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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Montbell UL Down Inner Parka > Test Report by Pamela Wyant

MontBell U.L. Down Inner Parka Jacket

Initial Report - November 20, 2007
Field Report - February 5, 2008
Long Term Report - April 7, 2008


Tester Information:
 
Name:  Pam Wyant
Age:  50
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:  165 lb (77 kg)

Bust: 40 in (102 cm)
Waist: 35 in (89 cm)
Sleeve: 32 in (81 cm)

E-mail address:  pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location:  Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background: 

Pursuing a long-time interest, I started backpacking four years ago, beginning with day-hiking and single overnights.  Currently I’m mostly a ‘weekend warrior’, hiking and backpacking mainly in the hills and valleys of West Virginia, but have started a project to section hike the Appalachian Trail (AT), accruing a little over 200 mi (300 km) in the last two years.  My usual shelter is a hammock, but occasionally I use a tent. In general my backpacking style is lightweight and minimalist and I try to cut as much pack weight as I can without sacrificing warmth, comfort, or safety.


Initial Report - November 20, 2007


Product Information:

Manufacturer:  MontBell
Year of manufacture:  2007
Model:  U.L. Down Inner Parka

Size tested:  Men's L
Color tested:  OVGN (green)
 
Advertised weight:  7.4 oz (210 g) - size M
Actual Weight:  8.5 oz (241 g) - size L

Actual stuff sack weight:  0.3 oz (8.5 g)

Advertised stuffed size:  4.5 x 5.6 in (11.4 x 14.2 cm)
Actual stuffed size:  4.5 x 9 in (11.4 x 22.9 cm)
  (in manufacturer provided stuff sack)
Note:  Potentially can be stuffed smaller

Website:  www.montbell.com

MSRP:  $155
 
Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka


Product Description:

The MontBell U.L. Down Inner Parka is a very lightweight no-frills insulated jacket complete with an insulated hood.  Although very minimalist, the jacket has some important technical features, beginning with the shell material of 15-denier Ballistic Airlight Hollow Fiber Calendared Nylon.  Whew!  What a big name for such a light weight fabric.  MontBell explains that the hollow fiber is woven, and then 'calendared', a process which results in each fiber being 'shingled' on top of other fibers, making it resistant to down leakage, wind resistant, and stronger than many fabrics that are twice as heavy.  The fabric is stated to weigh 1.1 oz (31.2 g) per square meter (39.4 sq in).  It has a slightly visible ripstop pattern, with a shiny appearance.  The green color of the jacket exterior is somewhat luminescent and reminds me of the color of new tree leaves in the spring.  The interior is a silvery grey color.  The word 'mont-bell' is embroidered in a similar silvery grey thread on the left sleeve about 6 in (15 cm) above the cuff.  The website states the jacket has a "standard DWR treatment".

The jacket is quilted in 'sewn thru' style, forming rectangular pockets of down about 3.5 x 4.5 in (9 x 11.5 cm).  It has about 5/8 in (1.6 cm) of loft on average, with the front sections near the zipper appear to have slightly more.  The down appears to be well distributed.  Inside the rear neckline are three labels - one giving the size (USA & Europe L; Japan XL), one that has the phrase "function is beauty"and "mont-bell since 1975", and the third stating it is made in China and giving the MontBell America, Inc. address, website, and phone number.  A fabric content and care label is attached to the left side seam about 4 in (10 cm) up from the hem.  The tag says the shell and lining are "100% nylon" and the filling is "90% Goose Down" and "10% Goose Feather".  The website lists the jacket as having 2.1 oz (60 g) of 800 fill power hypoallergenic goose down.  Care instructions state "Do Not Wash", "Do Not Bleach", "Do Not Iron", "Dry Clean, Petroleum Solvent Only", "Commercial Dry Clean Only".

Hood detailThe front of the jacket measures about 24 in (61 cm) from the hem to where the hood attaches to neck.  The neck area of the hood is about 3.5 in (9 cm) high.  A small storm flap backs the full zipper, and tapers from about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide at the top to 3/4 in (1.9 in) wide at the bottom.  The storm flap appears to have some sort of insulating or stiffening material inside, although it does not feel like it is down filled.  At the top of the zipper is a small rectangular flap to cover the zipper head and prevent it from contacting the skin.  The zipper itself is light and smaller than those on most of my jackets; more similar in appearance to ones that are found on light weight wind shirts or zip-neck shirts.  Attached to the standard metal zipper pull is a longer pull consisting of a doubled length of cord with a rubbery end cap embossed with "mont-bell". 

