Follow Dom from the Taunton Shop as he takes on Montane’s epic, new down jacket for a spin across the hills of Scotland.
Montane’s Anti-Freeze down jacket is a lightweight, super warm packable jacket. It has smart features such as a peaked hood, internal pocket, and cinchable hem. A size medium was a great fit (I am 6’2” with a 39” chest), with nice long sleeves and room for layers underneath. A size medium weighs around 460g and has a 750 fill power. Compare this to some other insulated jackets at 460g and 700 fill power and we are talking about a warm jacket with a serious warmth-to-weight ratio.
What does fill power mean and how does weight play into the warmth? Well, a higher fill power means larger down fibres. Larger fibres trap more warm air so the higher the number, the loftier the product. Using higher fill power down means you can use fewer feathers for equal warmth to lower fill powers, thus making the product lighter. So a 750Fp jacket of the same weight as a 700Fp jacket will be warmer but won’t pack down as small.
The outer of the jacket has a Pertex Quantum PFC-free DWR coating and the down also has a PFC-free DWR coating, meaning the jacket will ward off a light shower and won’t be totally ruined if you get caught in a downpour. Down jackets can be easily revamped with the proper washing techniques but you wouldn’t want to do it too often. Speaking of revamping; packing the jacket down into its stuff sack is a great space saver but obviously compresses the loft. A quick shake out/ a gentle breeze will soon have the jacket back to full loftiness. I had mine compressed in a rucksack all day and then used as a pillow at night, but shaking it out before wearing it brought it back.
As for wearing it, I found it toastie warm first thing in the morning and in the evenings when the temperature dropped to single digits. Often I had just a baselayer underneath. If the wind was particularly cutting then a mid-layer came in handy. The weight is shockingly low when holding it in your hands and on your back, it feels similar weight to a t-shirt. The hood is nicely shaped for a snug fit and the elasticated cuffs ensure no wind rush up your sleeves. The outer/lining is very soft to the touch and will be quite delicate (as is the case with most insulated jackets) so avoid digging through the brambles. I feel this jacket is more than capable of dealing with the British cold weather. If the temperature drops significantly you can easily layer up but I reckon I will be using some thin layers underneath this.