Marmot Montreaux Women’s Down Jacket Review – One Of The Warmest

Some people don’t like the winter, but that’s often just because they’re freezing their butts off all season long. No wonder you’re cold if you can’t count on your jacket!

And that’s why the Montreaux is amazing, it’s long enough to accidentally confuse it with your sleeping bag.

With this jacket, you no longer have to worry about being cold or uncomfortable – and all that for an amazing price.

Pros And Cons In A Nutshell

Pros

  • Scores very high in warmth but doesn’t look bulky
  • Excellent price to warmth ratio
  • The removable faux fur does a good job in protecting your face from the cold wind
  • A fleece lining around the core traps your body heat
  • Hand pockets are insulated with down
  • Knee-length keeps your legs and butt warm
  • two-way zipper to decide how much space you want to give your legs
  • All the necessary pockets
  • A removable hood

Cons

  • Water resistant but not waterproof
  • Vulnerable to sharp edges – can easily rip if you’re not paying attention

 

The Warmest Winter Jacket

The Montreaux is another jacket that stands out among the competition. It’s one of the warmest winter jackets in the women’s category, and that’s all because of the high-quality down insulation. That’s also why this jacket is included in my ‘best winter jackets‘ roundup review.

While 700 fill power isn’t that much, the 220 grams of goose down makes up for that. Fill power is basically a number that shows you how efficient the down insulates. Most winter jackets range from 500 to 900 fill power, but fill weight is also something important to consider, and 220 grams isn’t bad at all.

Marmot also provided insulation in the hood, so you don’t have to worry about freezing your ears off. Most faux furs are annoying because it gets in the way or tickles your face.

That’s not the case with this jacket. Marmot was smart enough to design the hood in a way that the faux fur doesn’t come too close to your face. Still, it manages to block the wind without limiting your field of view. And in case you don’t like the look of it, you can easily remove it. Keep in mind, however, that it’s a feature that very much helps to protect your face from the cold wind.

Something else that helps to keep you warm, is the fleece liner around your core. Its purpose is to trap more body heat and protect you from the freezing wind.

The fleece lining is also the one thing that protects you when, for example, leaning against a wall. If you compress your down jacket, it won’t do a good job at insulating. That’s because it’s not the feathers that keep you warm, but rather the air between them. So it’s a good thing that the fleece lining provides some extra warmth.

On the other hand, this jacket provides fleece around your waist, but not around your thighs and hamstrings. On occasions where you sit on a bench, expect to feel some cold around your butt.

Marmot also made sure you wouldn’t be cold whenever you put your hands in your pockets. They’re protected by down insulation and won’t need to suffer from hypothermia.

 

Water Resistance

Although this is probably the warmest jacket among the women’s winter jackets, it isn’t waterproof. Its water resistance keeps you dry in passing rains, but don’t expect it to hold up in a thunderstorm. That’s why this jacket is best used in extremely cold and dry conditions.

Its water resistance is ensured by a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. This coating acts as a protective shell that makes the water droplets slide off. However, it degrades over time and can be restored and reapplied, check out my guide for more information.

In addition, Marmot has given the down feathers a special treatment that helps them to cope with moisture. Basically, they can insulate much better when they’re wet because they don’t lose their loft that easily.

If you’re in heavy rain for a while, water will find its way through the DWR coating. Then the only defense line is the treated down, but also that won’t be a barrier strong enough to stop the rain. Eventually, your jacket gets pretty soaked and heavy.

So as you can see, it’s important that you avoid heavy, prolonged rains.

 

Comfort

Knee-length jackets – either you love them or hate them, but you can’t deny that they keep your legs and bum warm. It’s a jacket that makes you feel cozy while walking around town, but maybe isn’t the perfect jacket for climbing a mountain. It’s more of a casual jacket because of its weight and style. If you need an ultralight mountaineering jacket, I suggest you take a look at the Ghost Whisperer 2.

