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Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka?
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By KenH307
From Laramie, WY
Oct 7, 2013

I'm looking at picking up one of these guys. I'll be using it mostly for a belay jacket at the crags and for surviving my winter bike commute.
Any experiences, likes/dislikes, etc? Also, any sizing notes? I'm 5'10", about 160 and usually fit a medium (marmot, patagucci).


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 8, 2013
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

love my Montbell Thermawrap. i am normally a size L, and i wear a size XXL in Montbell.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 8, 2013
Bocan

I have one, great jacket. Not a bushwacking jacket, however it will keep you warm. Wets out quicker than most so keep out of the rain.

Note that they are listed in Japanese and US sizes. I think I wear and XL.


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Oct 8, 2013
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Hey, if I were you - I'd check out this awesome blog on ColdThistle:

coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/12/synthetic-insulation-60g-to>>>

Dane's review of the various layers at this level is an excellent post about layering. I've followed his advice and never regretted it.

Breaking apart your insulation layers allows you to add much warmth and helps packability. Instead of a huge parka, you can throw 3 or 4 of these layers into your pack and add them as needed.

I have a Thermawrap and a RAB Alpine Generator. Together, I'm so toasty that I could survive everything in my state. Probably would want to add one more to handle Alaska alpine climbing.


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By KenH307
From Laramie, WY
Oct 8, 2013

Thanks for the link Cale. I have a Nanopuff and a Stoic hoody that I layer, sometimes with a windshirt. Since I don't ice climb, if I can't stay warm with that while I'm moving I just go skiing instead haha. I'm considering the Alpine Light as something to wear while spotting and belaying winter cragging around the front range and Wyoming (BoCan, the Poudre, Grey Rock, Sinks, sunny spots at Vedauwoo...) I'm looking to replace an OR Virtuoso Hoody which I like, but was a gift and is too large.
For those who have Montbell gear, if a medium Nanopuff fits well, if a little roomy in the body, should I go with a M or L in the Alpine Light?


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By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Oct 9, 2013
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Not to shower you with links, but here's another "layering" video that might be helpful:

mtnguide.net/layering-for-backcountry-skiing/?fb_action_ids=>>>

As far as the Mont Bell Alpine Light, from my inspection on this parka, the fit is about equal with the thermawrap parkas. I am willing to bet the M is going to be right for you. I had bought a L Thermawrap and at 5.6" and 155lbs it was too big. I own 3 different Mont Bell parkas but not the alpine light. I really love the Thermawrap parkas but the last parka I got was the RAB Alpine Generator which has a little Pertex coating in areas and has a different insulation for hoods and arms. It's an awesome belay jacket, to be honest.

If you don't mind down, this jacket is supposed to be awesome too. Very warm and 12 oz.

www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2301365


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By Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
Oct 9, 2013
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.

The Alpine Light down parka (hooded) would be a great choice for a WY belay jacket, although a little bulky for bike commuting. I recently switched to the lighter and thinner UL down parka for my all-around and cold weather cragging jacket. Easily stuffs into the top pocket of my pack. Paired with a Patagonia R1 hoodie is a sweet setup that I can both climb and belay in. Also the cut on the UL is such that you could easily throw a goretex shell over it whereas that may not be the case with the Alpine Light.

Sizing, I've found, tends to run a little small so given your size you might want to try on both med and large. Also, Montbell recently changed the outer fabrics (IMO for the worse) on their new models, so I'd steer clear of those.

Belaying only: Alpine Light
Belaying and commuting: UL


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By Sdm1568
From Ca
Oct 9, 2013
Mt Whitney April

I am 5'10 and 160lbs, my Montbell UL down parka medium fits great. I can wear a pat R1 hoodie underneath and then a gortex shell over top if needed. Stuffs small and material is pretty water resistant. I've owned about 4-5 other down jackets this one being my favorite, most fitted cut too.


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By KenH307
From Laramie, WY
Oct 9, 2013

Thanks for the replies. For those that recommend the UL Down, how warm do you find it to be?
Looking around at more Montbell gear, several other pieces seem pretty cool too. In particular the Thermawrap guide and the Frost Line (box construction for $200!?)


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By Andy P.
From Wisconsin
Oct 11, 2013
Rainier

Wisconsin year round bike commuter here: I highly suggest whichever way you go that you get a two way zipper on the jacket, really nice for biking as it frees the torso a bit and it allows you to vent a little bit without having to unzip the top of your jacket, which will freeze your neck/lips real fast. Also, jackets with a "puffy" exterior add a lot of wind resistance compared to a smooth outer shell - but jackets like that are hard to find that will still work for climbing/adventuring, good luck!


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