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IR - Montbell Permafrost Jacket - Bob Sanders

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  • 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, Bob
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2008
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      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
      Age: 51
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
      Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
      Chest: 48 in (122 cm)
      Waist: 38 in (97 cm)
      Email: sherpabob(at)mac(dot)com
      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.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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