I was very surprised to note the hood does not have any sort of draw cord or other means of adjustment, however it is cleverly cut and sewn in an articulated manner so that it fits quite well.  I find the shape of the hood one of the most fascinating features of the jacket.  It is so light and cleverly shaped that it seems to surround my head without actually touching it, although I know it must in fact be touching.  The sides of the hood have a simple elasticized binding that extend about 2/3 of the way up.  The top has a 6 in (15 cm) wide stiffening cord at the edge, encased within the nylon fabric.  This results in the edge and brim of the hood extending out a bit from my face, giving me a better range of motion without anything feeling constricting or flopping in my face.  When pushed back, the weight of the hood isn't noticeable on my back or neck, and it stays comfortably out of the way.

The rear of the jacket measures 27.5 in (70 cm) from the neck seam to the hem.  The sleeves measure 25.5 in (65 cm) from the armpit seam to the cuff.  The sleeve cuffs have an elasticized binding identical to that on the sides of the hood.  The cuffs fit loosely enough to be comfortable, even over gloves.  The jacket hem is a simple sewn over style, with no draw cord or elastic.

The jacket appears to be well constructed, with even stitching and no loose threads.  The seams are neatly bound on the inside with the same fabric as the lining, for a nice finished look.  Two large handwarmer pockets are positioned at the bottom of the jacket.  The pockets have vertical openings along the side seams of the jacket, and are trimmed with the same elastic binding found on the sleeves and the hood.  In keeping with the minimal, weight saving design of the jacket, the pockets have no zippers, however the openings are positioned a little over 3 in (7.5 cm) from the bottom of the pockets, which should help prevent small items from falling out.  Although the openings are only about 6 in (15 cm) long, the pockets themselves are about 10.5 in (26.5 cm) long, and almost 9 in (23 cm) wide.  I can place a typical 1/2 liter water bottle upright in the pockets, which should come in handy when I just want to take a short hike without bothering with a pack, as I often do on old back roads near home.

Zipper detailAnd that pretty much sums up the description of the jacket - there are no extraneous features such as pockets to hold MP3 players or other electronics, no  cords or hook and loop fasteners to make adjustments, no inner document pockets.  In short, nothing that adds extra weight for features that might or might not be used.

The U.L. Down Inner Parka does come with a cylinder-shaped stuff sack that appears to be made of the same fabric as the jacket exterior, measuring about 10.5 (26.5 cm) tall and almost 5 in (12.5 cm) across the bottom.  The stuff sack appears well made, with a folded over section of fabric on the bottom providing a place to grab hold when pulling the jacket free from the other end, and a simple cord with cord lock to draw the top closed.  The Parka stuffs into the sack with room to spare, and could be compacted even further if placed into a smaller sack or a compression sack.  In fact, I decided to test MontBell's claim that the U.L. Down Inner Parka would stuff down to a "the size of a 32 ounces water bottle", and tried stuffing it inside a 1-liter Nalgene.  To my surprise, by compacting it carefully, I was able to fit the whole jacket inside! 

Of course, a Nalgene bottle or a compression sack would add weight to my pack, which would sort of negate the purpose of all the weight saving features of the jacket, and I don't really like over compressing insulated clothing, so I am unlikely to use either of these to pack the jacket. In fact, I usually just use one medium-size stuff sack lined with an oven roasting bag to store all my extra clothing on backpacking trips, so I doubt I will add the weight of a separate stuff sack for the Inner Parka to my backpacking kit.  However I can see the included stuff sack being useful for stowing the jacket on day hikes when I am likely not to carry extra clothing other than the Inner Parka and a pair of gloves.  I might also be likely to use it to carry toiletry items and a first aid or survival kit on backpacking trips, since it is a good size and shape for that.

The Inner Parka I received also came with three hang tags.  One lists the model name, color, size, and materials, along with some information on the Ultra Light Down Inner Series available from MontBell and some general information on down fill power and single-quilt construction.  It also lists "Usage Guidelines" which state that "30-denier Ballistic rip-stop nylon is more than strong enough to withstand the normal use of an inner piece, but there is the possibility of tearing or damaging the fabric if it is exposed to sharp objects or high abrasion situations."  Interestingly, a second hang tag labeled "Ballistic Airlight" states the Ballistic Airlight fabric is made from "high-strength 15-denier Ballistic nylon", which is consistent with the website description of the fabric.  A third label gives a "Down Leakage Warning" which basically says that the fabric is down proof, but down may come from the stitch lines and can be removed from clothing by using weak adhesive tape.  In the several days I have worn the jacket, I have only found one feather that worked it's way through the stitching near the hemline.

