Oct 16, 2005 at 10:51 am #1216936
Matthew LaPatkaBPL Member
@gungadinLocale: Pittsburgh, PA
Hi everyone. I have gotten the synthetic garment bug and am trying to decide whether I want the Montbell Thermawrap jacket or the Patagonia Micropuff pullover. Both of these have been highly lauded from many folks. I am primarily looking for a synthetic piece that would work best for cooler fall and spring weather (40 degrees or so). I am fine with winter insulation gear so I don’t need anything for colder climes. I have done my homework but always like more opinions. Weight is a concern, and I don’t need a jacket to keep me warm in too cold of weather. I have others that can do that. Which do you think is better for me? I wouldn’t be hiking in it too much. It would mostly be used around camp. I am mainly looking for: warmth down to 40 degrees or so, good fit, solid weatherproofing and breathability, as light as possible. In other words, is the Micropuff worth the extra 3.5 ounces or so (and lack of full zip) since I probably would be fine with the warmth of the Montbell? Both companies are great so no worries there. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!Oct 16, 2005 at 11:26 am #1342985
Even better is the BMW Cocoon pullover—9 oz. in large, if you can get it. No bells and whistles—just pure unadultrated function. I find the Montbell has to be sized up to fit and I wish they had a pullover version that lost the handwarmer pockets to save more weight. The Polarguard Delta that the BMW and Patagonia jackets have is more efficient than Montbell’s propreitary insulation. The Patagonia’s cut is the best of the lot–if you have a hard to fit bodytype that doesn’t accomadate the semi-fitted tailoring of the Montbell and BMW jackets, you might consider. My 2nd fave.
Montbell does have 2 add’l models worth considering (at the expense of more weight) — the Action version of the Thermowrap (which has side panels of stretch fleece) and a hooded version (bravo!) of the basic U.L. Thermowrap. I have not tried these.Oct 16, 2005 at 11:28 am #1342986
Ryan FaulknerBPL Member
I too am looking for a synthetic insulator. what I have narrowed it down to is the BMW cocoon and mont bell thermawrap.
I want to Know wich one will provide more warmth because all other features of both I would be happy with.
any one used either please respond with remarksOct 16, 2005 at 11:36 am #1342987
For either of you two, if you are subscribers—read
“Lightweight Synthetic High Loft Insulating Jackets/Pullovers and Vests: REVIEW SUMMARY and GEAR GUIDE OVERVIEW” on this site.
It tests both the Patagonia Micropuff Pullover and the Montbell UL Thermowrap and several worthy others. Guess what the clear winner was–hint, it was not the Montbell.
The BMW Cocoon was not tested because I think this site has a policy of not testing it’s own goods in comparitive reviews.
My own view–the Cocoon is warmer than the Thermowrap, noticably so. A tossup between the Micropuff and the Cocoon, with the edge to Patagonia because of it’s drop tail–something BMW should add.
The Patagonia outlet in Dillon,Mont. is now selling the MP Pullover for $60 –now that’s a lot of bang for the buck. Get on their mailing list and call in your order–no websales!
Phone (406) 683-2580Oct 16, 2005 at 12:01 pm #1342990
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
i like the BMW Coccoon, but have never had a Pat. MP. Kevin’s info on the $60 MP makes it pretty much a “no brainer”. why spend more than $60? Go ahead,… make the call.Oct 16, 2005 at 12:32 pm #1342995
David LewisBPL Member
@davidlewisLocale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Another low cost solution is the MEC Northern Lite Jacket / Vest. Not the lightest solution, but hard to beat for the money.Oct 16, 2005 at 2:20 pm #1343003
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
I have owned the Thrermawrap now for two years or so and love it. Great jacket period. I think the lowest temp. that I have used it in was around 32 degrees.Oct 16, 2005 at 2:55 pm #1343005
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
If the question wasn’t what jacket would be best for winter (maximum insulation for weight) then you are right, the thermawrap is not the winner. For the winter the Micro Puff is a great. Personally, I would take it over the Cocoon because I think the micro puff will be more durable. But the questions wasn’t about a cold weather jacket. The question was what jacket would be best for around 40F.
I own a thermawrap vest&jacket as well as the Patagonia Micro Puff. I have found the Micro Puff Jacket to be significantly warmer than the Thermawrap. If I was choicing a jacket for temps around 40F it would be the thermawrap… the Micro Puff would be just too warm. In fact, down to 40F I would go with the vest bacause I can be comfortable in a base + thermawrap vest + hat + shell in temps down to 30F.
Of course everyone is not as warm blooded as me. After a busy day I am comfortable down to mid 50s with a just light shirt, and adding an unlined wind shirt keeps me comfortable into the upper 40s.
