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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > MontBell U L Down Inner Pants > Owner Review by Gail StaisilOwner Review:
MontBell Women's U.L. Inner Down Pants
October 27, 2010
Name: Gail Staisil
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Email: woodswoman2001 AT yahoo DOT com
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
For the last two decades, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably, but my base weight is under 14 lb (6.35 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages over 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero (0 F/-18 C) temps.
The MontBell Women's U.L. Inner Down Pants are ultra lightweight pants that are fabricated and diagonally quilted with a nylon shell/lining and goose down (90 percent goose down/10 percent goose feathers) insulation. The manufacturer suggests that they were designed to replace heavier fleece garments in the backcountry. The pants have a minimalistic design with no extraneous features.
The shell fabric of the pants is made from 15-denier Ballistic Airlight nylon. This fabric is very tightly woven and is wind resistant. It is further treated with 100 wash Polkatex DWR treatment. The insulation is 800 fill power goose down which is held between the layers of fabric with the aforementioned quilted stitching.
They are available in only one color which is Charcoal Black (the outer surface of the pants is a very shiny black color and the inside lining is more of a dark charcoal color) and can be purchased in sizes S-XL. There is also a Men's version of the pants available which feature a front zipper.
I have worn the Women's U.L. Inner Down Pants extensively during the last two years. They are taken on about 99 percent of my trips year round as the areas I travel are subject to cold weather at any time and I simply don't like to have to crawl into a sleeping bag to stay warm. They are extremely easy to pack. Although they did come with a tiny stuff sack I usually just pack them with extra clothing in a larger stuff sack. I find that I actually wear the pants at least 90 percent of the time that I take them (usually when the temperature dips below 70 F/21 C during hours at camp). With the addition of a light down sweater, I have been more comfortable than most of my comrades.
Although I mostly backpack in the state of Michigan, USA they have also been worn during trips to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Other USA travel in the last two years included backpacking trips in Wisconsin, Colorado and California. Most of my area of travel covered hilly boreal and deciduous forests in the Midwest and mountainous travel out west. Elevations ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to over 13,000 ft (3962 m) and temperatures ranged from a low of -20 F(-29 C) to nearly 90 F (32 F).
I would describe the fit of the pants as being trim. I normally wear them over long underwear or my trail pants (or both) and they can accommodate either but they are nicely tapered to eliminate any big amounts of dead space.
A simple elasticized waist is featured on the top edge and a drawstring is provided to further adjust the fit of the pants. I actually never use the drawstring as they fit great without it.
The bottom edges of the pants are finished with a stretch fabric casing. The pants feature binding-encased seams in the crotch and inner side seams.
The stitching of the outer side seams is invisible on both the inside and outside. The seams are apparently finished between the lining and outer fabric. A couple of simple darts slightly articulates the knee areas. There is an embroidered "Mont-Bell" symbol near the top edge of the pants.
The MontBell Women's U.L. Inner Down Pants are extremely comfortable. I would consider them to be slightly breathable as I have never felt clammy or too hot while wearing them at camp. Even though they have a trim fit, they never seem to bind or constrict me in any way. I often sleep in the pants and they surely add insulating value to my sleeping system. They have a lot of warmth for the weight and are non bulky in appearance.
If I could change one tiny bit about the pants I would add partial leg zippers. This would allow me to not have to take my shoes off before putting them on. I realize however that this would add weight to the pants but it would be beneficial during the winter months when I try to layer on warm insulation as quickly as possible after activity (to keep me warm).
Although I have worn the pants extensively I am surprised that the outer surface hasn't suffered any abrasions. I often sit on rough sandstone or other type of rock and even ice. I have often worn them during all camp hours sometimes wandering into the brushy forest. The stitching has stayed intact and the nylon fabric has no catches or similar.
The shell of the pants is treated with 100-wash Polkatex DWR treatment. Light snow and light rain just beads up on the surface and can be easily brushed away. If the precipitation is heavy, I normally cover them with waterproof rain pants.
I haven't done anything special to care for the pants other than to hand wash them in cold water several times. They were tumble dried for a few minutes and then dried on a drying rack. They can be tumble dried completely on low heat if desired. To be perfectly straight, the pants look as good as they did when I bought them. I am extremely happy with them.
The MontBell Women's U.L. Inner Down Pants will remain on my year round gear list as long as they continue to perform well.
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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > MontBell U L Down Inner Pants > Owner Review by Gail Staisil