The U.L. Thermawrap jacket from Montbell is designed to function in wet or mixed conditions as an ultralight mid or outer layer. I’ve been putting it through every situation imaginable, and it’s performed exceptionally well. This is my review.
Constructed primarily of hydro-phobic Exceloft insulation, the Thermawrap is built to hold up in a wide variety of challenging conditions. The outer layer is a soft yet durable synthetic as well, naturally resistant to rain and water. It features a full DWR coated front zipper, two zippered hand warming pockets, and a vertical chest zipper for storing accessories. The wrists are stretchy synthetic fibers similar to Lycra and expand to fit gloves or thick under layers without the need to fiddle with straps. The jacket comes in a variety of colors, weighs just 8.4 oz, includes a stuff sack, and retails for a pleasingly specific $103.20.
What I liked
The U.L.Thermawrap promises to perform in a wide array of conditions, and perform it certainly does. The insulation provides excellent breathability while still providing protection from rain and wind. This means it’s warm, but never really hot as heat can dissipate through the fibers when need be. It’s warm enough to be worn alone as an outer layer into the 40’s on a dry breezy evening, but cool enough to be used while grunting up challenging climbs or bike rides. When paired with a wind stopping outer layer, it manages warmth into the upper 30’s, making it an excellent snow hiking or freezing rain layering system. It’s versatility is perhaps the most impressive I’ve found in a jacket, allowing it to be worn in the office, around town, or on the windiest of peaks.
The jacket is wonderfully comfortable. Staying close enough to the body to not look baggy but loose enough to accommodate thick base layers or a loose t-shirt; it feels more like a hoodie than a jacket. It sits softy on the shoulders, wrapping gently around the hips while providing full mobility of the arms. It’s a definite upgrade or the restrictive sensation that many light weight jackets offer. It doesn’t hurt that the materials avoid any feeling of clamminess, even when soaked in sweat after a 3 mile ascent, either.
At just over 8 ounces, the jacket adds a minuscule amount of weight to a pack and squeezes down to the size of a swollen softball. This being the case, it’s light enough for year round use as a light “just in case” jacket on high summer peaks, or as a high exertion “go” jacket on cold winter days.
The jacket looks great too, with lightly textured fabric and a nice contrasting zipper running down the front. The colors are proud and cheerful, without being flamboyant or flashy. The sleek build looks good on a variety of body shapes too. I like it.
What I didn’t like
When letting the weight of my arms down into the hand pockets I find that there is a sturdy seam in the collar that puts a little bit of tension against the back of my neck. My neck being a bit of a problem spot anyway, I find this a little distracting at times. It could use a wider, double seam or perhaps a little padding here.
The Thermawrap is an exceptional jacket, promising to deliver both as a mid and outer layer, and it delivers handily. It’s feathery light, plays ninja in a backpack, and manages to regulate exceptionally well. The result is a jacket that can and should be used year round, either as a primary high activity jacket on cold winter outings, or as a tucked away jacket for chillier than advertised summer trips. It’s my new favorite synthetic and has secured a spot in my biking, hiking, backpacking and every day bag. This being the case, it’s receiving my highest possible score.
The highest of recommendations
For more information on Montbell and and their wide range of gear, check out their website, http://www.montbell.us/
For information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.
I want to extend a huge thanks Montbell for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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