M.R.wrote a review of MontBell Thermawrap BC Insulation Jacket - Men's on November 13, 2012
Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I bought this direct through montbell because backcountry did not have my size and color preference in stock. Well, first off, its practically impossible to return items when bought directly through them so keep that in mind.
- The jacket itself has a nice slim fit in a size medium. I'm 5'10" and 160 lbs and most insulating coats fit very loose on me.
- Its lightweight. Backcountry says 8.8 oz for the medium. I weighed 9.5 for my medium. Either way its less than 10 oz.
- Does not keep you very warm. I wore this as an outer layer under an Icebreaker 195 baselayer, Full sleeve Shirt and Crewneck Sweater, and still felt cold in 34 degree weather. Part of this might be because there are non insulating side panels composed of a stretchy fabric. Presumably this is for ventilation, but it definitely reduces the insulating capacity.
- It lacks a waist cinch or an elastic waistband, which you would think would be included at this price, but it is not. This lets the cold air in.
- The jacket does not compress into a pocket but into a separate, non-attached compartment. Only a matter of time before its lost. Because the jacket is slim, storing the compartment in any of the front pockets causes the pocket to stick out--very unflattering silhouette.
- Although its not exceptionally insulating, it still compresses down to a pretty large size (I measured 12" long x 6.5" diameter cylinder). This is likely due to the synthetic insulating material rather than pure down. Again, for the price I would have expected more.
After buying this, I found the uniqlo jacket which is much lighter (7 oz), is only $70 and warmer as well. I wish I had found it sooner.
Overall, this jacket is fine strictly as a midlayer and has nice slim style if you're not a fine of most down jackets that make you look like the Michelin Man. But keep in mind that its useful strictly as a mid layer.