Mont-Bell UL Down Inner Jacket Review

Layering. I have found that this is what it is all about if I want to stay warm on those cold nights. Every since I realized this I had been eyeballing these Mont-Bell jackets, wanting to add one to my layering system. And just a few weeks ago, I was able to do so.

Initially I wanted the Ex Light. This was because I was wanting to go as light as possible. However, the same as with my NeoAir, I decided that they were so light I would go ahead and get what I really wanted. In the NeoAir, it was the regular size mattress rather than the small. As for the Mont-bell jackets, it was the one with pockets, the UL Down Inner.

Since I have received this jacket, I have hardly taken it off. It is very light, and so very comfortable. The sizing is nice in that it doesn’t feel too bulky while wearing with only a short sleeve shirt, nor does it feel too snug while layered over other layers, or even under my GoLite Tumalo jacket for that matter.

Concerning function, it is very warm. I have worn it in temperatures in the high 20’s with only a short sleeve shirt underneath and been fine. It also blocks considerably more wind than I had anticipated it would. I have even worn it in a light mist and it did a good job at beading the water. Although, I was only walking across a long parking lot to my car in the mist, so it was not a prolonged amount of time, but it still did good. Oh, and did I mention, it’s super-light?!

So, anyway, here is a video I made this morning showing it off…

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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2 Responses to Mont-Bell UL Down Inner Jacket Review

  1. Fu says:

    > Layering. I have found that this is what it is all about if I want to stay warm
    > on those cold nights.

    Actually this is incorrect. Layering doesn’t keep you warmer than a single layer. Multiple layers are heavier than one single layer, but layering gives you flexibility to adjust to different temperature/exertion levels.


    • Stick says:

      I guess that it depends on what you are comparing, but I wouldn’t say it is totally incorrect. Maybe I’m wrong, but from what I gathered, layering creates air pockets which hold heat in (kind of like the down clusters). The more air pockets available, the better chance you have at staying warm. I have found this to be true for me. By wearing a hard shell over a puffy layer I tend to be warmer and stay warmer than if I were to wear a single heavy jacket. I actually found this out before I became gung-ho about backpacking, when I bought a North Face Triclimate jacket. I thought it was weird that it was 2 jackets in one instead of just one, but once I wore it in cold weather I never pulled out my old single layer jackets again.

      As far as weight is concerned, that’s a close one. My Tumalo jacket and my Mont-Bell jacket weigh 18.4 oz together. My NF Apex softshell jacket weighs 26 oz and doesn’t provide near the warmth or rain protection that the Tumalo and the Mont-Bell offers. Of course though, I could get a thicker heavier down jacket with a DWR but then the weight will be pretty close, but like you said, without the flexibility to adjust to different conditions. And of course we all know that flexibility is what’s important when deciding on what to take backpacking.

      So, I don’t understand how layering can not be warmer than wearing a single layer. Could you please explain more?


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