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Mirage Parka

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Updated 12/04/18 (EST)

Montbell Athlete Heather "Anish" Anderson Review and Recommendations

Review Date: DECEMBER,2018

I used the Mirage Parka for the autumn portion of my Calendar Year Triple Crown hike. I paired it with the Elephant Foot Type Half Bag sample sleeping bag (which requires a parka). This was my first experience using a half-bag + Parka system, although I’ve been intrigued by the concept for a while. Overall, I was quite impressed. I liked that in the mornings I could get out of my sleeping bag while leaving what was essentially the top of the bag, the Mirage Parka, on so as to not lose any of my heat. Getting out of the bag and moving on cold mornings is always hard!

The Mirage Parka was extraordinarily warm and usually, even on sub-freezing mornings, I was only able to wear it for 30-40 minutes before I was too warm and needed to de-layer. The 900 fill power down certainly does the job! I switched to the Thermawrap Jacket for cold weather hiking since it’s a synthetic, opting to keep the Mirage Parka dry (and therefore properly insulative) for use in camp and sleeping.

Later in the season, when I switched to my winter sleeping bag, I often slept in the Mirage Parka on very cold nights for additional warmth. The drawstring hood, waist, internal drop-in pockets (good places to stow a water filter or phone to keep them from freezing), adjustable cuff, and ample side zipper pockets increase its versatility as an all around cold-weather option. At over 40% insulation it’s a highly recommended warmth to weight piece.

from Heather "Anish" Anderson

Montbell Mirage Down Parka Review

Reviewed on November 2018

The Montbell Mirage Parka is an ultralight 900 fill power hooded down jacket, perfect for winter hiking or backpacking trips when you want to get warm fast and stay warm. Weighing just 14.4 oz in a size men’s XL, this jacket is loaded with features from box baffles to a complete hood sizing and adjustment system. If you’re looking to shave some serious gear weight from your winter hiking gear list, the Mirage is the perfect down parka to don at the top of your next summit or back at basecamp.

・Fully Adjustable Hood:The first thing I look for in any down jacket is to see whether it has an adjustable hood. A non-adjustable hood is basically worthless because you can’t block out heat robbing wind or reduce the air space that your body has to heat up. The perfect hood should have a volume adjuster so you can fit it to your head size and neck toggles so you can shrink the face opening. Your neck and lower face should be covered to keep them warm and block the wind. A zipper garage, like the one below, is especially nice if you have a mustache or beard, because it keeps them from getting caught in the teeth. The Mirage doesn’t have any face lining, but the jacket’s shell fabric is very soft, so it’s not a problem.

The Mirage’s hood volume shrinks enough for my small head, even though it is ice climbing helmet compatible, which should give you some sense of how good the hood controls are. Helmet compatibility is usually an indication that a hood will be too large a hiker’s head, but the Mirage hood can be reduced enough in size to encase your head comfortably without extra volume. It’s also amazing just how much insulation the hood holds. I own down-filled balaclavas that have less down fill in them, making the Mirage an awesome accompaniment for a down quilt sleep system.

・Recommendation:The Montbell Mirage Parka is a great down parka that’s ultralight but still loaded with features. Insulated with 900 fill power down, it is super comfortable to wear and has a fully featured hood adjustment, so you can resize it to fit perfectly. My only real concern with Mirage is the thickness and durability of the 7 denier ballistic nylon used for its exterior fabric. The shell is easy to puncture and will abrade in high friction areas more quickly than jackets made with thicker materials. That’s not a deal breaker, provided you stock up on Tenacious Tape and are proactive about patching holes and thinning fabric.

・Highly Recommended:Disclosure: Montbell provided the author with a jacket for this review.

from SectionHiker

Switchback Travel

Reviewed August 21, 2016

The staff at Switchback Travel have included the Mirage Parka in their list of the Best Down Jackets of 2016. Here's what they had to say,

"Montbell is at the forefront of lightweight warmth, and you will have a hard time finding down jackets with a better ratio of fill weight to total weight. The Mirage Parka weighs less than 13 ounces yet packs an impressive 5.3 ounces of 900-fill goose down. Its name is slightly misleading—this isn’t your traditional down parka for the coldest of cold—but it’s warm enough for winter camping, mountaineering, and as a midlayer for the backcountry." -Switchback Travel Staff

from Switchbacktravel.com

Backcountry Skiing Canada.com awards the Mirage Parka Gear of the Year for 2016

Review Date: Dec 15, 2015

Backcountry Skiing Canada.com has reviewed and awarded the Mirage Parka their Gear of the Year award for 2016.

"Montbell takes home the prestigious Backcountry Skiing Canada Gear of the Year Award for their innovative Mirage Parka. It's the ultimate combination of super light weight warmth in a packable down jacket that features box construction with 900 fill power goose down. Aptly named the 'Mirage' as you won't believe you're actually wearing a down jacket. Congratulations Montbell."

from Backcountry Skiing Canada.com

8 Best Down Jackets of 2014 - Gear Patrol

Review Date: October 2014

Best Jacket for Parka-Grade Warmth Under a Pound: Though the light-and-fast experts at Montbell call this a parka, it really belongs in the same company as the other down jackets here. It weighs less than 13 ounces, after all, and sports an incredibly lightweight 7D nylon ripstop shell and lining that’s not made to withstand the rigors of foul weather. What it is made for is incredible warmth-to-weight; 5.3 ounces of 900-fill goose down worked into a box baffle construction makes it feel like you’re wearing a warm layer of air (it’s only sub-pound jacket here to use this loft-distributing technique). Wear it ice climbing or backcountry skiing on cold, dry days, or layer it beneath a waterproof shell when wetter flakes start to fly.

from Gear Patrol

"Top Pick" down jacket!

Review date: December 2012

What is the best down jacket? We tested and reviewed 15 of the top-rated down jackets in focused side-by-side comparisons. Our testing took us all over; the Cascades of Washington, the Sierras of California, and the ice climbs of Montana to name a few. We didn't necessarily look at the warmest jacket for each manufacturer. Instead, we tested a versatile set of jackets, all under one pound.

from Outdoor Gear Lab