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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Montane Featherlite Down Jacket > Test Report by Kathleen Waters


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INITIAL REPORT - November 18, 2015


NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 64
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.



Manufacturer: Montane
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $275.40 (as of October 25, 2015)
Listed Weight: 15 oz (419 g)
Measured Weight: 13 oz (369 g) including stuff sack
Sizes Available: Small to XXLarge
Size Tested: Medium
Colors Available: Jelly Bean (bright green), Antarctic Blue (medium blue), Electric Blue (light blue), Black & Shadow (dark grey)
Color Tested: Antarctic Blue

* 100% windproof PERTEX Quantum Rip-stop outer with DWR
* 40 g (1.4 oz) of 90/10 high quality Allied Feather & Down Titanium water resistant HyperDRY down at 750+ fill power
* PEAQ Down lining
* Micro baffle anatomical construction

* Lifetime Guarantee: "All Montane products are guaranteed for their lifetime against faults in workmanship and materials that is, the length of time any product can reasonably be expected to keep delivering the same great performance as when it was new."
Montane Featherlite Down Jacket
Photo Montane


The Montane Featherlite Down Jacket is a really neat-looking jacket! And really is "feather light"! The blue is Antarctic Blue color is exactly like the shade on my computer (I realize computer screens aren't the best at accurately depicting colors sometimes) and will not make me glaringly obvious in the wilds or in town!

The PEAQ Down liner and outer 100% windproof PERTEX Quantum Rip-stop fabrics are smooth to the touch, almost silk-like. I tried to find out what "PEAQ" meant but only found a very technical explanation involving audio waves and bandwidth. My jacket can hear? Play music? I think not, but this jacket has down fill, that's for sure, and not just any down but "certified non live plucked and non force fed" goose down! Cool! And all that down is kept in place with what Montane calls a "micro baffle anatomical construction" which means fairly small channels that follow the shape of the body, i.e. around the torso horizontally, over the shoulders vertically and circling the arms. It is a functional design, not cutesy stylish.

The sleeves are articulated for ease of movement and come down to my wrists with just a bit of "roll" at the cuffs which end in a stretchy binding. This cuff binding is close to my wrist but not overly tight.

There is an attached hood. The hood can be adjusted to fit via 3 separate drawcords. One internal elastic loop and hook in the rear of the hood allows it to be rolled down and tucked away when not in use. The hood/jacket front piece comes up high to cover my neck.

The hem of the Featherlite jacket is adjustable with internal drawcords and covers my derriere nicely without being overly long and bulky.

Two nice-sized (big enough for my Samsung Galaxy 5 cell phone AND my hand) front-side handwarmer pockets with zippers are complemented by an internal zipped left-hand side chest pocket which will also handle my phone as well.

Having a stuff sack for the jacket - which I will probably not ever use since I will always be wearing it! - is a nice touch on Montane's part. However, I do take exception to the claim that the jacket will stuff down to the "size of a large orange". It does not come anywhere close to any orange I've ever seen!
Trying on the Featherlite
First Try-On!
Stuffed Jacket vs. water bottle
Stuffed Jacket vs. 1 L water bottle


Montane goes into great detail on their website on down wearables care instructions. I'm just going to summarize their recommendations here.

1. A professional cleaning service for a down jacket is recommended for best results.
2. If washing at home, hand washing if possible to extend the life of the jacket.
3. Always use a down specific detergent. Montane recommends Nikwax Down Wash.
4. If using a machine, wash on a gentle spin cycle at 30 C (86 F), and then again on a rinse cycle to remove excess soap.
5. Tumble dry on low heat with a few tennis balls to ensure the down does not clump during the drying cycle.
6. Check the jacket every 15 minutes to remove any excess clumps. Do not shake a wet down item as this can damage the baffles.
7. Do not air-dry.
8. The down jacket needs dryer space, consider using an industrial tumble drier to ensure the down can loft sufficiently.
9. The down insulated jacket should be stored when it is completely dry and fully lofted. Ideally, it should be stored flat.

All of this makes sense to me and I have used and reported on Nikwax Down Wash (I'm a fan). I am surprised though about the recommendation to store down jackets flat. I have always hung them up just like any other jacket. Perhaps, I need to re-think that, eh?


According to the Montane sizing chart for women, I should wear a size 8 in a top or jacket, however the available sizes are not numerical but are designated as "small, medium, large, etc." Since I usually wear a women's size 8 in most tops and jackets or a medium, I rationalized that the Montane size 8 would correspond to a medium as well and so ordered the size medium. And it did. Perfectly!

When I first tried it on, I was wearing a long-sleeved top and a lightweight down vest. The jacket glided over these two layers easily and I was able to move my arms around freely. There was enough room for bulkier layers but still the fit was snug enough to be cozy.

I checked out all the zippers and they opened and closed without effort and without snagging. I was particularly pleased at how easily the front zipper "caught" as I have many jackets which send my blood pressure soaring with the difficulty they present getting meshed together at the onset.

Without any effort at all, I was able to stuff the jacket into its included stuff sack and pull the elasticized drawcord with its barrel lock closed tightly. When packed down, the jacket makes a very nice pillow!

Close inspection found no snags, pulls, dropped or loose stitches or other imperfections in materials or workmanship.


Since winter is my favorite time of year to backpack, hike and of course, snowshoe, I plan on wearing the Montane Featherlite Down Jacket a lot. In fact, since I hike 4 miles (6.4 km) almost every single day to our rural mailbox, I will probably wear the Featherlite every single day! I'm excited to see how well it will keep me warm in the cold blustery winter winds and conversely, will it be too warm in our deceiving hot winter sunshine.

I'm so excited that I think I will head out for a walk right now! 'Bye until sometime in December when my Field Report will reveal all!

Thank you to Montane and for giving me the chance to spend my winter in style and warmth!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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