It is, for all intents and purposes, a baby chromedome. The weight is not all that different from the chromedome (47 grams / 1.66 oz lighter) but the overall pack volume, or stored length (for when you are not using it) that it offers is a massive savings!
If you are like me and pack volume is precious, it just makes sense going with this little umbrella over the chromedome.
mine weighs: 178 g (6.29 oz)
folded length: 25cm (8.9 in)
full length: 53cm (20.9 in)
diameter: 98cm (38.6 in)
The video quality did not come out very well but I did not feel like reshooting it all, but the important stuff is covered in the video.
As of the time of this being published I am a sponsored hiker of Montbell. I purchased my sun block umbrella as I do with ~99% of my gear. This article was originally published on my patreon page, if you feel like having early access to my article and sharing a dollar a month to help the cause, please consider becoming a patron!
It seems it is time for the hiking blogosphere to start posting their “Christmas Lists” – I have already seen three or four just in the last week.
I had an article about 95% of the way written, and decided to delete it and do something different. The idea pop’ed into my brain to write up ‘my favorite piece of gear from my sponsors‘, but the more I thought about that, the more I realized I just could not decide on a single piece of gear from a couple of my sponsors. For instance, I have over 2000 days of use with the Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants and my absolute love for the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket would make it impossible for me to pick between the two. (opps, guess I just gave away that companies two favorites, doh!). The same could be said of companies like Six Moon Designs and ZPacks. So I figured the only way I could make this happen is if I picked two pieces of gear from each company that sponsors me!
Hitting the scale at only 238 grams (8.4 ounces), the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket has been my go-to, primary wear, top thermal garment (jacket) for a few years – and I freaking love it!
Featuring 15-denier rip-stop nylon shell, 50g Exceloft synthetic insulation, and a full front zipper, the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket is a jacket that can be a year around jacket for pretty much anybody anywhere.
It is perfect for the summer season on cold mornings, and a great thermal layer for the colder seasons.
In the world of sub 10 oz synthetic jackets, finding a jacket like the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket, can present a challenge but thankfully it is not really necessary to look all that hard as this jacket ticks off pretty much all of the checkboxes that I feel needs to be checked to fit into this category.
Normally I try very hard to not write about how x-product compares to y-product, but in this situation, that is, the sub 10 ounce hoodless jacket market, I think it is fair to be able to compare the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket to both the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer (197 grams / 6.95 oz) and the Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket (135 grams / 4.8 oz). If you are into animal down thermals, the dominator on the market the last few years has been the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer – used by more big mile hikers I know and respect than any other animal down jacket in this weight/warmth category. Likewise, the Montbell Plasma 1000 has been embraced as one of the best weight/warmth animal down jackets you can buy.
While the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket is obviously not an animal down jacket, it can easily go head-to-head with those two amazing animal down jackets! Plus it is under the magical 10 oz mark, it is half as expensive as the Plasma 1000, and $200 dollars less expensive than the Ghost Whisperer! To say MH has gotten greedy with their price of the Ghost Whisperer is putting it mildly. You can buy both a Montbell Plasma AND a Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket for just a few dollars more and have one hell of a sweet multi-layer thermal system!
Earlier today I realized that I had passed the 1,200 days mark of using these pants and figured I would do a follow-up review of these pants.
Yes, I wrote that correctly… 1,200+ days of wearing the same pair of pants… 3 years, 4 months and a few days.
I started wearing them on December 28, 2010 after receiving them from ProLite Gear, who now have them priced at $68.95 – they were priced at $56.98 when I bought them.
Over the last three years I have had countless people ask me questions about them and a whole lot of people have bought them based on my previous article and after my responding back to their questions about these wind pants.
I thought I would take a moment and share some of the Q&A’s I have gotten and replied to over the last few years, regarding these wind pants, as well as post an update on how well they are holding up.
Earlier this year I set out to find an alternative way of hiking in the hot sunny weather of Southern California. Something that did not involve me getting sunburned or carrying the heavy 8.11 ounce GoLite Umbrella that I and many other long distance hikers have used for years. Granted I turn a rather nice shade of golden brown when I get a nice bit of sun on me, but living under the Redwood forest canopy of Northern California for the better part of two decades has not allowed me to keep that nice suntan that I always had while growing up in the Mojave desert. Recently I have been hiking different sections of the PCT in SoCal, and spending time in Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley, trying to find the best route for my Highest to Lowest trail/hike I am planning.
