APPLICATION MontBell U.L. Tec Down Jacket - Jeff Ruhle
Date: November 2nd, 2009
Name: Jeff Ruhle
Email Address: jjruhle@...
City, State, and Country: Winter Park, CO, USA
I developed a love for backpacking while spending the semester abroad in New Zealand. I enjoy playing games and seeing how little I can pack to keep my pack light, however, I always pack a lot of food. My favorite terrain is steep, rugged, alpine terrain with more vertical and less horizontal. Living in New England, I find a lot of this terrain since the trail makers don't seem to make many switchbacks. I also am highly involved in a large number of other outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking, climbing, and biking. Generally, I like to push my comfort zone.
Outdoor Field Information:
For outdoor testing, I would be testing this jacket on short backpacking, hiking, skiing, and climbing trips in the Colorado High Mountains. In the mountains right now, the temperatures during the day are already down to 25-35 F (-3.88-1.67 C). I do a lot of back-country ski touring, ice climbing, and mountaineering, so I spend plenty of time outside in the winter and would have ample opportunity to test this jacket in a variety of conditions. Fraser Valley is often called the icebox of the nation. Cold air just settles into the valley making it snotsicle forming cold, so a high loft insulating jacket can surely be tested well.
During November, I have two trips planned. The first is a day trip to Byers Peak. The elevation gain of the planned route is 3000 and the mileage is 7.6. The second trip is a four day Thanksgiving weekend trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. The routes are still being planned. Beyond November I do not know my work schedule, so I cannot make definite plans. Traditionally, however, I am outside with every spare day I get. I also have a room mate whom also climbs, so there are bound to be many spontaneous ice climbing trips. While belaying, a puffy is almost a necessity.
Test Specific Questions (aside from the basics):
-At 10,000+ feet, every ounce is critical. How light is this ultra-light compared to the warmth it provides.
-I can't see the hand pockets in the product picture. Are they high enough so they don't get blocked by my packs hip belt?
-How durable is it; say to ski edges while I am carrying them over my shoulder?
-Are there any performance issues when I put it under my climbing harness?
-Can its 100-wash rated coating really stand up to 100 washes?
-Are there any high stress points that look like they may be problematic in the future?
My test load is low at the moment, with only 2 tests, one just awaiting an edit to be finished:
-Oboz Teton Suede Trailshoes LTR submitted, awaiting edit
-M-ROCK DSLR Camera System LTR due November 24th
-Coleman Exponent Feather 442
-Marmot Meta Softshell Jacket
-Atlas Series 11 Snowshoes
My two ORs and tests can be seen at the following link:
Thanks for taking the time to read my application and I hope that you will accept it,