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FR - Montane Flux jacket - Brian Hartman

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  • Brian Hartman
    Hi Steven, Below is my Field Report for the Montane Flux jacket. The link to my HTML report is
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 10, 2014
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      Hi Steven,
      Below is my Field Report for the Montane Flux jacket. The link to my HTML report is http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20Montane%20Flux%20Jacket%20-%20Brian%20Hartman/
      Thanks,
      Brian
       
       
       
      FIELD REPORT
       
      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
       
      During the past two months I wore the Montane Flux on three backpacking trips.  I also wore it to work, around town and while walking my dog around the neighborhood.  In fact I pretty much wore it  whenever I went outside, either as a mid layer or outer layer jacket.  My first trip was a two day outing with my brothers to Oldenburg, Indiana (IN).  The weather on this trip was overcast and cold with occasional snow and a nighttime low of 12 F (-11 C).  My second outing was a two day backpacking night trip to the Hoosier National Forest in Southern Indiana where skies were partly sunny and there was 4 in (10cm) of snow on the ground.  My third trip was an overnight camping trip where I hunkered down in sub zero temperatures while 13 in (33 cm) of snow fell around me.
       
      1. My first trip was to Oldenburg, Indiana (IN).  During this two-day outing my brothers and I did some bushwhacking and also explored several frozen creeks.  Daytime temperatures were in the mid 20's F (-3 C) and elevations ranged from 570 ft (174 m) to 780 ft (238 m).
       
      <<IMAGE 1>> Location: Oldenburg, IN
      Type of Trip: Family camping
      Distance:  4 mi (6 km)
      Length of Trip: 1 night
      Backpack Weight: 32 lb (15 kg)
      Sky and Air Conditions: Overcast
      Precipitation: 0.75 in (2 cm) snow
      Temperature Range: 12 F to 26 F (-11 C to -3 C)
       
      2. My second trip was to the Hoosier National Forest. During this two-day outing I hiked on and off trails covering approximately 8 miles (13 km) over moderately hilly terrain.  Snow and slippery trails slowed my travels considerably.  Elevations ranged from 505 ft (154 m) to 760 ft (232 m) and daytime temperatures were in the low 30's F (0 C).
       
      Location: Hoosier National Forest
      Type of Trip: Backpacking
      Distance: 8 mi (13 km)
      Length of Trip: 2 nights
      Backpack Weight: 22 lb (10 kg)
      Sky and Air Conditions: Partly sunny with light winds
      Precipitation: None.  4 in (10 cm) of snow was already on the ground
      Temperature Range: 32 F to 20F (1 C to -7 C)
       
      3. My third trip was an overnight outing only a few miles from my home in Central Indiana due to a winter storm that was fast approaching.  Because the weather reports called for heavy snowfall, sub zero temperatures, and gusty winds I wore the Flux as an insulative mid layer and slipped a Gore-Tex shell over top of it.  13 in (33 cm) of snow fell overnight and temperatures dropped to -7 F (-21 C) with strong winds that reduced wind chills to -30 F (-35 C).  Thankfully several large evergreen trees near my campsite protected me from the worst of the wind and snow until morning.
       
      Location: Noblesville, Indiana (IN)
      Type of Trip: Camping
      Distance: 1.5 mi (2.4 km)
      Length of Trip: 1 night
      Backpack Weight: 26 lb (12 kg)
      Sky and Air Conditions: Overcast with heavy snowfall followed by gusty winds
      Precipitation: 13 in (33 cm) of snowfall
      Temperature Range: 18 F to -7 F (-7 C to -21 C)
       
      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
       
      During the past two months of Field Testing the Montane Flux has performed exceptionally well in a variety of weather conditions including freezing temperatures with light snow, freezing temperatures with heavy snow and sub zero temperatures with heavy snow and extreme wind.  Did I mention it's been cold and snowy this winter?  During this period I've worn the Flux as both a mid layer and outer layer jacket and it has proven to be warm, weather resistant and durable.  On most of my trips I wore a mid weight synthetic top paired with a lightweight polyester pullover as my base layers and a Gore-Tex jacket, when needed, as my shell.
       
      Warmth - So far all of my backpacking trips this test period have been in temperatures at or below freezing.  In this weather the Flux did a good job of keeping my torso and arms warm as long as I was hiking aggressively.  In temperatures below 20 F (-7 C), I found that I needed to wear a shell over top of the Flux to maintain warmth, regardless of how much I was exerting myself.  I found the same was true at temperatures below 28 F (-2 C) when sitting around camp.  At no time during my testing did I experience cold spots or areas where the insulation was too thin or had shifted.  Since the hood is permanently attached and quite warm, I've found myself using it often.  To date I haven't had the opportunity to test the high temperature rating for this jacket but it seems to have very good breathability so I am hopeful I can continue wearing it through most of spring and regulate my body temperature via the front zipper.
       
      <<IMAGE 2>> Weather Resistance - The Flux did a very good job of blocking wind and the adjustable sleeve cuffs and waist hem prevented cold air from chilling my arms and torso.  The high front collar and insulated hood blocked a significant amount of wind from my face and neck and this too made a huge difference in how much heat I retained.  When the snow started flying, and it did quite often, the Flux did a great job of shedding most of it.  In all cases the Pertex shell and DWR coating gave me ample time to get out of the weather or put on my Gore-Tex shell.  As an experiment, I went outside to shovel my driveway in heavy wet snowfall wearing only the Flux jacket with no shell and it took approximately 30 minutes before water started soaking through the jacket.
       
