Occasionally something comes along in the outdoor industry that re-invents your previous perception on the world.
For me, this is one of them. At first sight it's a nice looking puffy jacket. But that's a winter thing right? They're heavy. Then someone picks up said puffy jacket and throws it at you. You put you hand out ready to catch a pound or so of duck-filled garment and them – boom. Not what you expected. It's like a helium balloon just brushed against your hand. Where did the weight go? This doesn't make sense. It's thick and puffy, and warm – but it doesn't weigh anything. Huh?
And so began my $160 love affair with the Montbell Ex Light Jacket. Not to be confused with its heavier cousin the Montbell UL Jacket, this sucker weighs in at a scant 5.7 oz for a Medium. But don't expect any frills – like pockets or hemmed waists.
I wore this whenever I had a chance on the Wonderland Trail. Rest stops – camp, heck I even slept in it on most nights. It's a perfect compliment to my lightweight summer bag when things get a little chilly at night to ensure I'm snug as a bug in a rug.
Granted, I've spent more time in this Jacket off the mountain at this point. It's so snug, so cozy that I've been living in it for most of the winter.
This jacket replaces my Bozeman Cocoon Vest, as for 0.4 oz more it packs a whole lot more warmth. The trade-off is that I'm more vulnerable to rain as the Cocoon was synthetic and this is down, but one I'm willing to risk.