I was able to find a number of different companies claiming that they provided SPF clothing that was in the 15-30 range, but the real stand-out in the sun clothing world was a product line called “Solumbra” from a company called Sun Precaution. This is a company that designs and makes all of their clothing in Seattle Washington USA.
As most of my longtime readers know, I rarely write reviews on pieces of gear (clothing, shelters, backpacks, whatever) that I have not tested a lot and for a long time. I will typically spend an entire hiking season (or sometimes three or four) before I contemplate writing a review for a piece of gear – this is what makes me stand apart from other authors and gear reviewers in the outdoor community, along with the fact that I traditionally only focus on SUL/XUL hiking. There have only been a few rare exceptions when I have broken that rule of mine, and I think with this clothing from Sun Precaution it is going to be one of those times — the reason being: sometimes a product just proves itself from the very get-go, and this clothing proved itself to me within the first two weeks of me using it. Truthfully, it proved itself within a matter of hours, but I gave it a good three or four days before I allowed myself to whisper to myself “wow, this stuff actually works!”
Montbell has had a major hit on their hands with their Montbell Tachyon Wind Jacket and the Montbell Tachyon Anorak since they were introduced to the ultralight hiking and running communities. For 2013 they decided to one-up themselves, and boy did they ever!
The 2013 edition of the Tachyon was revealed to us here in America at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 – and what really made a lot of us go “wow!” was the fact that Montbell was indicating a weight of 45.36 grams (1.6 ounces) for a size medium!
I received word yesterday from the North American Operations of Montbell that I have been accepted as a sponsor of Montbell. This is a very exciting new sponsorship for me. Montbell is one of the leading companies in ultralight hiking gear and to be accepted by them is truly an honor and I want to extend a huge thank you to those involved in this decision at Montbell.
I have never made it any secrete that I have a special place in my hiking heart for Montbell. I have done extensive testing and publication on their gear over the last few years and their gear has continued to stand up to all that I have demanded of it.
One of the most popular articles I have written has been on the Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants – a truly amazing piece of gear that I have worn for over two thousands miles of hiking. Dozens and dozens of hikers have read my article on these pants and bought them and sent me an email saying thanks, and I have even come across a few hikers on youtube that have mentioned my article when talking about them buying these wind pants. I can honestly say that I have never encountered any other pair of pants I would prefer to be out hiking with… be it sunny and hot, raining like crazy, or even in the snow. These pants have been with me everywhere.
Just before the start of the 2012/2013 winter season I purchased the Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka. It has been one of the best parkas I have ever purchased. I acquired mine just before their Mirage Parka came out, so I look forward to giving it a go over the 2013 hiking season. Those I trust the most have been telling me the Mirage is a dream come true jacket for them.
And of course my long time readers know all to well my long standing love with the Tachyon Wind Jacket. It was the wind jacket that introduced me and a lot of other hikers I know to the fact that wind jackets have a serious place in a UL/SUL/XUL hikers backpack. Their new 2013 version has hit the scales at an insane sub 50 gram mark.
When talking with other hikers I have often said that Montbell is one of those rare companies that exist that have given me the means to reach the weight levels that I have over the last few years. As a primarily SUL hiker I have used a lot of gear over the last few years and there are very few pieces of gear that have made it from one season to the next season — and not because I am hard on my gear, far from it, but rather because so much of the gear made today by companies claiming to make SUL gear, have simply not been able to design, develop, test, and bring to market gear that actually meets the needs of my style of hiking. I can truly count the companies that I consider to be top end companies for SUL hiking gear on one hand. Montbell is among them.
To be granted the opportunity to be a sponsor of Montbell is a huge honor for me. I am going to keep using their gear that I have already proven to be solid, test their new gear to see how it holds up, and I will continue to invest the time to write articles where I share my honest thoughts about the gear I use from Montbell. I have never bought a piece of gear from Montbell where after using it I went “Hmm, I wish I had not bought that“. That alone pretty much says it all.
Again, to those of you at Montbell, thank you very much and I look forward to developing a further relationship with Montbell over the years ahead. Continue to strive to make the gear that you make!