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IR - MONTBELL HIGHLAND - STEVE KIDD

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  • ftroop94
    Ryan/Kathy I have an extension on the jacket as I m awaiting the medium to arrive in place of the large I ordered. My wife was having a little outpatient
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 7, 2012
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      Ryan/Kathy

      I have an extension on the jacket as I'm awaiting the medium to arrive in place of the large I ordered.

      My wife was having a little outpatient procedure this morning, so I went ahead an wrote up a report while I was waiting on her. I can ammend the IR when the medium comes OR simply add details to the FR when that is due. As the editing team just let me know and I thy will be done!

      Anyhoo...here is the IR I worked up!

      ~SMK


      HTML:

      http://alturl.com/4s6tq

      OR

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR-MONTBELL%20HIGHLAND-STEVE%20KIDD/

      TEXT:

      MONTBELL HIGHLAND JACKET
      TEST SERIES BY STEVEN M KIDD
      IR
      December 07, 2012

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Steven M Kidd
      EMAIL: ftroop94ATgmailDOTcom
      AGE: 40
      LOCATION: Franklin, Tennessee
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 184 lb (83.50 kg)

      Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 25 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lbs (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover between 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.


      INITIAL REPORT

      PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Image Courtesy MontBell">>

      Manufacturer: MontBell Co
      Year of Manufacture: 2012
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.montbell.us/" LINK TEXT = "MontBell US">>
      MSRP: US $129
      Listed Weight: 12.2 oz (346 g) {Based on Medium}
      Measured Weight: 13.5 oz (383 g) {Large}
      Stuff Sack Weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
      Down Fill Weight: 3 oz (85 g)
      Sizes Available: S/M/L/XL/XXL
      Colors: Charcoal Black, Indigo, Meadow Green, Rust

      The MontBell Highland Jacket is a 650 goose down fill power coat. The shell and lining are made with a 40-denier nylon taffeta. The Highland features sewn through construction, two zippered hand warmer pockets, two interior drop pockets and elastic cuffs. It also includes a stuff sack.

      The website states the jacket material is treated with a standard durable water repellent (DWR). The zipper, also treated with DWR, is a VISLON. This trademarked zipper is made with injected plastic elements and is lighter than metal zippers in corresponding sizes.

      MontBell states the following concerning the Highland: "This simple, lightweight insulating layer flaunts two traits that define great gear, versatility and value." They market the jacket as warm and good looking for use in town or on the trail without putting the customer's disposable income in jeopardy.




      CUSTOMER SERVICE INTERACTION

      After being selected to test the MontBell Highland down filled jacket I reviewed the sizing chart on their website, but still decided to go up a size in my coat selection. I did so because I've historically had to do this with every other Montbell clothing article I've worn in the past. When the large sized jacket arrived, I quickly photographed it and inspected it for quality, then donned it shortly thereafter. The Highland was a fit well to minimally loose in the chest area, but was quite baggy through the waist. I was a little confused as every other item from this manufacturer always worked for me when ordered one size too large, including a down filled vest I purchased within the last month. I was concerned the bagginess in the waist would diminish the insulating properties of the goose down.

      I reached out to MontBell to see about exchanging the jacket for a medium, and had an in depth conversation with a product representative. I suggested the Highland had a more liberal cut than most Montbell clothing. He agreed that as an entry level article it was cut more loosely than some of their more technical slim fitting items. However, he also stated that nearly all MontBell clothing has been redesigned in the past few years to keep up with the growing waistlines of their customers. He clarified that even a technical item of today is different than one of five years ago.

      After asking my measurements, the product representative said that he'd generally still suggest a large jacket for me, but much of a proper fit is quite subjective. I mentioned that I'd lost a considerable amount of weight and still plan on dropping another 14 lb (6 kg) throughout the test series. Based on that, he felt comfortable that a medium would be more suitable for me as a large would certainly create air gaps, but again reiterated the subjective nature of a proper fit that varies from customer to customer.

      In conclusion I decided to exchange the jacket for a medium with the understanding it may be a little snug in the chest/pit area at my present weight. I don't want an uncomfortably tight jacket on the trail, but I certainly don't want one that swallows me. I'm probably in between the best size for me presently. I currently await arrival of the medium, look for updates on the fit and feel in my next report.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Front - As Arrived">> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Back - As Arrived">>

      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

      Much like every MontBell item I've owned in the past, I found the Highland to be a well designed with quality construction. I noticed no loose threads or inconsistent stitching patterns. The 40-denier nylon taffeta shell was smooth and slick to the touch. It has a shiny appearance and the material does not appear to have a rip-stop design.

