User Review: MontBell Women's Alpine Light Down Jacket
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $165 from MontBell, I believe
This jacket is the most warm down jacket I have ever worn! It is great as a stand alone or mid layer. I absolutely recommend it. I am one of those ladies who is cold all the time, but not when I am wearing the MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket. If you are looking for maximum warmth with minimum weight, this is the jacket for you.
- Very warm
- Very lightweight
- Wind resistant
- Resilient 30 D ballistic nylon shell
- Takes up very little room in your pack/very packable
- The fit is not as flattering as I would like, so size down
- No zippered pockets
- The torso length does not cover your bottom/it is relatively short
Why I bought it:
I bought the MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket almost immediately after I saw the parka win the Backpacker Editor's Choice Award. I prefer jackets to parkas because I don't really like hoods unless it is raining. I have several puffy jackets (Patagoina Hi Loft Down Sweater, Patagonia UL Down Jacket, Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover, Arc'Teryx Atom LT Jacket, etc...), but this one is by far the most warm.
Another factor in my decision to purchase this jacket is I also have the MontBell UL Down Hugger #1 sleeping bag and it is wonderful as well. I thought to myself, "Now if I could only have a jacket that feels like this!" It doesn't feel exactly the same, but it is pretty close.
My husband and I in our MontBells. His is the UL Down and mine is the Alpine Light Down. *If you need help deciding between these two, I will be glad to give you insight.
- 11.3 oz (320.3 g) Women's Medium
- 25.6" (65 cm) length of the back
- 25 wash rated DWR
- Exterior is 30 Denier Ballistic Ripstop Nylon (making it wind resistant)
- Interior is 30 Denier Ballistic Taffeta Nylon (these two layers of nylon are "sewn thru", creating boxwall baffles and eliminating cold spots)
- 800 fill goose down (2.9 oz fill weight)
- Very soft and warm Micro-fleece collar
- Comes with a stuff sack (8"long, 4" around when stuffed)
- Elastic cuffs that seal in heat
- The updated one has a drawcord hem, but mine does not (one of my few complaints about mine)
- Two deep interior pockets ("water bottle pockets")
I think that the women's version does run a little bit big. It is not as flattering as I would like for it to be. I would size down if this is a concern for you. If you like your jackets to have extra layering room, then I would say that it is true to size.
This jacket is VERY comfortable. When you put it on, you feel instant heat and it feels like it is giving you a hug! I know that isn't a very good description, but that is the best way that I can describe how good it feels right when you put it on!
I have already expressed how warm this jacket is, but I guess that I should add that I wore it with just a Smartwool NTS shirt underneath on a night when the temperature dipped into the 20s and I didn't even need another layer. Normally, in that situation, I would have on the Smartwool shirt, my Patagonia R1 Pullover, puffy, and if it is windy at all, a rainshell on top. It also regulates body heat very well. I have never over-heated in it.
I have never worn it in the rain, but I have spilled drops of water on it and they just rolled off. I mentioned earlier that it has DWR rated to 25 washings.
* As a side note, I saw that some other reviews claimed that it loses feathers. I have not noticed this problem at all. It does not lose feathers any more than any other down jacket or sleeping bag. It also retains its loft very well after being stuffed.
I have tried, but can not say enough great things about this jacket. It is wonderful and I would not hesitate to buy it again. I absolutely love it and it is one of the best gear investments that I have ever made.
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