Montbell’s Under Layer (or UL) Thermawrap series has been constantly refined over the years in order to continually push innovation and development, ultimately creating a better jacket year over year. The 2017 Thermawrap series consists of men’s and women’s jackets, parkas, pants, vests, and a pro and guide model. This review will focus on the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Parka.
The U.L. Thermawrap Parka qualifies as an active insulation piece, meaning it keeps you warm but dissipates heat as you exert yourself during aerobic activity. It's the perfect mid layer for backcountry use on cooler days or to wear as an outer layer for those spring tours. It’s incredibly comfortable, fits well and is of course well made as it’s MontBell after all. Available in three, two-tone colour options you will certainly look good with this lightweight, synthetic insulated parka. It packs down small enough to tuck away in your pack and still retains warmth when wet.
As you can see below the orange zippers on the front of Montbell’s UL Thermawrap Parka compliment the indigo blue very well. There's also a bright two-toned pumpkin option, or a stealthier Gunmetal color scheme available.
The outer shell is made up of Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon, 15-denier on the sleeves and shoulders for longer abrasion resistance and warmth where you need it, and 12-denier on the core to keep the jacket lightweight. The Ballistic Airlight nylon is thin, but tightly weaved for a durable and soft, wind-resistant fabric. The Stretch Exceloft synthetic insulation can rival the weight and loft of most down jackets by using a combination of polyester threads. It’s always warm, even when wet as the synthetic insulation retains less that 1% of it’s weight in water.
The nylon shell on the torso is 12-Denier nylon while the shoulders and arms are 15-Denier, this gives added resistance against abrasion. There’s also a velcro hood adjustment located on the back of the hood.
The features sported on this parka include an adjustable hood, DWR treated YKK zippers with Montbell’s low profile, mini climbing rope pull-tabs, two zippered hand warmer pockets and a zippered chest pocket. The hem is adjustable with two draw cords on the inside of the main zip and elastic cuffs with just the right amount of elasticity to keep the elements out and your wrists comfortable.
There are elastic side panels along the torso and on the wrists of the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Parka which provides a more comfortable fit, as the parka moves with you as you ski tour. For a less expensive option, check out the U.L. Thermawrap Jacket for all the same features and specs except without the hood and less insulation, as well as different colour options.
Insulation: 40 grams of Stretch Exceloft synthetic insulation
Shell fabric: 12 & 15-denier ballistic airlight ripstop nylon
Looking from the inside of the parka where the hand warmer pocket is located you can see just how thin and lightweight this 12-Denier Ballistic, Airlight, Ripstop nylon is.
A well-fitted and stylish hood tops off Mont Bell’s U.L. Thermawrap Parka.
A chest pocket on the left-hand side of the jacket is the perfect depth for small objects such as a lift pass, lip balm or spare change.
Elastic panels in the wrists and torso enable the parka to move as you do, adding comfort and function as you glide up the skin track.
The low profile, hem draw cord is located inside the parka on either side of the zipper to help keep outside elements off of your torso.
Different weather conditions can warrant different layering options, and with a variety of technologies and options out there, it’s a mix and match game to find the perfect combination for optimal comfort and performance. The Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Parka was ideal for me this winter when it was too cold or wet to expose my base layers on the skin track. Breaking trail still had my lactic acid burning and perspiration building, but hiking in this mid layer was great for keeping the wet snow and wind off my core, protecting my base layers and keeping my temperature moderate. I have yet to experience any durability issues with the shell fabric from brushing by tree branches on the up track, but I would be careful of flying threw glades without a shell to protect the thin nylon material.
Colors: Gunmetal (Grey & Black) / Pure Indigo (Blue) / Pumpkin (Yellow & Orange)
Size: S / M / L / XL
Weight: 265g / 9.3 oz
Compressed size: 12 x 22cm / 4.7 x 8.7in
Quality / Price 2/2
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