The fit is great, the only thing that some people complained about, is the tightness around the shoulders. On the other hand, it’s really only a problem when you cross your arms, otherwise, you don’t notice it.

You may worry that this jacket restricts your range of motion since it falls to your knees. Fortunately, Marmot foresaw this problem and gave this jacket a two-way zipper, which is simply a zipper with two sliders instead of one. This means you’re able to give your legs more range of motion and still keep your jacket zipped up.

The pockets are big enough and positioned at the right height, which for some reason is something that many manufacturers mess up.

The torso, collar and cuffs are spots prone to cold, that’s why Marmot applied some microfleece. All in all, this jacket is comfortable and keeps you warm during the winter.

 

Style

Although the Montreaux provides a lot of down, it still manages to look like a normal jacket. It doesn’t appear to be addicted to steroids, but rather seems to follow a strict diet.

Of course, style is something personal, and you may not like the look of this jacket. But if you love faux furs and knee-length cuts, you will certainly take a second look at this jacket. Even if you dislike the faux fur, it can be zipped off without any problems.

The Montreaux features a regular fit, dropped shoulders and a straight waist. It has a simple look: no flashy pockets, no buttons and only the essential zippers. If you like a casual look, I think you’re going to appreciate this jacket for the years to come.

As for the fit, you may want to order a size bigger than what you’re used to. Many people complained that it was either too tight around their chest or hips.

 

Features

  • The removable faux fur provides protection from the snow and wind.
  • The removable hood, which is useful in a handful of situations. Since the hood is insulated, it’s quite bulky and can be frustrating when you’re sitting in the car, for example.
  • Areas like the pockets, cuffs, collar feature microfleece instead of the usually clammy nylon.
  • In total, this jacket brings four pockets.
    • Two front pockets are protected by down insulation, which makes it perfect to defrost your hands.
    • Two inner pockets of which one with a zipper. These are perfect to store your phone while listening to music. Whoever designed this jacket doesn’t like shallow pockets because they made these deep. Perfect to store your keys or credit cards.
  • The two-way zipper for mobility. The knee-length can sometimes limit your range of motion. By unzipping it from the below, you can decide for yourself what feels comfortable.

 

Durability

If you look at the price, you pretty much expect this jacket to be very durable. Fortunately, Marmot made sure of that. A few feathers may escape, but you don’t have to worry about the whole goose breaking out. Just keep in mind to not pull the feathers out. Instead, push them back in. Pulling them out will only make bigger holes, which makes it easier for the other feathers to escape.

It’s true, however, that this jacket’s shell is not one of the strongest. It’s made of polyester and you can tear it quite easily if you’re not paying attention. If you’re gentle and care for it, you should be fine. If you happen to accidentally tear it, you can repair it with some duct tape or fabric glue. Again, you can find more information about this matter in my down jacket care guide.

 

Why This Jacket Is Underpriced

At first, I was wondering whether I should include the Arc’teryx Patera Parka or the Marmot Montreaux in my best winter jackets article. Both looked promising, but when I compared their prices, I instantly chose the Montreaux.

While the Patera Parka has better waterproofing, it’s more than twice as expensive as the Montreaux. Not to mention, the Montreaux is warmer and more comfortable to wear.

So my point is, this jacket’s price-quality comparison is outstanding. Marmot could easily double the price and still sell it like hotcakes… but let’s not shout that from the rooftops or they might hear it.

 

Buyer’s Reviews

During my research, I read a ton of reviews. Most bad reviews wrote about the zippers and sizing, but almost everyone seemed to worship their warmth and comfort. I did reword them a little but you can find all of them on Amazon. It’s against their policy to copy-paste their reviews.

Review 1: Since I live in Chicago, I wanted a jacket with a lot of fill power. Last year we had an artic blast and my previous North Face Arctic Parka’s couldn’t keep up with the temperatures. After many hours of research, I came to the conclusion that this one was the overall recommendation.