Fit and preliminary impressions:

According to MontBell's website, my measurements would indicate a women's XL should fit me.  Unfortunately, the Women's U.L. Down Inner Parka is only listed as available in S, M, and L.  So, I ended up with a Men's L, which the website also indicated should fit me with the exception of the sleeve length.
 
And, indeed this is what I found.  I am very pleased with the fit of the Men's L; it could have been tailor made to fit my shape.  The extra length of the sleeves hasn't proved to be a problem, since the elastic at the wrist cuffs keeps them in place just below my wrist bones, and the extra portion of the sleeve simple drapes a bit over top of the cuff.  This also allows me to pull my hands completely inside the sleeves for extra warmth if I chose to. 

I am particularly pleased with the fit in the chest area, where I've usually found men's sizes too generous (resulting in a little too much space to heat).  The U.L. Down Inner Parka is roomy enough to have space to layer a lightweight wool base layer, mid weight wool layer, and even a light to mid weight fleece underneath yet formfitting enough that with only a lightweight base layer it still feels cozy.  It will also layer under a synthetic insulated jacket I have, as well as a heavier down jacket.  And even with three top layers under the Inner Parka, I can wear a pair of lightweight wool base layer pants AND my synthetic insulated pants, and still fit the jacket hem over them.  The fit and layering ability should provide a broad range of uses for this Inner Parka, and I look forward to testing it with different combinations as the weather changes. 

In my pursuit of an ultralite pack, while still being comfortable, I've become interested in using an insulated jacket and pants to extend the range of  my sleeping insulation.  A little experimentation with this has so far worked well; I can carry a lighter quilt or bag by sleeping in insulated clothing and I don't suffer as much from the cold when I get out of the bag in the mornings.  I plan to test the U.L. Inner Parka for this purpose over the next few months to see how well it will extend the range of a customized Nunatak Arc Ghost quilt (made with 1 oz/28.5 g less down for warmer weather use), and my 20 degree Western Mountaineering Ultralite sleeping bag. I tested the Inner Parka for fit with both of these.

Since I'm a side or stomach sleeper, with the Ghost, I don't have a lot of 'wiggle room', but can wear the Inner Parka without compromising the loft if I'm careful about placing the edges of the quilt properly.  One reason that I decided to try a hoodless quilt is that I toss and turn a lot at night, and often end up breathing into the side of a sleeping bag hood, chancing compromising the down loft in that area anyway and exposing the side of my head to cold air at the same time.  I look forward to seeing if the Inner Parka will extend the comfort range of the quilt a few degrees lower, while providing a hood that moves with my head as I toss and turn, better sealing out drafts and keeping me warmer without the worry of wetting out my insulation with my breath.

I also found I could wear the Inner Parka inside my Ultralite without the loft of either the sleeping bag or the jacket seeming to be compromised, so I may also be able to use it to extend the range of that bag and save some weight over the heavier 0 F/-18 C bag I would normally take if it seems the mercury might drop much lower than 30 F/-1 C.  (Although the temperature rating of the Ultralite seems accurate, I like a little safety margin, and like to sleep warm).

So far, I am very happy with the MontBell U.L. Down Inner Parka.  The quality is superb, the fit is great, and the Inner Parka is the lightest insulated jacket that I've ever owned, saving a whopping 3.6 oz (102 g) over my next lightest insulated jacket.  It's only a little heavier than many of my mid weight base layer shirts!

More to come:

This concludes my Initial Report.

Field Report - February 5, 2008

Field Conditions:

On the trail with my faithful friendDuring the last two months I've worn the MontBell U.L. Down Inner Parka just about every day.  Much of this use has been just general everyday activities and work, but I have taken about a dozen short day hikes (around 3 mi or 5 km) in temperatures varying from around 20 F to 50 F  (-7 to 10 C), and has included light rain to snow.  In general use, I have worn the Inner Parka down to around 0 F (-18 C) and in steady rain for a short period.  To the right is a picture of me in the Inner Parka on a short hike with my trusty hiking companion.

The Inner Parka missed arriving in time to go on a week long backpacking trip I took in late October/early November, and a variety of issues have prevented me from taking any backpacking trips in December or January, but I did wear the Inner Parka in my backyard one chilly but calm night (around 20 F / -7 C) in January to test it as part of a sleeping system.

