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Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka Men's


Updated 08/19/20 (EST)

Best all-around light insulated jacket

Reviewed in August, 2020

■Warmth: 4.9

With temps in Utah’s Little Death Hollow hovering around freezing on a November trip, the Plasma 1000 kept us warm over a T-shirt and light fleece as we did camp chores. On ski tours in the Rockies, we paired it with a baselayer and midlayer for comfort into the single digits. While sitting around camp, we overheated in this puffy at around 55°F.

■Packability: 4.7

For a jacket with such a dialed feature set, the Plasma doesn’t take up much space. It leverages premium, 1000-fill down (it’s not hydrophobic, but still jacks the price up) to squish into an eggplant-size cylinder with its included stuffsack. This feat is all the more impressive given that it’s the warmest jacket in the test.

■Durability: 3.5

The 7-denier ripstop nylon is among the most delicate here, crinkly, and saw its share of dings over a season. While scrambling up boulders to get a photo of the night sky from Little Death Hollow, one sleeve suffered a small tear on a sharp corner; we experienced a few of these tiny snags over 5 months of testing, but they never spread and we patched them easily.

■Features: 4.7

A beefy, fully insulated hood (not helmet compatible) is adjustable on the sides and back. The Plasma 1000’s full zipper makes for easy on/off, and two zippered hand pockets keep your digits toasty and hold small items. A DWR treatment was welcome while we pushed through dewy brush, but it doesn’t hold up to more than a quick drizzle.

■Overall: 4.5


8.8 lb Ultralight Backpacking Gear List for 2020

Reviewed in July, 2020

In terms of warmth-to-weight, the Plasma 1000 down jacket is second-to-none. By utilizing insanely efficient 1000-fill down as an insulator, Montbell has raised the bar for all premium ultralight down jackets. Gear nerds, rejoice, as it simply doesn’t get better than this.

from the packable life

Best Down Jackets | CleverHiker

Reviewed in June, 2020

The MontBell Plasma 1000 is one of our go-to jackets for ultralight backpacking due to its exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio. Stuffed with the absolute highest quality down available (1000 fill-power), the Plasma is the most efficient insulator we’ve ever worn. Though this jacket weighs about the same as some of the other ultralight jackets on our list, (the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 and the REI 650 Down), it definitely feels warmer. The biggest downside to the Plasma in our eyes is its price, which will make it prohibitive for many. However, if you're a thru-hiker or dedicated backcountry traveler looking for top-of-the-line ultralight warmth for 3-season trips, the Plasma 1000 is well worth the investment.

from CleverHiker

Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka Review / TEST REPORT BY Noel Krasomil

Reviewed in June, 2020

Over my years of backpacking, I’ve turned into a hopeless ultralight gear junkie. Before making a purchase, I spend hours poring over specs, reading reviews, and comparing countless products before finally pulling the trigger. I can’t help myself.

This agonizing process is how I arrived at Montbell’s Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka. After exhaustive research, I decided to give it a shot at becoming part of my beloved ultralight backpacking gear list.

And I can confidently say that, after over 100 miles of backpacking and extensive everyday use, Montbell’s Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka has exceeded my lofty expectations.

This jacket is packed with useful features, made from high-quality materials, and stuffed with ultra-efficient 1000-fill down. It’s exceptionally warm, lightweight, and packable and has earned a permanent spot in my backpack.

Though it’s nearly perfect, The Plasma 1000 is a bit delicate and doesn’t repel moisture at a high level. But for my minimalist style of ultralight backpacking, these characteristics aren’t issues for me, but rather prerequisites. I’ll dive into them more later.

Thinking about buying a Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka to add to your arsenal? Stay tuned for my complete and unbiased review of Montbell’s most impressive down jacket.

from The Packable Life

Best Down Jackets for Backpacking of 2020

Reviewed in February, 2020

Simply put, the Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka is the best down jacket I’ve ever tested. It uses 1,000 fill-power down, which is borderline unheard of, weighing in at just 8.4 ounces. It’s plenty warm for three-season backpacking. And for being made with such ultralight materials, is surprisingly durable. Mine has seen nearly 3,500 miles of trail and still going strong. I’ll say it again; it’s the best down jacket I’ve ever tested. –Zach Davis

from The TREK


Reviewed in June, 2019

Die Plasma 1000 setzt Maßstäbe: Sie verwöhnt bis -12℃ mit kuscheliger Wärme – angesichts des geringen Gewichts ein sensationeller Wert! Ebenso beeindruckt das Mini-Packmaß. Einziger Wermutstropfen: der hohe Preis. Dafür gibt es eine Top-jacke, die kaum Platz im Rucksack raubt.

The Plasma 1000 sets standards: it enables you to indulge in cuddly warmth until -12℃ - considering its low weight it is a sensational value. Equally impressive is the mini packed size. The only downside: the high price. This is a top jacket that hardly takes up any space in your backpack.

from outdoor magazine (July issue)


Reviewed in February, 2018

The MontBell Plasma 1000 has quickly become one of our favorite ultralight backpacking coats. It has a steep price tag, but we find it's quality to be exceptional, and think its cost will be worth it for the ravenous outdoor adventurer looking to get many years of backcountry use. Stuffed with 1000 fill power goose down, the Plasma has one of the best warmth-to-weight ratios on the market. Its puffy, comfortable, fits well, and has great hood and hem adjustments. The biggest downside to the Plasma in our eyes is it's price, which will make it prohibitive for many. However, if you're a thru-hiker or avid backcountry traveler looking for top-of-the-line ultralight warmth, the Plasma 1000 is pretty great.

from CleverHiker


Reviewed in September 2017

If you prefer to not immediately retreat to your sleeping bag at the end of the day, there's a good chance you have considered investing in a feather-filled jacket (more commonly known as a down jacket or puffy).