Based on the reviews, I ordered this jacket a size up. It fits perfectly. The only aspect I doubt is its durability. The outer shell is pretty thin, but that doesn’t matter since I use it for commuting

Review 2: This jacket is very warm and cozy. However, the sizing is not right. Since everyone complained about the tightness around the hips, I decided to size up two sizes. It fits just right everywhere.

It maybe doesn’t look fashionable, but it kept me warm at -10C in Germany. I didn’t even wear many layers, just one thin thermal. I love the deep pockets, the soft flannel lining and the big hoodie.

The only downside that I can come up with, are the sleeves. They’re too wide for me.

Review 3: I love this jacket, however, sometimes the zipper won’t work like it should. There are two sliders which sounds nice in theory, but sometimes they don’t zip like I would want them to.

Generally speaking, this jacket is really warm and fits great. I’m happy with it. I did what the reviews advised and ordered a size bigger. It fits comfortably even with a sweatshirt underneath.

 

What Are The Alternatives?

Arc’teryx Patera Parka

Although the Patera Parka isn’t as warm as the Montreaux, it triumphs in different aspects.

While the Montreaux is vulnerable to tears, this parka has an outer shell of 75-denier nylon that protects it from abrasion and rips. Denier is simply a number used to measure the thickness of the fibers of a fabric. And the good news is, 75-denier is one of the thickest and strongest fibers used for winter jackets. 

Apart from that, the Patera Parka also has much better water resistance. The durable water repellent (DWR) coating on the outer shell is not the only thing that protects you from moisture.

This jacket also features Gore-Tex, which is an impressive technology. I’m not going to explain it in full detail here, but it basically manages to stay waterproof, breathable and windproof at the same time. More information can be found here.

So if a lack of water resistance and tear resistance is a serious turn-off for you, you may want to take a look at my Patera Parka review.

But be aware! This jacket is more than twice as expensive as the Montreaux!

Better

  • Has a thick nylon exterior that prevents tearing
  • Completely waterproof
  • Much more breathable

Worse

  • Less warm

 

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2

If there’s one jacket that’s able to compete with the Montreaux, then it’s no other than the Ghost Whisperer 2. While it’s not a parka and doesn’t protect your butt and legs, it keeps you warm during your active pursuits in the freezing mountains.

But the most impressive thing is its weight – 8.3 ounces, which is less than your water bottle. Perfect for exploring the backcountry.

Another thing that I like about the Whisperer is its packability. You can easily stuff it in its own pocket and zip it up. What’s left is a tiny package about the size of your water bottle.

As for water resistance, it features down that underwent a special treatment. It can get wet and still manage to insulate you. It also dries much faster than normal down. And like every good winter jacket, this one comes with a durable water repellent coating.

The Ghost Whisperer 2 is seriously close to being the perfect winter jacket. It lacks some basic things like a chest pocket and hood cinch. But more importantly, it scores high in warmth, weight and compressibility as well as in water resistance. You can read my review on this page.

Better

  • Can be used to climb mountains but is also suitable for urban use
  • Much lighter (8.3 ounces)
  • Highly compressible – compresses in its own pockets

Worse

  • Doesn’t keep your legs and butt warm
  • No chest pocket
  • No hood cinch

 

Conclusion

If the Montreaux isn’t among the best women’s parkas, then I don’t know which one is. I highly doubt that you’re going to find a better winter jacket for that price.

Warm, windproof, comfortable and stylish – the Montreaux manages to score high in all those important aspects.

But of course, because no jacket is perfect, it had to lack something.

While you’re safe in a passing and light rain, you’d better hide when you see a thunderstorm approaching. Unfortunately, the Montreaux isn’t waterproof and shouldn’t be used in very wet conditions. Depending on where you want to use it, that’s just a minor downside or a huge turnoff.

 

That’s it for this review! I hope you enjoyed it and that you got all the info you need. If I forgot something to mention, please let me know in the comments so that I can improve. If you have a question, you can contact me through this page. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

Stay safe and keep exploring!

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