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Montbell - Wool Base Layers - IR - James Triplett

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  • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
    Please find below my Mont Bell base layer report, and links to the copy in the test folder. James
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 5, 2010
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      Please find below my Mont Bell base layer report, and links to the copy in
      the test folder.

      James

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/JETs%20Mont%20Bell%20Base%20Layer%20Report/
      -or-
      http://tinyurl.com/JetsMontBell

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      mont-bell America
      Mid-Weight Shirt
      Mid-Weight Tights
      Merino Wool Base Layers

      Reported by James E. Triplett
      Initial Report - January 5, 2010

      Personal Biographical Information:
      Name: James E. Triplett
      Age: 49
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 2" (188 cm)
      Weight: 192 lb (87 kg)
      Chest: 45" (114 cm)
      Sleeve Length: 35" (89 cm)
      Waist: 34" (86 cm)
      Hips: 39" (99 cm)
      Inseam: 34" (86 cm)
      Email Address: james_triplett@...
      City, State: Cedar Rapids, Iowa - USA
      Date: January 5, 2010

      Backpacking Background:

      I am an experienced hiker, backpacker, and camper, and am gaining more
      experience with winter camping every year. I hike every day, and backpack
      when possible, which leads to many weekends backpacking and camping each
      year. I try and take at least one annual week-long backpacking trip in
      addition to many one to three-night weekend trips. My style can best be
      described as lightweight, but not at the cost of giving up too much
      comfort. I generally sleep in a tent, and seem to be collecting quite a
      few of them to choose from.

      <Image Mont Bell Logo>

      Manufacturer Information:
      Manufacturer: MontBell America, Inc.
      URL: www.montbell.com

      Product Information:
      Item Being Tested: Mid-weight Merino Wool Shirt / Mid-weight Merino Wool
      Tights
      Style Number: 2307235 / 2307239
      MSRP: $64 US / $59 US
      Listed Weight (Medium): 6.7 oz (190 g) / 6.3 oz (179 g)
      Actual Weight: 8.4 oz (238 g) / 7.3 oz (207 g)
      Size Being Tested: Extra Large (Mens) / Extra Large (Mens)

      Additional Product Information:
      <<<This chart looks better in the html version>>>
      Item Being Tested:
      Mid-weight Merino Wool Shirt Mid-weight Merino Wool Tights
      Flat Seam Technology X X
      Slant-Tec Armhole X
      Slant-Tec Cuff X
      100% SUPER MERINO Wool X X
      High thermal properties X X
      Supreme comfort X X
      Natural antibacterial properties X X
      Static electricity resistant X X
      Simple to care for X X
      Size: S/ M/ L/ XL X X
      Color: BK(Black)/ NV(Navy) X X

      <Image Mont Bell Zipper Shirt>

      Initial Report
      January 5, 2010

      Initial Inspection:
      I've used various tights and long-johns for staying warm on the trail in
      the winter in the past. They have ranged from thin silk, to cotton, to
      spandex tights, to heavy wool tights. Enter the Mont Bell Super Merino
      Wool tights and Round Neck shirt. These tights are closest in weight to
      the silk layers I've used, although slightly heavier. Mont Bell calls
      them middle-weight, but from a fabric thickness standpoint I'd say they
      are more light-weight. Testing will tell if they are middle-weight from a
      warmth perspective.

      Besides the weight of the fabric, the first thing I noticed about these
      two garments is that I received XL tights despite requesting a size Large.
      The shirt is an XL, which is what I requested, and fits quite well,
      although the sleeves would benefit from being a tad longer. The tights
      fit okay in the waist, are plenty long, and a little baggy in the seat,
      although I decided to go ahead and use them as received.

      The two articles of clothing seem well made, with nicely sewn flat seams,
      and a soft touch to the wool fabric. There is an interesting Slant-Tec
      Cuff on both the shirt and tights, which is basically a rather large hem
      with the seam stitched at an angle.

      <Image Mont Bell Tights>

      Further Inspection:
      The Mont Bell tights have a fly, which wasn't described anywhere as a
      "feature" on the website, but may be faintly visible in the picture there.
      That was really the only surprise there. The Round Neck shirt, it
      appears, isn't the Round Neck shirt, but rather the High Neck shirt. The
      give away here is that it has a half-zip front which isn't included in the
      Round Neck model.