I also used it on the Appalachian Trail on a longer day hike of about 10.5 mi (17 km) in early December, in the central Virginia section known as the 'Three Ridges'.  Elevations ranged from 997 ft to 3970 ft (304 m to 1210 m).  The trail was mainly rocky with some smoother sections.  Temperatures were in the 40 F (5 C) range, with wind ranging from light to gusty, but no precipitation. 

I also used it on a longer day hike of about 6.5 mi (10.5 km) in the Kanawha State Forest in central West Virginia, with temperatures in the 25 F (-4 C) range at elevations from around 1000 to 1400 ft (300 to 400 m), on rocky to smooth dirt trails.  There was no precipitation on this trip.

A third longer day hike was about 6 mi (10 km) in western West Virginia, on old dirt county roads and jeep trails, with temperatures around 40 F (4 C) and no precipitation.

Field Use:

I've found the Inner Parka very comfortable for light day hiking in temperatures up to around freezing.  Much warmer than that (or during more strenuous hiking uphill), and I find myself storing it in my pack.  I've worn it with several different base layers including light (6.1 - 6.4 oz / 163 0 181 g) wool and a variety of synthetic and cotton shirts, as well as some mid-weight base layers and sweaters.

I've worn it with both a standard no hip belt day pack and a fanny pack and found it comfortable with both.  I've also enjoyed being able to wear the Inner Parka packless on my shorter day hikes.  I've found the pockets large enough to hold a variety of items, including a half liter bottle of water, energy bar, gloves, fleece hat, cell phone, camera, and even the Kahtoola MICROspikes traction aid all at one time.

The hood is very comfortable and useful.  Although I usually stuff a fleece hat in the pocket, I haven't really needed it while hiking, since I've always found just the hood warm enough while moving or on short breaks.  I have decent peripheral vision with the hood up, but if I want to look sharply to the side, I find I have to twist my body around at the waist rather than just twisting my head sideways, or the side of the hood blocks direct vision.

When I hammocked in my backyard to test the Inner Parka as part of my sleeping system, I wore a light (6.4 oz / 181 g) wool base layer top and a light (6.3 oz / 179 g) fleece zip-neck under it.  For bottom layers I wore light wool base layer pants and synthetic insulated over-pants.  I slept under a customized Nunatak Ghost quilt made with an ounce (28 g) less down and shorter baffles that I ordered as a summer quilt.  Under my Hennessy Hammock Hyperlite I used a Jacks-R-Better underquilt and a 1/8 in (24 cm) Gossamer Gear thinlight.  Although I could feel some cold air underneath me in areas where I overhung the thinlight, I felt warm and toasty on top in temperatures that were around 20 F (-7 C).  I slept the early part of the night using only the jacket hood for head warmth, but after a few hours I did add a 1.4 oz (40 g) hat to keep my head a little warmer.

Impressions so far:

Stuffed into its own pocketSo far I absolutely love this jacket.  It has proven extremely comfortable with any layers I've worn, including two light to mid-weight base layers at a time.
It feels so light weight that I scarcely notice that I am wearing it.  As I've found with other down jackets, it is comfortable in a fairly wide range of temperatures; I don't feel I have to pull it off the minute I come inside like I do with some wool or heavy fleece jackets. When running errands or on shopping trips I usually just unzip it when I enter a heated business, and can continue wearing it without feeling overly hot.  While this might not seem overly important, it is nice not to have to worry about dealing with holding a jacket as I complete my errand or shopping.

While hiking, it has been easy to stuff in and out of my pack when I want to store it.  Although I have not used the stuff sack (preferring to stuff it more loosely in my pack to keep it lofted for quick use), on a recent hike, I was able to stuff it inside its own pocket for neater storage inside a small fanny pack, as shown in the photo to the left.  Otherwise, I usually just stuff it in the top of my pack where it can quickly be pulled out and put on as soon as I stop.

I've been very pleased with the way it blocks wind.  Even with the hood being somewhat loose around the edges, I have not had trouble with wind chilling anything but the front of my face, and this occurred only when in temperatures below 20 F (-7 C) with gusting wind.  Even without a draw cord at the bottom, the jacket fits me well enough that I haven't had any problem with wind seeping in at the tail.  In fact I've noticed a definite difference in colder temperatures between the parts of my hips covered by the jacket and the parts not covered, and was glad of the warmth and wind protection of the Inner Parka.

