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Rope up and venture deep into the heart of the high alpine while wearing the MontBell Men's Permafrost Down Parka. This is a technical insulator for the foulest winter weather a guide or professional athlete will encounter. On the outside, it features highly-durable WindStopper fabric to fend off the wind, and on inside, there's enough high-loft goose down insulation to provide nearly endless warmth. It stashes down into a compact stuff sack and wears well alone and under your weatherproof shell.

  • WindStopper nylon shell fends off the heaviest winds and offers supreme durability
  • External DWR fabric treatment helps the shell repel and resist external moisture and precipitation
  • 800-fill goose down insulation provides warmth enough to weather the coldest temperatures
  • Box construction gives the down insulation room to create maximum loft and this construction eliminates cold spots between insulation baffles
  • Regular fit leaves room underneath for layering and plenty of freedom of movement
  • Waist adjustment drawcords are hidden in the pockets to keep the silhouette clean and functional
  • Hood zips off and features three-way adjustability
  • Hand pockets are lined with microfleece for warmth and use zip closures for security
  • Storage options also include internal zip security pocket, two internal drop-in pockets for skins or a small water bottle, and one external chest zip pocket for quick and secure storage of something small
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

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Worth the investment

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:Runs small

I purchased the parka for warmth around town and while hiking (nothing too strenuous) and it is much warmer than I could hope for here in Madison, WI. I previously used a Patagonia Down Sweater as my warmest garment but at around 0F with a mid-layer it gets a little chilly. This jacket is well-constructed and the Windstopper and hood help seal in the heat. I'm 5'11" and about 230lbs and the XL fits snugly with just enough room for a base layer and thin mid-layer (I'd say it runs 1/2 to one whole size smaller than other brands). In temps down to 0F this jacket over a t-shirt alone works great, although I haven't tested this out at -10F to -20F yet (although I am fairly certain it will work just as well). What a great jacket, and if you want something warm and well-made, it's for you.

Not as warm as I had hoped

  • Familiarity:I returned this product before using it
  • Fit:Runs large

I was looking for a very warm down parka. This was not it. It seems well made but simply not warm enough. It was returned and exchanged for a Marmot 8000M, which is much warmer (although has to go back to Marmot for a zipper alteration to keep the zipper from constantly snagging on the coat lining).

I was looking for a very fast vehicle. The Celica was not. It seemed well designed but just was not fast enough. The Celica was returned and exchanged for a fighter jet, which is much faster (although its really hard to find a landing strip for it in my neighborhood and getting it insured is a B!tch. )

Super Warm Parka

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

This is by far the warmest parka I've ever worn. Awesome for high altitude and really long belays where you need any help you can get to stay warm. The collar and hood design are spectacular, so warm. I'm 6'3" and got an XL so that I'd have plenty of room for a mid-layer and shell under. Making this useful as a belay or rest layer in the alpine environment. Large would work if you don't plan on much more than a single mid-layer under.

permafrost down parka

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

i've been using this coat for about four months. been very happy so far.

i'm 5'11/6' and the medium fits me very well. i cant fit more than a couple thin baselayers or a flannel underneath, but that's what i was looking for.

the outer material is much more durable than most comparable jackets - and it's got windstopper, which really makes a difference. it's seen light drizzle & lots of wet snow with absolutely no problems. the water resistance is great.

the inner material is thinner than the outer. i actually put a small hole in the inner fabric wih a hangar, but i was being a little too rough with it. a little electrical tape worked perfectly and has stayed put very nicely.

where a lot of nice down jackets fall short for me is the hood. this one doesn't disappoint. it's very adjustable and does a great job of keeping your head warm.

the back adjustment in the hood is a strap and a piece of verclo. i personally don't like having an extra piece of plastic behind my head - very uncomfortable if you're resting the back of your head against a hard surface. so the fabric strap/velcro is a big plus for me.

9 oz of 800 down fill is toasty. this coat may even be too warm for some people. i get chilly easily though, so i love it.

i think this coat is a bit too short in the front, which is nice for hiking because you can raise your knees up to your chest if you need without anything catching and pulling awkwardly. the back hem tapers pretty drastically and is long enough to cover most of your butt.

the stuff sack is small so when it's packed it doesn't take up a whole lot of room, but it takes some work to get it in there.

i've only seen feathers poking out a few times - mostly around the baffle stitches.

overall, i'm very impressed with a coat. i bought it for times when it was really cold out and i planned on low to moderate exercise, like walking the dogs and hiking.

Warm, Comfortable, and Recommended

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:Runs small

After ordering and trying several different down jackets, the Montbell Permafrost was the best one. The other jackets I tried were the Rab Neutrino Plus, the Montbell Alpine Light, and the Marmot Guides.

