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.