Here's my IR for the MontBell Highland Jacket. The html can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/adett4q.
Thanks for the edits!
MontBell Highland Jacket Men's
Test Series by Andy Henrichs
December 5, 2012
Initial Report - 12-5-12
Name: Andy Henrichs
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 185 lb (83.9 kg)
Email address: andyhenrichs(at)gmail(dot)com
City, State, Country: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Most of my backpacking has been in the mountains of Colorado and the deserts in the southwestern US. I have gone winter camping several times but I still prefer backpacking in the warmer months. Most of my trips are 2-3 days, but I have taken several trips of 5-6 days. In the summer of 2004, I was fortunate enough to have thru-hiked the 476 mi (766 km) Colorado Trail over 35 days. Recently, I have been leaning towards the lightweight side of the spectrum.
Manufacturer: MontBell America, Inc. (montbell.us)
Year of Manufacture: 2012
MSRP: $129 US
Manufacturers Stated Weight (size M): 12.2 oz (346 g)
Measured Weight (size L): 14 oz (397 g)
Measured Weight (stuff sack): 0.4 oz (11 g)
Colors: Rust, Charcoal Black, Indigo, Meadow Green
The MontBell Men's Highland Jacket
(photo from the MontBell website)
The MontBell Highland Jacket is an insulated jacket filled with 650-fill Goose Down. The shell is constructed of 40-denier nylon and the baffles are sewn through. MontBell describes the jacket as providing "sweater weight warmth suitable for work as a winter-mid layer or on its own during chilly conditions." It has some nice standard features including a full-length front zipper, two exterior zippered hand pockets, and two interior drop pockets. The sleeves have elastic cuffs, and there is no drawcord at the bottom hem of the jacket. The jacket stuffs into the included stuff sack and measures around 9.5 in x 5 in (24 cm x 12.7 cm) when stuffed. The MontBell website claims the jacket compresses to 7.7 in x 4.3 in (19.6 cm x 10.9 cm), and I don't dispute this. My measurements were taken with the jacket stuffed, but not compressed. When I squish the stuff sack down, it compresses down quite a bit more.
The zippered exterior pockets measure approximately 7.5 in (19 cm) wide by 9.5 in (24 cm) tall. The inner drop pockets measure approximately 7 in (18 cm) wide by 11 in (28 cm) tall. The MontBell logo is embroidered on the left chest of the jacket. There is a care label tag sewn into the lower left side of the torso with down-garment-specific care instructions. According to a hang tag, a water-repellent coating has been applied to the zipper tapes on this jacket. In addition to the aforementioned zipper information hang tag, there is another hang tag with advice for how to deal with down leakage, as well as one with general information about the jacket. According to this last hang tag, the Highland Jacket contains 2.8 oz (79 g) of down and the shell has a 25-wash rated DWR applied to it.
Packed away in the stuff sack
The MontBell Highland Jacket appears to be a very nice and well-made garment. All of the stitching looks solid and I was impressed with how much the jacket lofted after I removed it from the packaging. When first trying it on, I was a bit surprised at how large it was. My measurements aligned perfectly with those for a size Large on the MontBell website, but the jacket feels a bit roomy. I wish I would have had a chance to try on a medium before settling on the large, but I do feel that the extra room will accommodate other layers very well and will probably be more functional in actual use.
I've only really worn the jacket outside on a couple of occasions, but it seems to provide a good amount of warmth. I'll need a lot more use in varied conditions before I can make a more definite comment on the warmth it provides. The elastic cuffs on the sleeve are only moderately snug. Right now I like that because they're not cutting off my circulation in my wrists, but I'll be curious to see if it becomes an issue with letting wind gust up my sleeves. The exterior pockets are a good size and easily accessible. The interior drop pockets are just as roomy and accessible, but I really don't have much experience with drop pockets. The fact that the contents could fall out makes me a little nervous, but I guess I'll just have to avoid doing handstands to prevent that from happening. The one strange thing about the pockets is that the contents of the interior pockets sit in front of the exterior hand warmer pockets. Basically, if I'm using both pockets, the contents of the interior drop pockets sit against the back of my hands (which are in the handwarmer pockets). It's probably not a big deal, but I had my headlamp in one inner pocket on a recent walk, and I wasn't fond of having it dig into the back of my hands while warming them up in the exterior pockets.
This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back in about 2 months for my Field Report.
Thank you to MontBell America, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this jacket.