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FR - MontBell Ultra Light Down Vest - Kathy Waters

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  • Kathy Waters
    Carol, It s me again! Another FR for you to edit. HTML can be seen at
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 2, 2010
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      Carol,

      It's me again! <g> Another FR for you to edit. HTML can be seen at

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20MontBell%20Extra%20Light%20Down%20Vest%20-%20Kathy%20Waters/
      or http://tinyurl.com/yg99vlq and text is below.

      Thanks in advance for your edits!

      Kathy
      ______________________________________________

      FIELD REPORT
      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

      Snowshoeing with Kathryn Doiron at Snowbasin
      With the Christmas holidays and then a bout with a nasty cold, I was only
      able to wear the MontBell Ultra Light Down Vest on 3 day hikes during these
      last two months. I did take the Vest with me on my trip to Walt Disney World
      one day in Orlando, Florida and I sure was glad I had as the temps were
      around the freezing mark! Lastly, I wore the Vest on an all-day outing at
      Snowbasin in Utah for the annual All Mountain Day at the Outdoor Retailer
      Winter 2010 Show.

      All the day hikes were in the mountains behind my land in Canon City,
      Colorado with the elevation upwards of 5600 ft (1700 m) to 5800 ft (1770 m).
      The weather was generally sunny to partly cloudy with temperatures from 38 F
      (3 C) to 65 F (18 C). The terrain is rocky to muddy with lots of ups and
      downs and scrubby pine to juniper and cactus vegetation. While I didn't hike
      in snowy conditions, I did encounter snow on the ground in patches.

      At Snowbasin, it was very cloudy with heavy mist turning off and on to snow.
      That day combined walking around on snow-covered ground, snowshoeing a 7.5K
      (4.7 mi) trail and messing around with cross-country skis (don't ask!).

      I also wore the Vest constantly at work and at leisure for extra warmth
      instead of a sweatshirt or sweater...


      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

      When this Vest arrived, I thought it was just too thin to be of any real
      value in cold weather. It was cute, to be sure, but useful? Boy was I wrong!
      This Vest is super! Wearing it for these past weeks has given me an
      appreciation of just how versatile it is. I've worn it over and under base
      layers, under a fleece, with a windproof shell and various combinations of
      these layers.

      First, it is so lightweight that I don't even know I have an extra layer of
      clothing on when it comes to being overburdened with layers of fabric.
      However, I can tell immediately when I remove the Vest because my body cools
      down a lot.

      It is thin enough to go under all of my tightest outer clothing and yet
      roomy enough to go over one or two base layers. It is trim enough to not be
      in the way with excess fabric, but doesn't constrict my movements. I find it
      is warm enough to be worn on its own (with just a medium-weight base layer)
      down to 50 F (10 C) when mildly active and down to 30 F (-1 C) when very
      actively snowshoeing and such. Just below freezing, I find adding another
      layer is necessary.

      If I were to negatively comment on any feature of the Vest, I would have to
      point to the zipper and its tiny storm flap. More than once I have snagged
      the zipper on the storm flap when unzipping. The storm flap just gets in the
      way too easily for my liking and is very hard to un-snag. It most often
      catches at the top of the Vest and I've had to ask my husband to help me.
      I'm always worried I might rip the fabric.

      Surprisingly, the Vest has survived my forays into the juniper and
      pine-covered hills where I usually roam. No rips, tears or snags have
      developed though; occasionally an errant feather will escape. That is not
      unusual with down products, I know.

      I have not had to wash the Vest yet - it looks brand-new - and I don't
      expect to do so in the near future. I did spill a bit of ketchup on it and a
      damp cloth made quick work of cleaning it off. The only care I have taken
      with the Vest is when not wearing it; I have it hanging up on a wooden
      hanger in my closet. It hasn't spent much time there though!

      I also haven't yet used the stuff sack included with the Vest other than to
      try it out when I first received it. I have been too busy wearing the Vest
      to store it. With warmer weather approaching, I will most likely utilize the
      pouch so as to have the Vest handy when the weather turns colder as it is
      prone to d0 on the mountains I frequently hike.


      SUMMARY

      I like the look and color of the Vest and its comfort and utility continue
      to impress me. I'm still not sure I like the fit though. I think I prefer a
      longer hem so as to have my backside covered more when bending over and a
      slightly looser neckline. However, the Vest's stellar performance at keeping
      me warm definitely overrides those two minor points and I certainly plan on
      wearing the Vest a lot in the near future. It's a keeper.

      I will be updating this report in two months after additional field testing
      of the Vest. Please return then (early April 2010) to see my closing
      comments.

      Thank you to MontBell and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test
      this special article of clothing!

      Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
    • Carol
      Hi Kathy, Html looks good. Just a couple of edits. Carol, Monitor No rips, tears or snags have developed though; occasionally an errant feather will escape.
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 3, 2010
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        Hi Kathy,
        Html looks good. Just a couple of edits.
        Carol, Monitor

        No rips, tears or snags have developed though; occasionally an errant feather will escape.
        *** though occasionally ***

        With warmer weather approaching, I will most likely utilize the pouch so as to have the Vest handy when the weather turns colder as it is prone to d0 on the mountains I frequently hike.
        *** to do on ***
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