LTR - MontBell Highland - Andy Henrichs
Here is my LTR for the Highland. HTML can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/d5a36su
Thanks for the edits!
Long Term Report
Over the course of the LTR phase, I've been able to use the MontBell Highland Jacket on one overnight backcountry skiing hut trip, one overnight river trip, a two night backpacking trip, and five day-long backcountry skiing trips. The days of the hut trip was rather chilly and blustery. Skies were overcast and a decent amount of snow fell most of the days. Temperatures peaked at around 20 F (-7 C), so I wore the jacket any time I was outside. The river trip featured weather that was much more fair. We had clear skies, an occasionally period of wind, and temperatures that ranged from 65 F (18 C) down to 35 F (2 C). We camped in a deep and narrow canyon, so we lost sunlight fairly early in the evening. I ended up putting the jacket on shortly after we lost sun and wore it until we set off down the river the next morning. My two night backpacking trip was in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah, and weather was mixed. Most of the time the skies were cloudy, but the sun managed to punch through now and then. Temperatures ranged from 30 F (-1 C) up to 65 F (18 C). Again, I was camping at the bottom of a canyon, so the Highland Jacket came in very handy once the sun set behind the canyon rim. My use of the Highland on the day-long backcountry skiing trips was the same as my use during the Field Report phase. All of these trips were in Colorado, and I only used the jacket for warmth at longer rests during these trips.
The Highland Jacket has continued to serve me well. It has provided adequate warmth on all of my excursions during this phase, but I still feel that I would either want a jacket with more warmth or an additional layer to supplement for true winter camping. The size continues to meet my needs well, as it allows for generous layering underneath the jacket. My trips during this phase of the test subjected the jacket to slightly harsher conditions, including brief periods of bushwhacking. I've been impressed with how well the jacket has held up in these conditions. I've still noticed a few small down plumes leaking, but I don't feel like I've noticed quite as many as I did during the Field Report phase. I did recently wash the Highland, and I'm happy to say it came out looking like new. I followed the directions on the MontBell website, but used a Nikwax product instead of their recommended plan. Since I only have a top-loading washing machine at home, I hand washed it in a large bucket. After many rinses, I was able to wash out all of the soap and into the dryer it went. After a couple of long cycles to ensure all of the down was dry, the jacket came out clean as ever.
I have been quite happy with the MontBell Highland Jacket. It provides an adequate amount of warmth given it's weight, and it looks good to boot! While I have a few quibbles with the design (mainly the interior drop pockets), overall it is a jacket that I intend to continue wearing in moderately cold conditions.
interior drop pockets
fit is slightly more generous than I prefer
Thank you to MontBell America, Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this jacket.
Albeit somewhat late, I am finally getting around to reviewing the Highland reports.
You put together a nice report and test series. Gladn you enjoyed the jacket.
Just one minor item for you to address and then you are good to post in the appropriate folder.
Edit: <The days of the hut trip was rather chilly and blustery.> - subject / verb agreement issue; "days were" rather than "days was" -- please correct as you see fit.
Comment: Interesting that the fit is generous...typically MontBell runs on the smaller side. Therefore, I have been unable to test or even wear most MontBell products.
See you on the next one.