The Inner Parka has been very resistant to snow (it just bounces off) and light rain, which beads up.  Even when I wore it during a short but steady rain, the fabric repelled the rain well, but it did start soaking into the sewn areas of the quilting and seams within around 10 minutes.  I have not yet had to wear a rain jacket with it, since I have not yet had it hiking in significant precipitation.

I was extremely pleased with the performance of the Inner Parka during my sleeping system test.  I feel I was able to add about 20 degrees F (11 C) of warmth to what I would have expected out of my light summer quilt.  I fully expected I would have to switch from my light quilt to a heavier bag during the night, and had one ready to grab on the ground under my hammock if I needed it toward morning.  I was absolutely shocked that I was warm enough with the Inner Parka and a pair of insulated pants with a light summer quilt.  This bodes well for further testing of my sleeping system and lightening my pack weight a bit this spring by using the MontBell U.L. Down Inner Parka as part of my sleeping system.

This concludes my Field Report.

Long Term Report - April 7, 2008

Field Conditions and use:

I've continued to wear the MontBell U.L. Down Inner Parka nearly every day.  I wore it about 58 of the last 60 days - I did not wear it two days when temperatures were over 60 F (16 C).  Much of this has been for general activities and the outdoor part of my work (measuring and photographing houses).  I've also worn it at least twice to tour small farm properties on an open four-wheeler, when I really appreciated the hood to pull up, and the way the fabric resisted the wind.

I have worn it on about 6 short hikes (3 mi/5 km) in temperatures around 20 F to 50 F  (-7 to 10 C) in conditions varying from calm and sunny to breezy with light snow, and in some light misty rain.  On all of these hikes, I used it without a pack - simply stuffing a set of gloves, 16 oz/.5 liter bottle of water, and a small snack in the pocket of the jacket.  On two of these hikes I also stuffed a set of Kahtoola MicroSpikes in a pocket, to slip over my shoes later in the hike on muddy or snowy sections.

I also used the Down Inner Parka on a slightly longer day hike in Wine Cellar Park near Dunbar West Virginia of around 4 mi/6.5 km with a 2400 cu in (39 L) day pack, on a sunny 50 F (10 C) day.  In this case, the jacket mainly rode in my pack, although I pulled it on for a short break, and wore it on the car trip to and from the trailhead.

I also wore it on an overnight stay on private property in western West Virginia, where I ended up using it as a pillow while I slept on a cot in an unheated trailer in temperatures around 30 F (-1 C).  It was simply too warm to wear with my 20 F (-7 C) rated sleeping bag, but it made a good small pillow.

I also took it on a recent hiking trip to the Damascus, Virginia area, where I wore it in the evenings and mornings at the hostel I stayed at, and packed it in my GoLite Quest Pack for a long day hike (11 mi/18 km).   Temperatures during the hike were in the 50-60 F range, with drizzly rain much of the morning.  With the warm temperatures and rainy weather, I did not wear the U.L. Down Inner Parka since it would have been too warm, especially under my rain jacket.  However, I did pack it along with some insulated pants, gloves, and extra socks in a dry bag inside my pack as back-up 'emergency' clothing.  It was reassuring to have extra warmth available that took so little space in my pack.  I also wore the Inner Parka both nights when I first went to bed in my bunk in the unheated hostel for extra warmth until my sleeping quilt warmed up.  After the quilt warmed up, I removed the Inner Parka and used it the rest of the night to supplement the stuff sack of clothing I was using for a pillow.

Findings:

While I've worn the U.L. Down Inner Parka with a variety of tops underneath, I never found it cold enough that I had to try to layer another jacket over it for warmth.  I could easily accommodate two layers under the Inner Parka, and I found that with careful selection of the layers, that was all I needed in temperatures down to around 0 F (-18 C).  Mostly I've worn it with a light wool base layer, adding the Warmfront chest warmer that I am currently testing for cooler (sub-freezing) temperatures.  This combination works well down to about 20 F (-7 C).  In temperatures colder than that, I found the light wool base layer and a light fleece layer were warm enough for light activity or casual non-intense hiking.

The outer shell has been sufficient to repel both light rain and heavy snow on its own.  I never experienced a heavy enough rain while hiking that I needed to wear a rain jacket over it, but I did wear a light Epic jacket over it one day while measuring a house in steady rain.  The roomy Epic jacket fit well over the U.L. Down Inner Parka, and I stayed both warm and dry.

The Inner Parka has been virtually problem free.  The front zipper has operated smoothly over the entire course of the test.  I could easily operate it even with light to medium weight gloves on, and the fabric never got caught as I zipped or unzipped the jacket.  I found the small flap of fabric over the zipper sufficient to prevent the zipper head from poking or scratching me under the chin.  Although it is not very large, I found the draft flap behind the zipper stayed put and kept cold air from leaking in even in breezy conditions.