      Ventilation / breathability - During Field Testing I did not encounter any temperatures too warm for this jacket, even when backpacking at a fast pace.  The fact that it's fast drying, as witnessed by how quickly it dried out after shoveling my driveway in heavy snowfall, is an added bonus.
       
      Comfort and fit - The Flux is soft and easy to slip on over my base layers due to its smooth interior surface but it is also snug fitting.  It fits alright in the chest and waist but there is not much room at all in the forearms and arm pits.  I noticed this most often when I was putting on my backpack or bending over to drive in tent stakes or clear an area for my tent site.  My observation regarding its tight fit seems to be fairly well known based on what others have said on the net.  I researched moving up a size but I don't think that would solve the problem as then the chest and waist would be too big and the sleeves would be too long.  I wish Montane would relax their forearm and under arm measurements slightly as this would make wearing the Flux more comfortable.  If air filtration is a concern, adding stretch bands to the waist and cuffs might solve that issue.
       
      Durability - So far I have had no problems with durability.  The seams have remained tight and there are no holes, tears, rips or even loose threads on the Flux.  Despite trekking several days with a heavy backpack, the shoulder straps caused no noticeable wear on the jacket.
       
      Features - The design of the Flux jacket is well thought out and it has performed well for me during the past two months of testing.  The outer pockets on the Flux are well-placed and easy to access even while wearing a backpack.  They were plenty large for anything I wanted to put in them and the insulated hand pockets provided a great place to warm up my hands after removing my gloves to light my backpacking stove.  I had no problems with any of the zippers snagging or getting caught on the jacket fabric and they were easy enough to open and close while wearing gloves.  It has taken me awhile to get used to the fact that the main front zipper pull is on the left hand side of the jacket.  I still catch myself every once in a while holding onto the left side of my jacket when trying to open or close the zipper but it usually only takes a second before I realize my mistake.
       
      Overall I am very happy with the Montane Flux jacket.  It is warm, light weight, compressible, blocks wind and is water resistant.  These four things make it a very versatile piece of clothing.  So far I have had no issues with its durability and just need a change of weather to test its breathability.
       
      SUMMARY
       
      So far I am very happy with the Montane Flux jacket.  It is well designed, comfortable to wear, wind and water resistant and, so far, quite durable.  Despite daily use the synthetic insulation shows no signs of breaking down and overall the jacket remains in great shape.
       
      This concludes my Field Report for the Flux jacket.  I will post my Long Term report in approximately two months so please check back for further information.  Thanks to Montane and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this jacket.
       
       
       
      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.
    • ftroop94
      Brian, Just a few edits, then feel free to delete the test file and upload the report. I know it has been pretty cold up there this winter...I may have to
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 14, 2014
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        Brian,

        Just a few edits, then feel free to delete the test file and upload the report.  I know it has been pretty cold up there this winter...I may have to relocate to Indy soon, and my wife isn't looking forward to the winters!

        See you in a few months!

        ~Steve

        >>

        My third trip was an overnight camping trip where I hunkered down in sub zero temperatures while 13 in (33 cm) of snow fell around me.

        EDIT: subzero

         

        >> Because the weather reports called for heavy snowfall, sub zero temperatures,

        and gusty winds I wore the Flux as an insulative mid layer and slipped a Gore-Tex shell over top of it.

        EDIT:  subzero 

        EDIT: as an insulating mid layer

         

        >>

        freezing temperatures with heavy snow and sub zero temperatures with heavy snow and extreme wind.

        EDIT: subzero

      • Brian Hartman
        Steve, Thanks for the edits. It s been a cold winter in the Midwest but I heard rumors it may get into the 40 s later next week! See you in a few months.
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 15, 2014
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          Steve,
          Thanks for the edits. It's been a cold winter in the Midwest but I heard rumors it may get into the 40's later next week! See you in a few months.

          Thanks,
          Brian


          --------------------------------------------
          On Fri, 2/14/14, ftroop94@... <ftroop94@...> wrote:

          Subject: [backpackgeartesters] EDIT: FR - Montane Flux jacket - Brian Hartman
          To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, February 14, 2014, 8:46 PM


          Brian,

          Just a few edits, then feel free to delete the test file and
          upload the report.  I know it has been pretty cold up
          there this winter...I may have to relocate to Indy soon, and
          my wife isn't looking forward to the winters!

          See you in a few months!

          ~Steve



          >>
          My third trip was an overnight camping trip where I hunkered
          down in sub zero
          temperatures
          while 13 in (33 cm) of snow fell around me.





          EDIT: subzero

           

          >> Because the weather
          reports called for heavy snowfall, sub zero temperatures,
          and gusty winds I wore the Flux as an insulative mid layer and
          slipped a Gore-Tex shell
          over top of it.

          EDIT: 
          subzero 


          EDIT:
          as an insulating mid layer

           

          >>
          freezing temperatures with heavy snow and sub zero temperatures with
          heavy snow and extreme
          wind.

          EDIT:
          subzero



               
               

               
               






             
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