The Permafrost is the warmest, even warmer than the Rab Neutrino Plus, which was the only other box construction jacket I tried. The contributors to the extra warmth, I think, are the fact that the down fill is concentrated in the important areas - mostly around the chest and torso. In contrast, the Rab Neutrino Plus is listed as having more total fill, but that fill seems to be distributed differently - the jacket is longer, meaning the fill is spread out over more area, and the hood of the Neutrino Plus has more fill than the Permafrost. This also results in the Permafrost being more puffy than the Rab Neutrino Plus and other jackets. Another reason why the Permafrost is warmer is because the main handwarmer pockets have down fill on both sides of the pocket. Again, in contrast, the Rab Neutrino Plus only has fill on the outside of the pocket, with the inside only separated from your body by the thin nylon lining. This means that, if your pocket zippers are open, your body is more exposed to the cold air. Also, the collar of the permafrost is quite nice and zips up a bit past the chin. The collar fits snug around my neck (not too tight) and is very soft and cushy, and seems to seal in the warmth much better than the Rab Neutrino Plus, which had more space around the neck area (letting the warmth escape). The other main reasons I found this jacket to be the best include: zippered chest pocket on the outside of the jacket, a total of 3 pockets on the interior of the jacket, and the zip-off hood (which is still very warm and good quality).

FYI: I found that Montbell jackets run small. Montbell was the only brand that I had to get a size large in. Normally I wear medium, but the medium in Montbell jackets were too short - they barely went past my waist.

Warm, quality jacket.

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

You can really feel the difference in this jacket over any others in the market with sewn-through construction - granted most those are not designed to be as puffy. Anyways, this is super warm and has nice fuzzy material at many places it meets your skin.

Why do so many of my climbing friends not have a huge puffy, I dunno, I think they are poor. I'm happy to have this when I want to crush the cold while standing at the bottom of an ice canyon. :)

My only ?? is why only half of the hand pockets are fuzzy. I'm usually using the pocket when I took my glove off, therefore I want fuzzy. :)

I ended up with a MH Nilas jacket, which is comparable, but the Nilas is much lighter construction and more light weight. Both are absolutely excellent jackets. This jacket is way more bang for the buck.

Most alpine performance clothing fits me true to size (from most performance oriented manufacturers) - I definitely wear size small and the small of this jacket is right for me too. And I didn't find it too short.

excellent jacket, super warm and light

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:Runs small

This is a very nicely thought out and executed jacket. Really nicely constructed! Overall, very warm! Pretty thick layer of 800 down, baffled construction. Windstopper shell fabric. All the elements are there for serious warmth in the winter. I love the tall stand-up collar; perfect height to protect the chin and lower face all the way around. Great selection of pockets. The body is very nicely cut, it moves well. I find it to be the perfect length to provide coverage (down past the waist) but not too long so that it gets in the way. The (removable) hood is ok; but not a complete success. It is not quite large enough to come around front and fully cover the face. A bad design decision in a jacket intended for frigid/windy conditions. Other than that, my only concern is the sizing. I had heard in the past that Montbell ran a bit small; but that more recently they had re-sized their products to be more in line with North American bodies. And I have recently purchased a Thermawrap BC in size Large and it fits me well. So, I ordered this jacket in size L and it's not quite right. The body is ok, if perhaps just a tiny bit snug. But the arms are a bit too tight for me. Because of the tightness of the fit in the arms, I'm experiencing some minor cold spots around the upper arms/elbows. I don't have huge guns :-), so that's not the problem. I debated exchanging it for an XL, but I like the fit of the rest of the jacket the way it is. So I guess I'll just put up with it. So, my recommendation is that if you are normally a size L, and you want a close fit, stick with a L. If you would want to wear this jacket over other layers, you would probably do better to go up to an XL. But aside from the sizing (a personal issue for me), and the not-quite-full-coverage-hood, I think this is a superior quality parka.

Nicest Down Puffy I have ever seen

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I have Mt Hardware, Coludveil and Northface Puffys. This is by far the nicest of them all. Beautiful construction and the puffiest!

Look no further - buy this one.

Great jacket; torso just a little short

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:Runs small

This jacket is awesome - it's that simple. It keeps you crazy warm because of the windproof outer shell and box baffle construction and it does a good job of repelling light precipitation. The neck construction is a really nice feature that adds warmth when you don't have the hood over your head. I have worn only this jacket and a cotton tee while walking around Pittsburgh in 20 degree weather at night and I get a little sweaty.

That being said, I only have two complaints. The first is a very minor one, but I can't seem to figure out why Montbell added waterproof zippers to the two front pockets, but then opted for a regular YKK zipper for the main zip.

