Gear Review: Montbell EX Light Down Anorak

In my world there are 2 seasons.  Hoodie season and not hoodie season.  Hoodies are probably the most comfortable garment most of us have encountered.  Living in PA I have somewhat of an extended hoodie season with as much time as I spend outdoors through the entire winter.  Hoodies are possibly the greatest garment known to man, or woman.  They are also the most permanently borrowed article of clothing.  I have owned dozens in my life and have fallen victim to permanently borrowed hoodies on an annual basis.

In my search for a new down insulating layer I came across Montbell.  “Montbell focuses on “Light & Fast™” and does so without compromising on quality, durability or function.”  This statement was the well baited hook for me.  It’s no secret that I strive to find the best gear possible and weight is a really big factor for me.  My kitchen scale has weighed more hiking gear than it has actual food.

I wear my down layer pretty much non stop as soon as the weather turns chilly, and eventually cold.  It is my go to garment both on and off trail.  In winter I cover it with waterproof shell and in fall I wear it as a stand alone jacket.  After looking at what they had to offer I came across the Montbell down version of a hoodie the EX Down Light Anorak.

Circumstance of review

I have had this jacket for a few months now.  I take it hiking, camping and wear it in my day to day life in central and Northern PA.  If I’m not wearing it it’s either in my car or my backpack.  It really has become my main insulating layer.  It is always close by and will continue to be for the rest of this hoodie season.

Specs

  • Weight: 6.2 ozecinfo_001_00017.jpg
  • Fill weight: 2.2 oz
  • Fill power: 900 FP goose down
  • Fabric: 7-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon
  • DWR: Standard DWR treatment
  • Compressed size: φ4.1×6.6 in.
  • Colors: Paprika(red), Gunmetal, Blue

Features

  • Sewn through constructionecinfo_001_00014.jpg
  • 34 cm half zip
  • Elastic cuffs to seal out drafts
  • Single non-zippered thru-pocket
  • Stuff sack included
  • Adjustable hem to conserve body heat

 

Pros

6.2 oz is extremely light weight, period.  I haven’t seen another down hoodie of this weight or quality.  The dimensions of the cut fit me perfectly when being worn.  Insulated pass through pocket to keep your hands warm.  The zipper opens low enough to offer air flow.  It also zips high enough to cover your chin if needed.  It’s a lot warmer than you would expect for a 6.2 oz down garment.   900 pf down vs 750 or 800 by some other manufacturers.  It’s a freakin’ down hoodie, enough said.

Cons

The opening at the bottom seems a bit under sized and could be tricky for folks with broader shoulders.  The hood has no draw strings, only elastic portions, to cinch down the hood closer to your face.  The down does still penetrate the shell material occasionally.

Overall thoughts

At $210 it is pricey but when compared to other similar quality down products it really is right on the money.  It’s a hoodie and not designed to be a full zip jacket so don’t think of it as one.  I truly love this jacket and wear it regularly.  I highly recommend giving the EX Light Down Anorak and Montbell a serious look.  Note: This jacket will not be loaned out to anyone for any reason without a $250 cash deposit.

montbell_1975_L&F

 

All photos courtesy of Montbell.us

Disclosure: this product was donated for the purpose of review.

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