After starting and finishing the Continental Divide Trail with an intact Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka, I can say that this jacket is worth the (substantial) investment and can certainly hold up to the rigors of the trail.


[THE WARMTH] Down jackets are for keeping you warm, and this jacket does just that. It's filled with 3.4 oz / 96 g of 1000 fill power down – nearly 40% of the jacket's weight (that's a good thing). Sure, some jackets (like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer) weigh slightly less, but they also have a lower fill weight which translates to less insulation. This jacket has kept me warm in temperatures down to 20°F/-6°C (wearing only a light wool hoodie underneath).

[THE LOFT] I think the technical term is poofiness, and this jacket is probably the poofiest I've ever worn. I've literally had multiple people comment on how poofy this jacket is. Unfortunately, after using it for the entirety of my Continental Divide Trail thru-hike, it lacked some of its original poofiness. However, after washing it (don't worry, I used down detergent), it's nearly returned to its pre-CDT level of poof.

[THE WEIGHT] This jacket weighs 8.4 oz / 237 g, and for the weight is one of the warmest you can buy. Yes, there are other, lighter, down jackets on the market, but they aren't nearly as warm as the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka. Montbell also makes the Plasma 1000 Down Jacket and it weighs only 4.8 oz / 135 g – over 40% lighter than the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka. Despite the Plasma 1000 Down Jacket appearing to be a hoodless version of the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka, it's not (it has less than half as much down and has no pockets).

[THE POCKETS] Some down jackets don't have pockets to save on weight, but the Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka has two zippered handwarmer pockets. And they're for more than just warming hands. The pockets each measure 8 in / 20 cm wide by 12 in / 30 cm tall and can accommodate a lot (including my oversize camera with a lens). The drawcords for hem adjustment are also in the pockets.

from Halfway Anywhere. com

"Backcountry" Magazine features the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka

Reviewed in January 2017

In the January issue of "Backcountry" magazine in their 2017 apparel guide. Here's what they had to say.

"When Montbell introduced their Plasma 1000 in 2013, they quickly became the standard bearer for lightweight and warm down insulation. Like the name suggest, this jacket relies on 1,000-fill insulation, as opposed to most companies' 500- or 700-fill approach.

Bottom Line: The Plasma changed the limits of puffies, creating a lightweight, packable option for those who run cold."

Thanks for the mention Backcountry!

from Read the review online at Backcountry.com

Bikepacking.com Gear of the Year 2016

Reviewed on December 16, 2016

Bikepacking.com featured the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka in their roundup of the best outdoor apparel for bikepacking. Here's what they had to say.

"Nothing short of the best down jacket out there, the Plasma 1000 Parka weighs only 8.5 ounces and has been worn comfortably in temps below 20°F. We loved their Down Anorak, but this jacket offers beefier performance with hardly any additional weight or space penalty."

from Bikepacking.com

Ultralight Insights

Reviewed on November 7th, 2016

Will Rietveld of Ultralight Insights has reviewed the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka. Find out what he has to say about Montbell's newest edition to our down lineup for Fall/Winter of 2016!

"Montbell is a leader in providing down insulated garments that are cutting edge, very lightweight, and reasonable priced. The new Plasma 1000 Down Parka, introduced in fall 2016, is the latest example. The 1000 indicates 1000 fill-power down, and to my knowledge, no other manufacturer can make that claim. Combined with 7-denier shell fabric, this parka provides a lot of warmth for its weight."

The Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka is an ideal insulated garment for the shoulder seasons, high altitude summer camping, for campers who require extra insulation to stay warm, and for sleeping in a hoodless quilt or sleeping bag.

It’s remarkable how Montbell is able to provide so many useful features in an insulated jacket for so little weight, and provide so many choices. For example, comparing the Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka (8.4 ounces, size Medium) to the hooded Ex Light Down Anorak (6.2 ounces, size Medium), for an extra 2.2 extra ounces you get more down, loftier down, hood adjustment, hand pockets, a full-height zipper, and an adjustable hem drawcord.

A case in point regarding the Parka’s extra features is the adjustable hood; it adjusts in front to seal around your face, and adjusts in back to pull it away from your eyes. It doesn’t balloon or blow off in the wind. In contrast, the non-adjustable hood on the Montbell Ex Light Down Anorak fits loosely and blows off in the wind. My solution is to wear my billed cap over the hood to hold it in place. So, a good case can be made that features matter, especially on a parka, and Montbell has a knack for adding functional features with minimal extra weight.

Overall, I don’t have any issues at all with the Montbell Plasma 1000 Alpine Down Parka; it fills its niche perfectly – an ultralight garment for cool weather and shoulder season activities.

from Ultralightinsights.blogspot.com