Montbell Alpine Down Parka First Thoughts

ccarter

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Mar 23, 2015
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I recently received my Montbell Alpine Down Parka (the heavier alpine one), so I thought I'd share my thoughts since puffy get a lot of attention in this forum. I went with the evergreen/dark color, which I figured would look somewhat natural to the environment in cedar country, or up in the pines. a few things I considered for making my decision on this piece.

USE: This will be a stationary jacket. I never hike in my puffy. this is meant to be the warmest of the warm for later season hunts when temps are below 20, the wind is whipping, and I'll be sitting on an exposed ridge glassing for long periods of time (Hopefully longer now since I'm hoping this thing will be toasty) and also for rides into hunting areas on ATV's, or sitting around camp at night.

STATS: 800 FP EX Down- labels says it's FP rating is between 800 and 1000.
7 ounces of down fill- (1.7 ounces more than closest hunting brand competitor I know of at 5.3 oz.)
Claimed weight for medium: 16 oz.
Actual weight of my Large: 17.5 oz. in the stuff sack
20D ripstop shell, 20D lining- it's thin, but not flimsy. It is 'crinkly sounding'.
Microfleece lined collar and hand pockets.
drawcord waist on either side of zipper, drawcord hood on both sides, velcro size adjustment on hood elastic + Velcro wrist closures.

Fit: Large fit me exactly how I wanted it to. I'm 5'8" with a stockier upper body- 32 waist, 43 chest, if that's helpful. It's cut large enough to
wear a baselayer, fleece/midlayer comfortably under without feeling like it's binding your arms or constricting movement. But it's not baggy, draped all over me, or baggy. The tail is cut long, which I like so that air doesn't come in when my elbows are up on my knees glassing, etc. The hood design is excellent. It's the first puffy hood I've tried where it fits how I think it should. It hugs your ears so drafts don't get in, and your face doesn't constantly "run into" the sides of the hood when you turn your head.

Zipper is on the wrong side. Not a big deal. Makes me feel pretty. Not a big deal to me, but it will take a little getting used to. It's plenty beefy, which surprised me on a lightweight jacket. Pocket zippers are finer teeth design. Pockets are placed similarly to other outdoor puffier- slightly high for access with a pack on. I don't care about this too much, because I almost never put stuff in my puffy pockets since it's in my pack a lot of the time.

It definitely has that warming effect when you put it on. I've only worn it in my house, so no idea how warm it will be in hunting conditions. I live in Texas, so winter here is long gone already. On cold days, it will be replacing my Nunatak Gear APEX PCT with 5 oz. in body, 3.6 oz. in sleeves, and 2.5 oz. in the hood. Last year in Colorado, the Nunatak just wasn't warm enough when I was stationary for more than a half hour. I ended up wearing an Eddie Bauer 700 fill super puffy vest instead, so I started looking for an alternative after last season.

After comparing the SG Gruman at Scheels, which was more money with less down, I opted for the Montbell. I also considered the KUIU SuperDown Pro at 5 oz. and 400 dollars, and the RAB Electron, with 6.7 oz. down at $325 which are pretty scarce. In the end, I ended up with a $300, 7 oz of down fill, with a weight penalty of about 3-ounces. I'm old, but I think I'll gladly take the warmth and money savings over carrying 3 ounces less. Hell, maybe I'll glass longer and get to fill my pack 100 pounds of deer or elk quarters more often.

In the end, I'm impressed with the jacket. It appears to be very lofty compared to the Gruman I handled, and well made. I'll let y'all know updates as I put it to use.
 

Vandy321

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Mine weights 14oz in a medium.

IThe alpine simply cannot be beat when comparing warmth to weight to price.
 

Ross

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I bought one of these this winter could not pry out of the Mrs hands🥰 this is a furnace down coat she loves it🤣
 

FlyingDutchman

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May 16, 2020
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I agree OP the Montbell is a tough puffy to beat. The advantage of the Rab is the treated down. Though whether that truly works or helps who knows ? The Rab in large has 7oz and the XL I believe 7.3oz. Both as good as you can find right now.
 
OP
C

ccarter

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Mar 23, 2015
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Yes, FlyingDutchman, I went back and forth on the treated down vs. untreated. I'll definitely have to be cognizant of keeping it dry. Many times I suspect it will be too cold to rain when I'm using it. I've read great. things about the Rab as well– they're just a little scarce in the sizes and colors I was interested in. I get the sense that they make a run of their offerings for the fall, and when they're gone, they're gone until the next year. But I've heard great things.
 

Vandy321

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What about the montbell permafrost? Did you consider it?
I looked at it...its twice the weight of the alpine for only 2.5oz more fill...wasn't worth it to me when I already pack an arcteryx shell that does a better job of blocking the wind...with true down, i'd personally always take a rain shell instead of a supposedly waterproof/windproof fabric on the down.
 

alpinej7

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Apr 27, 2018
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Location
NW Oregon
Thanks OP. I’d be curious to read about the jacket’s performance after you have a few trips in the field. I’ve eyed their gear for years now. My buddy uses it for mountaineering and raves about it and I’m curious how it would work/ hold up in subalpine terrain for hunting.

Cheers,
 

mcimes

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Jun 17, 2020
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So Cal
I have a Montbell Alpine Light (4.8oz down, 15oz size Large) for shorter trips in forrest green and a Plasma 1000 for long distance backcountry backapacking (not hunting). The Alpine Light version of this jacket is awesome too. Montbell's low and mid-line puffy's offer the best warmth/weight/price ratio around and I highly recommend all things Montbell.

Im in Southern California and the Los Padres forest can get down to the mid 20s in winter. The AL has kept me toasty warm with only a 250 LS wool base layer + the AL into the mid-high 30's with a stiff breeze (~15mph that nigh probably). if you added a vest, fleece, and/or shell I could see it easily handle the mid 20's. Im sure the Alpine will handle those temps no problem with minimal base layers considering the Light is sewn thru and the Alpine is Box baffle. Box + 2oz more down = toastyyyyyy.

Montbell is suprisingly below the radar. Their end of year clearance should start soon, which is about the only time to score deals.
 

wildcat33

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My alpine lite is about 15yrs old and still going strong. Just needs a regular washing to keep the down clean and lofty.
 

Dos Perros

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Lenexa, KS
FWIW, the First Lite Chamberlain is 11 oz of fill; it's not pure 800 FP down but I'd bet more insulative than the Montbell.

That Montbell is a great value though. I think you'll love it.
 

NoWiser

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Aug 15, 2013
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I used the Alpine (not light) this past hunting season. Can't say enough good about it. I'm considering buying another to keep on hand in case they ever quit making them or raise the price.
 

324matt

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May 8, 2020
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Dorsey, Illinois
what size do any of you reccomend for a person who is 6'1" 185lbs, 45" chest, 36" sleeves with a 32" waist.

I cant decide between a L or a XL
 

mcimes

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So Cal
I have the Large Alpine Light and Plasma 1000

Im 6'1" 185, 40" Chest under armpits with an average full breath, 34x32 pants.

The large has plenty of room to layer for me. Even a tad too much but I dont like feeling constricted so opted for the large over the medium. If you have a 45" chest, the Large would probably fit but have no room for layers other than a base. the XL would probably accommodate additional layers without issue
 

HaydenLane

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Nodak
Montbell is suprisingly below the radar. Their end of year clearance should start soon, which is about the only time to score deals.
Don’t say things like this. I already bought a new puffy this year and don’t need to do it again.
 
OP
C

ccarter

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Mar 23, 2015
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324Matt,

I was unsure which size to get as well. I'm shorter than you at 5'8, but fairly stocky. Many of the mountaineering/backpacking brands fit small on me. Montbell's Large offered plenty of room. It seems that it's cut to be more of an outer layer vs. a midlayer. Assuming the length works for you, I think the Large would give you plenty of room, even if you had a base and two mids underneath. Hope that's helpful.
 

Vandy321

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Feb 5, 2019
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CO
324Matt,

I was unsure which size to get as well. I'm shorter than you at 5'8, but fairly stocky. Many of the mountaineering/backpacking brands fit small on me. Montbell's Large offered plenty of room. It seems that it's cut to be more of an outer layer vs. a midlayer. Assuming the length works for you, I think the Large would give you plenty of room, even if you had a base and two mids underneath. Hope that's helpful.
I'm 5-10, 175, 42-43" chest, athletic build...I bought a medium in the alpine, covers half or more of my butt, never rides up, sleeves a perfect length, plenty of room for base merino and mid layer fleece under, no bunching or compressing. I was swimming in a large.

FWIW
 

NoWiser

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Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
611
I'm 5'10", 165. I have no idea what my chest measurement is, but I have a large and consider it a perfect fit. I hate jackets that feel even slightly binding, though, so I didn't even try a medium.
 

Fins_N_Tines

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Sep 7, 2016
Messages
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El Dorado HIlls
I have a Montbell Alpine Light (4.8oz down, 15oz size Large) for shorter trips in forrest green and a Plasma 1000 for long distance backcountry backapacking (not hunting). The Alpine Light version of this jacket is awesome too. Montbell's low and mid-line puffy's offer the best warmth/weight/price ratio around and I highly recommend all things Montbell.

Im in Southern California and the Los Padres forest can get down to the mid 20s in winter. The AL has kept me toasty warm with only a 250 LS wool base layer + the AL into the mid-high 30's with a stiff breeze (~15mph that nigh probably). if you added a vest, fleece, and/or shell I could see it easily handle the mid 20's. Im sure the Alpine will handle those temps no problem with minimal base layers considering the Light is sewn thru and the Alpine is Box baffle. Box + 2oz more down = toastyyyyyy.

Montbell is suprisingly below the radar. Their end of year clearance should start soon, which is about the only time to score deals.
Where is this year end clearance you speak of?
 
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