane Featherlite. The Featherlite competes with the likes of the Ghost Whisperer but it wasn't warm enough for my needs.
The Montane Black ice is a wonderful jacket. It uses 800+ fill goose down, reinforced with Primaloft Eco in the shoulders, hood and forearms. This is to improve the performance in wet conditions and give more warmth when wearing a pack, as Primaloft doesn't compress as much as down.
One downside is that Primaloft doesn't have as longer lifespan as down, but as it's only an additional layer in key areas, I don't believe it would wear out on a hurry. Even if it did eventually wear out - there is a layer of down underneath so it wouldn't become a redundant piece.
The warmth is wonderful! The jacket isn't as bulky as it looks in the photos. It seems to come in right between the lightweight mid-layer jackets and the full on extreme parkas.
The adjustability is great! You can get the hood snug around your face without the cords lashing your face. The brim is reinforced with thick foam and wire to keep the wind out and there is a velcro volume adjuster at the back.
Along with a hem adjuster, the jacket has a waist cord that allows you to tighten the jacket around your waist if you have the two way zip adjusted to allow for a harness - stopping the air coming up the jacket - a wonderfully thought out feature!
I have taken this jacket up Scafell Pike in a very wet sideways sleet storm, just above freezing. I was toasty warm and the 800mm Hydrostatic Head rating provided by the Featherlite shell material seemed to keep the jacket functioning well, apart from around the collar where it did collapse a little.
You can see my overview and first impressions video here: