IR - Montbell Permafrost Jacket - Bob Sanders
- Hi Chari,
Below is my IR for the Montbell Permafrost Jacket.
HTML in test Test Folder: http://tinyurl.com/6hyut4
Thanks in advance for all your help,
MontBell Permafrost Light Down Jacket
Test Series by Bob Sanders
Initial Report: December 3, 2008
Name: Bob Sanders
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Chest: 48 in (122 cm)
Waist: 38 in (97 cm)
Location: Longmont, Colorado USA
Backpacking Background: I went on my first backpacking trip as a Boy
Scout at the age of 16. Over the years I have hiked the Wonderland
Trail in Washington and section hiked parts of the Florida Trail and
the Appalachian Trail. In 2003 during a seven week period I hiked 740
mi (1191 km) of the Pacific Crest Trail. Best vacation I ever took. I
continue to backpack and hike year round in the Colorado mountains. I
have evolved from a heavyweight backpacker to a lightweight
backpacker. My three day summer solo adventures (using a hammock) have
me hovering around a 10 lb (4.5 kg) base weight. However while
backpacking in the winter I will be using a tent and additional
clothing. So my base weight will climb to approx. 17 lb (7.7 kg)
December 3, 2008
Manufacturer: MontBell America
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.montbell.us
MSRP: US $249
Listed Weight: 13.8 oz (391 g) Size Med
Measured Weight: 17.5 oz (497 g) XXL
Weight of stuff Sack: 0.4 oz (10.4 g)
Colors available: Gun Metal (Tested), Red Brick, Thyme
Manufacturer's description (From Website): The Permafrost Light Down
Jacket is a no-nonsense alpine tool. When designing this product we
were struck by the fact that Windstopper technology is not commonly
found on lightweight down jackets. We believe this Windstopper
membrane to be an ideal match to such garments. By integrating this
time tested technology we have greatly enhances the insulating
properties of the Permafrost Light while protecting the 800 fill power
goose down against moisture accumulation. This is accomplished with
minimal weight penalty allowing it to weigh in well under a pound at a
scant 13.8 oz. When winter conditions prevail, but a full on
expedition parka would be overkill, the Permafrost light makes a lot
of sense. No gimmicks here. Just your old stand by puffy infused with
a little modern technology. Generously cut to accommodate a variety of
winter layering systems.
Features (From Website):
* Welded Single Quilt Construction
* Micro fleeced line collar
* Zippered hand pockets with fleece lining
* Slightly articulated elbows
* One hand hem adjusters for both sides
* Alpine elastic cuffs with Velcro adjustments
* Water resistant Aqua-TectTM zippers
Tech Specs (From Website)
* High quality 800 fill power hypoallergenic goose down
* WINDSTOPPER� insulated Shell
* 30-denier Ballistic rip-stop nylon shell
* 15-denier Ballistic Airlight rip stop nylon lining
* Compresses: 5.1�� x 9.3�� (stuff sack included)
* Size: S/ M/ L/ XL/ XXL
* Fill Weight: 4.0 oz.
The jacket arrived and its style and color match the website photo.
Attached to the jacket were 4 tags. Two of the tags were warnings. The
first one says "Warning!!! Because the product is using highly
windproof materials for the outershell, the air within the product may
not compress quickly. Please compress slowly or you may rupture the
down compartments. I believe the warning is there because the down
compartments formed from the inner and outer fabrics are "welded" not
sewn. Maybe these welds are not as strong as sewing and gentle
compression is needed to keep these welded seams from separating. I
will be keeping an eye on this.
A second warning tag says "Down Leakage Warning! This product is using
superfine fabric to make it light and compact. It is down proof, which
prevents down fibers coming off the fabric. However, since a down
fiber is extra fine and the fabric is very thin, you see down fibers
coming off from stitch lines as you wear. It is caused by the
expansion and contraction of the fabric. When down fibers are stuck to
your clothes, they can be easily removed by using weak adhesive
tapes". Being a Japanese company this is probably an english
translation that should say "fibers coming OUT from stitch lines".
Lots of words to simply say "Some minor down leakage may occur through
some of the seams". I have not noticed any down leakage anywhere.
The third tag is a Gore "Windstopper Insulated Shell" tag. It is in
six languages and explains that the fabric has "Total windproofness
and maximum breathability". It has a nifty diagram showing the
different layers of the jacket and how they work.
FABRIC: The body of the jacket is made from 2 different nylon fabrics.
The inner fabric is a very thin and lightweight 15-denier Ballistic
Airlight rip stop nylon in a medium gray is very shiny and a bit
crinkly. The exterior fabric is dark gray (gunmetal) 30-denier
Ballistic rip-stop nylon shell with the Windstopper laminate. It is
listed as "water resistant and totally windproof". I will be keeping
an eye on how well the exterior breaths and if it can handle snow and
light precipitation. I did hold the sleeve under a water faucet and
the water beaded up nicely and ran right off. A quick shake and all
the beads were gone. I will also be evaluating how abrasion resistant
the fabric is.
CONSTRUCTION:The jacket appears to be very well made with no loose
threads or funky stitches. The down is held in place in single layer
pockets. There is no baffle between the inner and out fabrics. The
exterior fabric has no stitch lines but a .25 in (.63 cm) welded seam
can be seen (see photo above). However the inner fabric does have
stitch lines. Not sure what the inner fabric is stitched too. I will
be evaluating if the single layer construction creates any cold spots.
The collar is lined with a very soft open-mesh micro fleece and the
top of the zipper has a "zipper garage" to keep the zipper from
rubbing your chin.
INSULATION: The jacket is stuffed with 800 fill power hypoallergenic
goose down in a single layer. Down fill power is determined by how
many cubic inches one ounce of down occupies. Different standards
groups utilize different criteria to determine their final
measurements. MontBell doesn't indicate which standard they use to
determine their fill power so a rating of 800 fill power can only be
used as a guideline. Basically the higher the number the more space
the same weight of down occupies. So lighter insulating gear can be
made by using higher fill power down.
The down thickness appears to be pretty uniform throughout. Trying to
measure the thickness of the insulation is never easy because the
whole jacket is a bunch of hills and valleys. But here is what I came
up with to give you a general idea. I let the jacket fully loft
overnight. I stretched out one of the arms on the edge of a table. I
placed a ruler on the edge measuring the center (thickest part) of the
down vertically and came up with approx. 2 in (5 cm). Now remember
that this is a measurement of 2 layers because I measured the arm. I
measured several other single layers and I can safely say the jacket
has an approx. loft of 1 in (2.5 cm) throughout.
FIT & SIZING: I asked for and received an XXL. Mainly because I want
to be able to layer the jacket over a wide variety of base and
insulating layers. The jacket is long enough in the back to cover
about half my large posterior. When I sit down the back edge continues
to cover the top of my pants, so no cold spots.
The sleeve length is perfect for me. With my arms at my sides and the
cuffs loosened, the sleeves come to about the middle of my fingers.
With the cuffs tightened around my wrists I have plenty of room to
raise my arms above my head and the jacket does not ride up exposing
my tummy to the cold cruel world.
ZIPPERS: All of the zippers are Aqua-Tect water resistant zippers. The
front zipper is backed with a stiffened flap. This keeps the front
zipper from snagging the thin nylon exterior fabric. All the zippers
operate smoothly but are a little bit stiff. I will see if the
stiffness eases up after continued use.
POCKETS:The two front pockets are quite large and are lined with a
similar soft micro fleece as the collar but it is a solid not a mesh
fabric. Plenty of room for a hat, gloves and possibly a snack but not
large enough for a water bottle. Water resistant, 7.5 in (19 cm)
zippers secure the pockets. The pockets are located along the seam
line of the front and back panels. These pockets will not be
accessible while wearing a pack.
CUFFS: The cuffs have both a small strip of elastic and a Velcro patch
for adjustment. Plenty of room when left open and they snug up nicely
when wearing gloves.
Check back in 2 months for my Field Report and I will have a much
better idea how warm and versatile this jacket really is.
I would like to thank MontBell and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test this item.
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