      Although the coat I received was a little too roomy for me, it was a very comfortable material that I look forward to wearing in a proper fit. I was impressed with the overall weight of the Highland. The large, coming in at 13.5 oz (383 g), was comparable in weight to several 800 fill goose down jackets I've worn. The material didn't appear excessively thin and the cut as mentioned isn't extremely fitted. That stated, MontBell continues to baffle me with their lightweight designs.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "MontBell Highland">>

      One way I believe they saved weight for the gram conscious outdoors person was to eliminate any shock corded draft barriers. Neither the neck nor the waist had a cinch cord or toggle that would go along with such a feature. The jacket also has sewn through construction versus a baffled design. As I understand this can save weight in an article, but theoretically creates an opportunity for cold spots. I look forward to reporting on the Highland's warmth in the ensuing months. I was certainly toasty warm within minutes of trying it on. Save the VISLON zipper and the two aforementioned features, I'm simply not sure how MontBell designed such a lightweight jacket at a relatively cost effective price point, but I'm certainly excited that they have!

      The jacket was accompanied by a stuff sack that compresses the Highland to approximately 4 x 8 in (10 x 20 cm). The sack weighs a half ounce (14 g), and since I'm weight conscious with the gear I take on the trail I will mostly likely not utilize it. Rather, I can turn the coat into itself and stow it into one of its own interior drop pockets. This doesn't compress the coat as tightly as the stuff sack, but works for me and saves me a few grams.


      SUMMARY

      The MontBell Highland jacket appears to be a nicely designed and quality constructed item. I'm excited to test it in the ensuing winter months, both in the backcountry and as the manufacturer suggests...in town.

      The initial coat I received was a little too roomy of a fit to make me feel comfortable with extended field use, but the representatives were polite, educated me and were quite accommodating. I like the design of the coat and look forward to reporting how it performs. I certainly have no qualms with wearing it in public. It doesn't give me that 'Stay Puft Marshmallow' complex that some down items have a tendency to create. I look forward to the medium arriving and starting the trial as cold front is expected early next week!

      I give the Highland roses on what I consider a lightweight design for a 650 fill jacket. I also like the stylish look and color options offered. The only thorn that concerns me is the lack of a rip-stop in the shell material. I fear an unintentional snag on a branch in could cause a snow storm of down being released in the wilderness.

      I'd sincerely like to thank MontBell Co and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test the Highland jacket. Please look for my field report in approximately two months. I will also update how the medium fits and give corrected weight specifications for that article.




      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
    • RyanC
      Steve, In my humble opinion, let s roll with what you ve got and adjust any sizing-related items in the FR. comment:
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 9, 2012
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        Steve,

        In my humble opinion, let's roll with what you've got and adjust any sizing-related items in the FR.

        comment: <650 goose down fill power coat> typically this would be written "650 fill power down coat" - revise if you choose to do so

        Edit: <I fear an unintentional snag on a branch in could cause a snow storm of down being released in the wilderness.> This sentence is a bit akward...simple rewording such as "I fear an unintentional snag on a branch could cause a snow storm of down...." -- please correct as you see fit.


        Edit: <MontBell Co> - probably ought to include a period after Co -- please correct as you see fit.

        See you in about two months time. Enjoy the jacket and the holidays.

        Ryan
      • ftroop94
        Accpted your edits, uploaded and deleted the test file Big Dawg! See you in a few...looking forward to getting the new one in the mail! ~SMK
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 9, 2012
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          Accpted your edits, uploaded and deleted the test file Big Dawg! See you in a few...looking forward to getting the new one in the mail!

          ~SMK

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "RyanC" <bigdawgryan@...> wrote:
          >
          > Steve,
          >
          > In my humble opinion, let's roll with what you've got and adjust any sizing-related items in the FR.
          >
          > comment: <650 goose down fill power coat> typically this would be written "650 fill power down coat" - revise if you choose to do so
          >
          > Edit: <I fear an unintentional snag on a branch in could cause a snow storm of down being released in the wilderness.> This sentence is a bit akward...simple rewording such as "I fear an unintentional snag on a branch could cause a snow storm of down...." -- please correct as you see fit.
          >
          >
          > Edit: <MontBell Co> - probably ought to include a period after Co -- please correct as you see fit.
          >
          > See you in about two months time. Enjoy the jacket and the holidays.
          >
          > Ryan
          >
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