I particularly appreciated the hood - it was nice to have it always there handy in case I needed it.  Even when I was riding on a four-wheeler, with wind whipping around me, the hood stayed up and helped keep my head (and thus my body) warmer.  The stiffened section of the brim was nice to keep light rain and snow out of my eyes and still allow pretty decent vision and a less restricted feeling than a drawcord hood closure.

I did find a few times that the hem would creep up the small of my back while hiking or walking vigorously, but this was a minor annoyance only in that my hips got a little cooler in sub-freezing temperatures.  It never was so much of a problem that it allowed a lot of wind in or become a major issue, and it never came above my actual waistline.

The pockets have been wonderful.  They are super roomy, and due to their design, things rarely fall out.  I never had anything fall out of the pockets while I was hiking or walking.  I usually did not have a problem with anything falling out even when I took the jacket off and tossed it around, but there was one occurance when one glove fell out of a pocket.  This happened when I tossed the jacket in the center of my jeep and then rummaged around looking for some things under the jacket, and I later found the glove along the side of my seat.

I found the U.L. Down Inner Parka comfortable while sleeping in it, and I like the way I can keep things like a set of gloves or a hat handy in the pockets and easily find them if I want them during the night.  This beats keeping them in a stuff sack with extra clothes where they can sometimes be hard to find among everything else if I want them quickly.  As a pillow, it was small, but adequate and comfortable.

I liked the way the jacket took up only a little space in my pack.  I always just loosely stuffed it in my pack while day hiking in order to keep it as lofted as possible, but since it did not take much space to do this, I had plenty of room for taking rain gear, extra base layers, a first aid kit, water, snacks, and all the essentials and still had extra space in my day pack.  This was a nice change from past winters when packing a warm jacket often meant having an overstuffed pack.

One thing that I did not think about when this test first began is how handy the Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka is for everyday use.  Often in the past I've found carrying a jacket around while shopping or engaging in other indoor activities during the winter annoying, since the heavier jackets I usually use for winter are bulky to carry and become annoyingly heavy to cart around after a while, and are usually too warm to wear once I step inside a store or other public building.  I found the U.L. Down Inner Parka comfortable in quite a broad range of temperatures, and I could usually wear it while shopping or perusing courthouse records.  If I did become too warm and removed it, it was quite light to carry, and took only a bit of space if I wanted to tuck it into a corner of my shopping basket or carry it over my arm.

One unexpected benefit of this jacket is how easy it is to keep clean.  The water resistant fabric can simply be wiped clean with a damp cloth if it picks up a little dust or dirt.  The goose down insulation doesn't make me overly hot, so I found I seldom sweat in the jacket.  This meant I did not need to wash it during the test period, and it still smells fresh and clean.  I expect the fact that I do not need to wash it frequently will help extend the life expectancy of this jacket, and I anticipate using it for many years.

Summary:

To make this pretty simple, I really love this jacket.  I have to say that it is probably the most versatile piece of clothing that I have ever owned.  I love the way it feels - silky on the inside and out, and warm and cozy without being overly puffy.  The down fill makes the Inner Parka comfortable in a broad range of temperatures, and with proper layering it can be worn in many different conditions.

I like how comfortable it is to sleep in and am happy that I can now take a lighter sleeping quilt and plan on using the Inner Parka as part of my sleeping system.  I like that I can get up on a nippy morning and still be wearing part of the warmth trapped during the night instead of contemplating whether I am ready to rip myself from my nice cozy sleeping bag and shiver while I pull on a cold jacket or other extra clothing to try to warm up again.  I also like that I can use it as a small, yet comfortable pillow if I don't need it for warmth while sleeping.

I look forward to many years of use out of the Montbell U.L. Down Inner Parka, and anticipate it will go on all of my backpacking trips except possibly in the hottest part of summer.  I also anticipate it will be in my pack on a lot of 'three season' day hikes and will continue to be my favorite 'go to' jacket for everyday activities.

And, as a 'gram weenie', all of this for a mere 8.5 oz (241 g) is the best part!

This concludes this test series.  Thanks to MontBell and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the U.L. Down Inner Parka, my favorite jacket ever!


Read more reviews of MontBell gear
Read more gear reviews by Pamela Wyant

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Montbell UL Down Inner Parka > Test Report by Pamela Wyant



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