The second is a sizing issue. I normally wear a size SMALL and thus ordered that for this jacket. The jacket fits GREAT except that it feels a little bit restrictive with a few layers on. In addition, the torso is quite short and a few times when I was moving around, the jacket rode up past my pants waist and my skin was exposed to the cold. I bought a MEDIUM to try a bigger size and it fit much better. The torso is obviously longer, which I love, but it's also bigger. However, I don't mind a little bit of room in the torso if it means my waist won't ever be exposed to the cold. The arms are also a little longer, obviously, but all in all I wouldn't say the jacket looks comically large.

Ultimately, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that anyone who buys this jacket purchase a size bigger than what they normally wear.

I am 5'8" and 130 lbs.

Great loft. Very warm. Wind resistant.

  • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit:True to size

I loved everything about this jacket except the length. I'm 6'4" and a large wasn't long enough for my torso, so I returned it. The few times I wore it, it was super warm and comfortable. Highly recommended assuming you're average height.

Great parka , worth the price

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

I looked at many down parkas before deciding to buy the MontBell Premafrost. This parka has everything I was looking for, excellent construction, durable windproof exterior , extremely warm, all the storage options I need, adjustable warm hood. I found the sizing ran a little small for me so I went up one size. Backcountry is the best company I have dealt with for purchase, exchange, returns and communication.

What are the advantages of this over the...

What are the advantages of this over the Montbell Mirage?

Best Answer

The Mirage is more of a shoulder season outer layer in my opinion. It has just over 5 ounces of insulation (albeit 900 down) while the Permafrost parka has 9 ounces of 800 down. The Mirage has a slightly higher warmth-to-weight ratio because the jacket materials are so light, but the Permafrost is designed primarily for winter use as an over-layer when climbing, ski touring, or otherwise stopped, in camp, and wanting to stay warm while sedentary. It's comparable to other belay parkas in its class (i.e. Patagonia Fitz Roy, Marmot Greenland, Rab Neutrino, etc.). I would trust the Mirage as my sole outer layer if I knew the temps weren't going to dip past 20 degrees, but any colder than that and I'd opt for something heavier/warmer.

I agree that the permafrost shell fabric having a windstopper lining makes it better suited for extended time in inclement weather, also it is heavier and more durable. However I have to completely disagree with JHypers on the temperature range for the mirage, he must run very cold. I tend to run a little hot, but not to the extreme by any means. I've used the mirage as my insulating layer over a mid-weight base layer and thin puffy vest (my active layers) while sedentary down below zero comfortably. I use a feathered friends vireo sleeping bag which is similar to a "half bag", the upper is cut large to fit a lofted parka and lightly insulated (45 degree rating). I've slept in upper single digits with the mirage and that bag just fine.

That being said if I were picking between the mirage and permafrost for technical climbs in cold with extended or frequent belays I would take the permafrost without a doubt.

How would this compare in warmth to the...

How would this compare in warmth to the North Face Point it Down? Also, I'm 5'9" / 38" chest...small or medium?

Best Answer

I cannot speak to a comparison of the NF Point it Down, but I am comparably sized (5'8", 140lbs, 38" chest), and have the MontBell Alpine Light Down Parka in a size Medium, and I never second guessed sending it back for a small. It form-fits me well, without hindering my range of movement.

One thing to note: I have heard rumor before that MontBell typically runs slightly on the small side.

Given that I recently purchased the MontBell Thermawrap Insulated Guide Jacket (synthetic, to avoid the hassle of dealing with wet down in the winter) in a size Small, and found it to be just as big (maybe accommodating is more appropriate) as my MontBell down, I would go for the Medium, given my experience with their clothing and coupled with that sizing rumor that made it through the gearvine to my ears some time ago.

Will this jacket suffice for 7000 meters?...

Will this jacket suffice for 7000 meters? How bomber is the hood setup? Hard to tell from the pictures..

I haven't been to 7000 meters, but this is a seriously warm parka. I honestly can't see how you could make something warmer. So, my answer is yes. To go any warmer you'd just need to add warmer base layers, this sucker has 9 oz of 800 fill goose down. That is way more than pretty much anything else out there except a full down suit.

You can easily find warmer parkas than this, which will likely serve you better at 7000 meters...not that a parka like the Permafrost wouldn't serve any purpose on an expedition - quite the contrary it would be an excellent layer to have for lower on the mountain. But if you're looking for something that will reliably keep you warm at that altitude, go with a parka in the 2-3 lbs. (15-20 oz. down fill) weight category. Something along the lines of MH Absolute Zero, Marmot 8000M, Feathered Friends Rock & Ice, etc.

is there a sail fot thank giving on the...

is there a sail fot thank giving on the Mont Bell Down Jack in deep blur for men 800 down?