The Montbell Thermawrap jacket had the second best warmth-to-weight ratio in this test set. Its strength lies in its strong quiet performance in every category and its entry-level price point. This plainness may also be a weakness, as buyers may reach past it toward a flashier and more expensive jacket.
Quality This was a category that had some worry for us because of the lightness. It is light, but it is a lightness delivered with delicacy, rather than inadequate construction. The zippers are a bit beefier than other jackets in the test set, which inspires confidence. The toggle to tighten the waist hem is also of durable construction.
Comfort/Fit This jacket is able to contour to the body without having insulation bunch or separate. The collar is resistant to chafing, although there is a hook loop that could potentially rub. What impressed this tester was its incredible lightness, which translates to comfort while wearing—it doesn’t rub or bunch, but rather is always floating just above your body.
Warmth The Montbell Thermawrap has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. It’s visibly thinner than other jackets in the test set, but the Exceloft synthetic insulation captures heat efficiently against the body. The exterior nylon isn’t going to provide much protection against wind, so this jacket is very appropriate as a layering piece under a shell for cold, gusty conditions.
Features This is a no-frills jacket, focused on that high warmth-to-weight ratio. There are two zippered hand pockets and one zippered chest pocket, but no interior pockets for larger items.
Packability The Montbell Thermawrap jacket shares the top spot in the packability category. It’s simple construction and lack of paneling allows it to pack down into tight spaces, about the size of a large apple.
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.