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MontBell Alpine Light Down Parka

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: MontBell Alpine Light Down Parka down insulated jacket

For a very warm, well-made, very lighweight down parka, you'd search far and wide to do better than this one. Wonderful, effective hood. Easily a great parka for winter backpackers and climbers, but also for normal people who just want to stay warm in the winter.


  • 800 fill goose down is extremely efficient while not overly puffy.
  • The hood is one of the best, most comfortable, and warmest I've seen.


  • Not seam sealed or waterproof, but the outer fabric is rated at 25 washes.
  • Would be even better if it were three or four inches longer.

This is a beautiful-looking and well designed parka. Nice fleece lined pockets (though, oddly, the fleece is only on one side), nicely tailored with a very functional and warm hood.

Last night I took a walk when it was 10° F. Under the alpine light I wore a thin wool sweater and a thin MontBell Thermawrap, hood up. Light thermal bottom, as well. Perhaps I masked how the parka performs, but I wasn't the least bit cold. And if you're exerting yourself much, you'll absolutely be warm enough. In fact, you might need to unzip a little. If you were standing or sitting still in freezing weather, you'd need at least a couple of layers beneath. MontBell's Frost Line Parka might be better for this type of thing.

This parka is extremely comfortable to wear and, very importantly, comfortable to move in and use your arms without hindrance. I wish it were a few inches longer to keep more of me warm, but as it is the hem goes below my belt.

Cuffs are non-adjustable, comfortable elastic, and the bottom cinch and hood cords are easy to adjust. I haven't worn it in any rain or snow yet, but the few flakes I did notice beaded right up. The outer fabric isn't fragile, nor is it for bushwhacking through thorny underbrush.

The 800 fill goose down really delivers the warmth and looks deceptively unpuffy. For the price, this is a great piece of gear. I bought it from MontBell's outlet on their website for a very good price.

Update: January 2019

My parka’s still holding up well, despite a couple of small rips easily fixed with Tenacious Tape. For something so lightweight, it’s still very comfortable and warm. For temps below 32°F. you probably need another layer or two, especially if the weather is fierce. Only negative is the zipper, which broke a year or so back. Pretty easy to get fixed, but still. Also, I wish the side pockets were lined completely with fleece instead of just one surface.

I’m now shopping for another, warmer parka and would definitely consider Montbell’s Frost Line or PermaFrost parka, but they weren’t available in the color I wanted.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $159

Warm and light, this is a great down jacket for shoulder season use — very good bargain too!


  • High lofting quality down
  • Very good warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Reasonably priced

This is my go-to down jacket for shoulder season use; it's usually too warm for summer use and there are plenty of lighter options. With over 4 ounces of 800 down, this jacket is warm!

Not sure where the original review came from, but mine in size Large is 12.8 oz, pretty svelte for such a warm jacket. The hood is nicely cut and adjustable.  Two nice zippered pockets that are lined w/ fleece. I really like the two large interior pockets, wish more jackets would incorporate this. Comes with a stuff sack and packs up small.

I use this jacket in a wide range of temps, but when the temps are going to be very cold — single digits and lower — I opt for a jacket w/ more fill.  I have a very light down jacket that I use in the "summer" and a heavier down jacket that is used in bitter cold, but this jacket sees more days of use than either of the other two.

It's probably one of the (if not the) best bang for the buck down jacket out there. The MSRP is under $200 and can often be found on sale below that.

If you can't tell, I'm a big fan of the Alpine Light!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130

Great piece of gear. Fit is almost athletic cut. Warmth is awesome, hood is great and it's extremely light. If it's real cold out, I'll wear this under my shell for ice climbing and it does great. and the hood will fit over my helmet, barely.

Excellent construction, nice soft warm pockets and it looks great. And unlike my North Face 900 fill jacket, this Montbell hasn't lost a single feather yet...two years into use.

Fabric: 30 denier pertex, i believe
Fill: 800
Price Paid: $140

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Price MSRP: $199.00
Historic Range: $99.48-$209.00
Reviewers Paid: $130.00-$159.00
Weight 13.3 oz
Fill Weight 4.3 oz
Insulation 800 Fill Power Goose Down
Fabric 20-denier Ballistic nylon taffeta, Micro-fleece lined collar, Standard DWR treatment
Compressed size 5.3 x 8.4 in
Center back length 26.4 in
Price MSRP: $195.00
Historic Range: $23.80-$209.00
Weight 11.8 oz
Fill weight 3.3 oz
Insulation 800 Fill Power Goose Down
Fabric 20-denier Ballistic nylon taffeta, Micro-fleece lined collar, Standard DWR treatment
Compressed size 4.7 x 7.4 in
Center back length 25.6 in
Product Details from MontBell »

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