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75812LTR - Montbell Higland Jacket - Theresa Lawrence

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  • Theresa Lawrence
    May 13, 2013
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      Hi Ryan - it's been a great test, here's the LTR, thank you!
      Theresa

      HTML is here:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/LTR%20-%20MONTBELL%20HIGHLAND%20-%20THERESA/

      Text is here:

      MontBell Highland Down Jacket
      Test Series By Theresa Lawrence
      LTR
      May 13, 2013

      LONG-TERM REPORT

      LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

      During the Long-Term Test Phase I have continued to wear the jacket around town almost daily for short evening walks, X-country and backcountry skiing and outdoor SAR activities. In addition to these, I have taken it on one winter overnight backcountry ski tour in March to Akimina Pass in Waterton Park, Alberta. Weather consisted of light snow, but mostly cloudless sky. Temperatures were as low as -11 C (12 F). Another 7 days were spent camping in Moab, Utah, with temperatures overnight of 7 C (44 F) with very strong winds.

      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

      Again as observed in the field test, in temperatures below freezing in a winter camp with a tent, the jacket worked well as the 4th layer out of 5, even when spending 3-4 hours sitting outside the tent doing minimal activity. While typically in this planned situation I would bring along a much heavier down jacket,  but after testing this lightweight jacket, it has me rethinking what I can get away with since the other layers used with it always come with me anyway. It surprised me that something so small and light can offer so much warmth. It's all in the layering.

      In completely different conditions, I happened to spend  a week camping in desert dry conditions in Moab, Utah, with temperatures only as low as 7 C (44 F) overnight, but the winds were incredibly strong and chilling. With this down jacket, and just a fleece layer underneath, the wind was cut out and I was toasty warm, very impressed. It was just the item I needed to enjoy camping in this setting, as during the days we had temperatures up to 38 C (100 F), where I cared not to pack any heavy layers.

      During this test I wanted to focus on the jacket's durability. I've observed that it has held up very well from being squished and squashed into backpacks of varying sizes. It lofts just as well as when I first got it. There has been very minimal loss of feathers, in fact I don't remember seeing any during this phase of testing. There is one pulled thread in the nylon going down the length of one arm, but it has not affected the integrity or performance of the jacket. The end of the thread must be on the inside because there's nothing to pull on the outside, nothing that could get hooked on and made worse. This sums up my observations on this great jacket that has served me well this winter.

      SUMMARY

      Overall I am very pleased with the Montbell Highland down jacket. It has exceeded and outperformed my expectations for such a light and affordable down jacket. I will continue to use it for winter activities and with less layers for cold spring and summer nights in higher elevations in the mountains. It packs and lofts well, keeps warmth in and looks great and fits well. I have no complaints about this fine jacket and as such it has become one of my favorite pieces of gear to wear.

      Thanks again to Montbell America Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to be a part of this test.



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      Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.                              
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