      <Image Mont Bell Shirt Closeup>

      Initial Fit:
      I like the zippered front of the shirt. I actually prefer all my winter
      layers to have zippers as I tend to "layer-up" with many layers, and the
      zipper at each layer allows for effective venting during a hike. The
      collar is a little higher than a T-shirt, and fits well although could be
      slightly smaller in order to hug my neck. The length of the body of the
      shirt is quite long, and at least initially can be pulled down to hug my
      butt, but the sleeves seem barely long enough. The fabric is soft,
      slightly stretchy, and comfortable.

      The tights have the same material which is also soft, slightly stretchy,
      and comfortable. The leg-length is more than adequate, which is desirable
      in my opinion. The over all fit is looser than I would like, but should
      be fine. The fly is not something I would request, but I shall see how I
      like it.

      <Image Mont Bell Tight Closeup>

      Care:
      The fabric on these products is Merino wool from New Zealand, with a
      selective fine gauge 18.5 micron fiber. The garment labels recommend
      machine washing in cold water with mild detergent, gentle cycle, and to
      air dry in the shade. (No bleaching, ironing, or tumble drying.)

      <Image Mont Bell Merino Wool>

      Test Plan:
      My test plans include evaluating the Mont Bell tights and High Neck shirt
      for fit and comfort, warmth and durability, and the features from the Mont
      Bell website listed above. I will be using the items on all my day hikes
      and weekend trips when tights are appropriate for the weather. This will
      primarily be in Iowa, which has been bitterly cold the past few weeks, and
      the apparel is sure to be used on many snowshoeing outings. The average
      temperature and precipitation data for Eastern Iowa is in the table below.
      The elevations here range from around 480 feet (145 meters) near the
      Mississippi river, to around 800 feet (245 meters) around my house.

      Month / Temp Range degrees F / Temp Range degrees C / Precipitation
      (inches) / Precipitation (cm)

      January / 10 to 28 / -12 to -2 / 1.1 / 2.8
      February / 15 to 33 / -9 to .5 / 1.0 / 2.5
      March / 27 to 46 / -3 to 8 / 2.3 / 5.7
      April / 39 to 61 / 4 to 16 / 3.4 / 8.5


      Summary:
      The Mont Bell tights and High Neck shirt seem to be well made and the
      Merino wool feels warm and soft and I am looking forward to putting these
      items through a good workout in the coming weeks and months. The only
      surprises are the fly in the tights, and the zipper on the shirt. I will
      be reporting on these (and other) features in the Field Report and Long
      Term Report which shall be added below once those stages have been
      completed.

      Thank you to Mont Bell and Backpackgeartest.org for this testing
      opportunity.


      Respectfully submitted,

      -James T.

      Please check back in approximately two months to read my field report,
      which will be added right here.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • thebootfitters
      James, Thanks for the well-formatted IR! It looks clean and well-organized in the browser window. I have a few items for you to consider below. We may need
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 12, 2010
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        James,

        Thanks for the well-formatted IR! It looks clean and well-organized in the browser window.

        I have a few items for you to consider below. We may need the ruling of a qualified moderator on the spelling of MontBell, but if my recollection is accurate, it should be "MontBell" as described below. I have a few other edits for you in the standard EDIT/Edit/Comment format.

        Let me know if you have any questions. Otherwise, feel free to post once these items have been considered and addressed where necessary.

        ~Christopher



        > mont-bell America
        EDIT: I recall there being some discussion from a MontBell test in the past year or so regarding the "correct" spelling of MontBell to use in our reports. My recollection is that we landed on using "MontBell." Personally, I don't think consistency between reports is essential as long as they all contain an accepted form of the company name. However, my understanding is that we are striving to be internally consistent between reports. Unless a moderator supersedes this suggestion, please use "MontBell" instead of the "mont-bell" spelling here. Thanks!

        > I try and take at least one annual week-long backpacking trip in addition to many one to three-night weekend trips.  
        Edit: Though commonly used in spoken U.S. English, "and" cannot replace the "to" in the infinitive form of a verb. This should be written as "I try to take at least..."

        > Additional Product Information:
        Edit: It may be worthwhile to note where this information is found. The packaging? The reason I suggest this is that there are some subjective statements listed ("supreme comfort," "simple to care for," etc.) that could be construed by the reader as your opinions if not clarified.


        > Mont Bell
        EDIT: Again, unless this suggestion is superseded, "MontBell" should always be spelled without a space. There are several instances of this in the report to address.


        > The shirt is an XL, which is what I requested, and fits quite well, although the sleeves would benefit from being a tad longer. 
        Edit: It may be worth clarifying the latter clause in this sentence a bit. Knowing that your sleeve length is 35", it might be helpful to the reader to know why you think the sleeves should be longer. Do the sleeves not extend to your wrists? Do you prefer longer sleeves?


