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MontBell Frost Smoke Parka

rated 5 of 5 stars
photo: MontBell Frost Smoke Parka down insulated jacket

Super warm, very light, and durable. Great as a top layer on a super cold day, around a campfire, and as part of a sleeping system. I'd highly recommend it to serious backpackers, or anyone who wants a high quality puffy for under $200. 10/10 would buy again.


  • Very warm
  • Light
  • Down stays in place
  • High quality for price
  • Helmet compatible
  • Holds up in heavy use


  • Hood is HUGE—goodbye peripheral vision
  • If you smell, it smells

This is a great puffy for light or heavy outdoor use. It works well for chilly dessert nights, on freezing mornings at altitude, and for hanging our around at meal times. Get ready to de-layer quickly when you start moving.

Fit - Comfortable and functional! I appreciate that this women's jacket isn't overly "fitted" like so may are. (THANK YOU, MONTBELL) Elastic cuffs and adjustable hood and hem make it easy to seal out any draft.

Warmth - 800 fill goose down—this puppy is warm! And the material is surprisingly wind resistant for a lightweight puffy. The down stays in place thanks to the "sewn-through" design.

Breathability -  Average for a puffy. Re: the "con" about smell above, when you sweat in this jacket over and over it's going to smell. Down Wash gets aggressive BO smell right out with one wash—woo!  I would not call this jacket moisture wicking. 

Water Resistant - Like any down garment/gear, you want to avoid getting this wet. It can handle a sprinkle, while still keeping you warm, but as a paranoid long-distance hiker I did everything in my power to keep this jacket from getting wet. It does dry quickly, but if you're moving through rain you'll want to pull a shell over it/remove it asap, or risk losing your warm layer.

Function - Zippers put up with a lot of stress, occasionally they catch the material when zipping up, but they can easily be reversed to fix. The hood is HUGE—great if you use the jacket with a helmet, wildly large and obstructs your peripheral vision if not.

Just look @ that hood:


Layering - I used this puffy with many layering setups, and in most cases it came off within 15 minutes of my activity. It is a great layer to throw on when you stop moving for lunch or end your day and set up camp. It was also part of my sleep system in colder climates. I wore it to bed, to compliment my sleeping quilt, and it kept my head and torso warm (make sure you're cinched up tight). 

Durability - I used this jacket almost every day for 6 months on the PCT, and it's still in great shape. That being said, it will likely rip if you walk through a thicket of trees/thorns. If you take care to dodge overhang that shouldn't be an issue.

Conditions - Heavily used for 6 months—treated roughly, stuffed in bag with little care alongside other gear. Used in desert, Sierra, the Pacific Northwest, and in Upstate NY in the winter. It held up well to the conditions and unnecessary roughness I put it through. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $147

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Price MSRP: $199.00
Historic Range: $132.26-$199.00
Weight 12.6 oz (Size M)
Fill Weight 3.5 oz
Fabric 15-denier Ballistic Airlight nylon
Insulation 800 fill power goose down
Center Back Length 29.1 in (Size M)
Price MSRP: $199.00
Historic Range: $139.26-$199.00
Reviewers Paid: $147.00
Weight 11.5 oz (Size M)
Fill Weight 2.4 oz
Fabric 15-denier Ballistic Airlight nylon
Insulation 800 fill power goose down
Center Back Length 25.2 in (Size M)
Product Details from MontBell »

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