Reviewed on January 17, 2018
The Montbell Plasma 1000 is pushing the limits on jacket tech. With one of the best warmth to weight ratios around, we love it—we just wish it had pockets.
Overview : In this review, we are taking a look at the Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket. Montbell is a company that mainly focuses on camping and hiking gear, so you may be surprised to see us, with our urban focus, reviewing their gear. But we’ve been keeping tabs on them because they’re producing some of the best ultralight gear out there, and a lot of it will work well for both camping or urban travel. (Except maybe the tents and sleeping bags, unless you’re into urban camping or something.) The Plasma 1000 is your classic “puffy” down jacket. It’s super warm, super light, super compressible, and super great for travel—what’s not to like? And while these types of jackets may have historically been associated with hiking and camping, they are becoming more and more common in both everyday life and the urban travel scene. We’d even go as far as to say they have become quite “trendy.” Yeah, we do fashion stuff. Anyway, enough chit-chat. Let’s dive into this review to see if the Plasma 1000 can compete with some of the other down and synthetic down jackets on the market today.
Testing : At the time of this review, we’ve been testing the Montbell Plasma 1000 for about two months of on and off use. The benefits of using a jacket like this are obvious—it’s extremely lightweight, making it easy to carry around, and it still keeps you really stinkin’ warm. It’s super helpful for packing light and especially great if you have an exterior rain shell to use as well. We don’t have much to report in terms of durability issues, and even with that lighter weight fabric the jacket has held up well during testing. It hasn’t really gotten snagged on anything and there are no holes forming, no fraying, nothing that needs repair. So we’ve been very happy with the quality of this jacket so far in the testing.
Overall : Montbell is really pushing the technology on what a jacket can do with their Plasma 1000 down jacket. It’s extremely lightweight with a good warmth to weight ratio, which is mostly what you’re looking for in a travel-oriented jacket. We are a bit disappointed in the lack of pockets and lack of self-compression, but we think the pros mainly outweigh the cons here. Sure, you can get away with a slightly heavier, less compressible, and cheaper jacket—but if you are really looking to optimize space and weight, the Plasma 1000 is an excellent choice.