        > The tights fit okay in the waist, are plenty long, and a little baggy in the seat, although I decided to go ahead and use them as received.
        Edit: Consider splitting this into two sentences for readability.

        > There is an interesting Slant-Tec Cuff on both the shirt and tights
        EDIT: The chart above shows that the tights do _not_ have the "Slant-Tec Cuff." This inconsistency should be addressed to avoid any confusion.


        > The Round Neck shirt, it appears, isn't the Round Neck shirt, but rather the High Neck shirt.  The give away here is that it has a half-zip front which isn't included in the Round Neck model.

        Edit: I feel this could use some clarification. As a reader, I'm left a little confused. Perhaps the original item to be tested was the "Round Neck" shirt, but you were actually sent the "High Neck" shirt with the zipper? (Which, incidentally, appears to be the same shirt everyone received.) From a reader's perspective, it isn't relevant whether there may have been a mix-up with the item to be tested, unless something has been misrepresented in MontBell's materials. Take a second look at this and see if this can be clarified for the reader if relevant. Otherwise, it may be best to just remove any references to the "Round Neck" in the report and call it the "High Neck" as it seems to actually be. Make sense?


        > Test Plan:
        Edit: I haven't been paying real close attention to the list in recent months, but I thought Jerry made the call recently to remove the "Test Plan" section from the initial reports. I think the information you present here is good info, but could safely be removed here. The actual uses and conditions can be described in your subsequent reports.

        Edits: If you do leave this section in, then the following items should be addressed...
        > Eastern Iowa
        Since "Eastern Iowa" isn't an actual place, it isn't a proper noun and should be spelled as though "eastern" is an adjective modifying the proper noun "Iowa."

        > Mississippi river
        The Mississippi River is a proper noun and both words should be capitalized.
      • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
        Wow! Sorry Christopher. I don t think I ve ever had so many edits. Sorry to make things difficult. I have provided feedback below. I have also modified the
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 12, 2010
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          Wow! Sorry Christopher. I don't think I've ever had so many edits. Sorry
          to make things difficult.

          I have provided feedback below. I have also modified the report and put
          it back in the test folder. Please let me know if you find it acceptable,
          or if you would like to request further modification.

          http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/JETs%20mont%20bell%20report/

          Thanks for all your efforts.

          Best regards,

          Jet

          backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com wrote on 01/12/2010 03:02:31 AM:

          > James,
          >
          > Thanks for the well-formatted IR! It looks clean and well-organized
          > in the browser window.
          >
          > I have a few items for you to consider below. We may need the
          > ruling of a qualified moderator on the spelling of MontBell, but if
          > my recollection is accurate, it should be "MontBell" as described
          > below. I have a few other edits for you in the standard
          > EDIT/Edit/Comment format.
          >
          > Let me know if you have any questions. Otherwise, feel free to post
          > once these items have been considered and addressed where necessary.
          >
          > ~Christopher
          >
          >
          >
          > > mont-bell America
          > EDIT: I recall there being some discussion from a MontBell test in
          > the past year or so regarding the "correct" spelling of MontBell to
          > use in our reports. My recollection is that we landed on using
          > "MontBell." Personally, I don't think consistency between reports
          > is essential as long as they all contain an accepted form of the
          > company name. However, my understanding is that we are striving to
          > be internally consistent between reports. Unless a moderator
          > supersedes this suggestion, please use "MontBell" instead of the
          > "mont-bell" spelling here. Thanks!
          [JET] I can change this if you are insistent, but look at
          http://www.montbell.com/ -or- http://www.montbell.us/ -or- the picture of
          the logo on the garment in my report. I have represented their name as it
          appears in all those places. (In actuality, Mont Bell is inconsistent in
          how they show their name. I chose the most predominantly displayed
          style.)

          >
          > > I try and take at least one annual week-long backpacking trip in
          > addition to many one to three-night weekend trips.
          > Edit: Though commonly used in spoken U.S. English, "and" cannot
          > replace the "to" in the infinitive form of a verb. This should be
          > written as "I try to take at least..."
          [JET] Done

          >
          > > Additional Product Information:
          > Edit: It may be worthwhile to note where this information is found.
          > The packaging? The reason I suggest this is that there are some
          > subjective statements listed ("supreme comfort," "simple to care
          > for," etc.) that could be construed by the reader as your opinions
          > if not clarified.
          [JET] Fair enough. Done.

          >
          >
          > > Mont Bell
          > EDIT: Again, unless this suggestion is superseded, "MontBell"
          > should always be spelled without a space. There are several
          > instances of this in the report to address.
          [JET] Okay - here I am inconsistent. Sorry. Once I hear which way to go
          I'll make sure they are all the same. For the time being I have made them
          all "mont-bell".

          >
          >
          > > The shirt is an XL, which is what I requested, and fits quite
          > well, although the sleeves would benefit from being a tad longer.
          > Edit: It may be worth clarifying the latter clause in this sentence
          > a bit. Knowing that your sleeve length is 35", it might be helpful
          > to the reader to know why you think the sleeves should be longer.
          > Do the sleeves not extend to your wrists? Do you prefer longer sleeves?
          [JET] Agree. I was going to have a picture in the FR, but it doesn't
          hurt to clarify it here. I have updated.

          >
          >
          > > The tights fit okay in the waist, are plenty long, and a little
          > baggy in the seat, although I decided to go ahead and use them as
          received.
          > Edit: Consider splitting this into two sentences for readability.
          [JET] Okay. Done.

          >
          > > There is an interesting Slant-Tec Cuff on both the shirt and tights
          > EDIT: The chart above shows that the tights do _not_ have the
          > "Slant-Tec Cuff." This inconsistency should be addressed to avoid
          > any confusion.
          [JET] I updated the chart. The chart was THEIR listed features, and it
          wasn't included. For clarity I agree it makes sense to add the X in the
          chart.

          >
          >
          > > The Round Neck shirt, it appears, isn't the Round Neck shirt, but
          > rather the High Neck shirt. The give away here is that it has a
          > half-zip front which isn't included in the Round Neck model.
          >
          > Edit: I feel this could use some clarification. As a reader, I'm
          > left a little confused. Perhaps the original item to be tested was
          > the "Round Neck" shirt, but you were actually sent the "High Neck"
          > shirt with the zipper? (Which, incidentally, appears to be the same
          > shirt everyone received.) From a reader's perspective, it isn't
          > relevant whether there may have been a mix-up with the item to be
          > tested, unless something has been misrepresented in MontBell's
          > materials. Take a second look at this and see if this can be
          > clarified for the reader if relevant. Otherwise, it may be best to
          > just remove any references to the "Round Neck" in the report and
          > call it the "High Neck" as it seems to actually be. Make sense?
          [JET] Yeah - I should have removed it before I submitted. Sorry. The
          test call had a link to the Round Neck. The test call did not call the
          shirt by name, so I assumed we were getting the Round Neck. What lead me
          to this statement was the fact that I had already started the report with
          all the Round Neck information prior to receiving the shirt. I agree it
          is irrelevant to the reader.

          >
          >
          > > Test Plan:
          > Edit: I haven't been paying real close attention to the list in
          > recent months, but I thought Jerry made the call recently to remove
          > the "Test Plan" section from the initial reports. I think the
          > information you present here is good info, but could safely be
          > removed here. The actual uses and conditions can be described in
          > your subsequent reports.
          [JET] Officially, Test Plans are not "required". The issue came about
          when folks were listing all their planned trips, and then plans changed.
          This section was purposely left generic, with historic weather conditions
          listed. I changed the heading to "Upcoming Testing" and took "test plan"
          form the paragraph. Let me know if you have a problem with this.

          >
          > Edits: If you do leave this section in, then the following items
          > should be addressed...
          > > Eastern Iowa
          > Since "Eastern Iowa" isn't an actual place, it isn't a proper noun
          > and should be spelled as though "eastern" is an adjective modifying
          > the proper noun "Iowa."
          [JET] Eastern Iowa is a pretty well defined region, at least for the
          locals. I'd like to leave it capitalized. I don't believe it causes any
          confusion for the reader.

          >
          > > Mississippi river
          > The Mississippi River is a proper noun and both words should be
          capitalized.
          [JET] Agree. I have updated.




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • thebootfitters
          James, No worries on my end. I think I m the one who is making things difficult for us both! ;-) I have read through your updated report and find it good to
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 13, 2010
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            James,

            No worries on my end. I think I'm the one who is making things difficult for us both! ;-)

            I have read through your updated report and find it good to post. If Ted reads this and has an issue with the inconsistent spelling of MontBell between the various MontBell reports on the site, then I'm sure he'll inform us all. It may look "cleaner" to be internally consistent on the BGT site, but I agree that MontBell themselves are not consistent in their own materials.

            Thanks for taking the time to consider the edits and update where appropriate.

            ~Christopher
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