My question to you would be what weight fleece keeps you comfortable in 40F temps. If a 200wt fleece is enough, then go with the thermawarp because I have found it a bit warmer than a 200wt fleece. If a 200wt fleece isn’t enoigh, then go with the Micro Puff which I have found to be warmer than a 300 wt fleece.
–markOct 16, 2005 at 4:17 pm #1343009
I don’t use fleece anymore. Period. Well, except for cold weather carpentry or gardening. or for thrasher rock climbing. So I can’t corrolate w/ various weights, anymore—I forgot. I go for the lesser weight and better compressibility of a polarguard jacket/sweater.
Generally speaking, I use my Cocoon or Micropuff, 1st thing in the morning or at eve. in camp. When I’m moving, a baselayer and a shell will be more than enough.
I consider myself a fairly warm blooded(cosmopolitan–pardon me, perhaps an obscure joke). At 40 degrees, stationary for rest stops, my baselayer and a shell are quite enough, if I use a warm cap/balaclava and use something like possum wool gloves. I just don’t need to break out the Cocoon let alone a fleece garment. At 40 for long term stops or at temps, below 40 is when I break out the insulated jacket.
When I need to go light ( but not climbing and hardcore backcountry skiing applications), I use either the Micropuff or my Cocoon. I tend to adjust base layers to perceived need. So I will use a short or long sleeved LW merino wool baselayer, or when conditions will be a bit colder, a med. weight baselayer. Baselayer+Insulated jacket+shell options keeps me very comfortable for all my Summer Cascade,Trinity,Sierra, Wallowa backpacks.
For those other applications, I go softshell–either an Ibex Icefall or for cooler conditions, a Beyond Fleece Cold Fusion. This is supplemented by an old Western Mtneering Down Parka,when bloody cold.This takes me through anything short of high altitude winter mtneering.
No question that the micropuff is a little more rugged than the Cocoon—you have to baby a Cocoon a bit just like a lot of SUL gear.
Like your website , Mark—probably the best single source for considering various gear on the web in an easily accessible format.
i wrote my response in a very distracted way, earlier. Hopefully it now makes sense.Oct 16, 2005 at 5:54 pm #1343010
The Cocoon is lighter, but it’s going to be significantly more fragile than the MicroPuff. The Patagonia is quilted, the Cocoon not, and Polarguard Delta needs to be treated *very* nicely if it’s just out there naked as it is in the Cocoon. You can easily trash that jacket if you’re not careful.Oct 16, 2005 at 6:19 pm #1343012
Not as delicate as all that—mine is holding up nicely on many backpacks and some skipacking since last Dec. It needs reasonable care as any piece of UL equipment does— but it doesn’t mean you have to put it behind glass and admire it from afar.
All this, and it’s the basis for my backpacking pillow, too.Oct 16, 2005 at 9:00 pm #1343017
I own a Micropuff pullover, Micropuff vest, and a Montbell UL down jacket. For trips where the low will be above freezing, I don’t take the Micropuff pullover. Too warm, too bulky.
I agree with the other poster about using a base + vest + hat + rain/wind jacket, which works for me down to about 48. If I substitute my Montbell jacket for the vest, I’m good until the high 30’s. If I bring the vest and the Montbell, I would guess (haven’t tried it yet as the vest is faily new) I would be good into the 20’s, with a flexible system for both base camp and hiking.
My vote is the Thermawrap out of your two preferences for above freezing temps, assuming you will also bring a rain or wind shell.
-G$Oct 16, 2005 at 9:46 pm #1343026
Thus speaketh the Montbell Rep or something
Why do people choose anonymity for such trivial matters? If it were a job threatening post, I would understand, but I doubt it.Oct 17, 2005 at 8:04 am #1343046
Because he can?
Anonymous #2 typeth:
“Thus speaketh the Montbell Rep or something
Why do people choose anonymity for such trivial matters? If it were a job threatening post, I would understand, but I doubt it.”Oct 19, 2005 at 7:41 pm #1343255
Peter HoranBPL Member
I doubt you’re going to go far wrong with either choice. I ha ve had the Patagonia Puffball (the predecessor) for several years and have worn it ice climbing with a shell and wool base layer. I was comfortable into the mid-20s. I have recently bought the MP vest and the jacket (gear lust?). I have worn the vest a lot and LOVE it. I am taking the jacket on a weeklong trip into the Grand Canyon next week as a supplement to my Arc Alpinist.Oct 20, 2005 at 9:59 am #1343296
Bill FornshellBPL Member
@bfornshellLocale: Southern Texas
I have a Thermawrap Vest, the new Pants and the new Parka. They fit great and the pants have full side zips.
However, the Patagonia web site has, as a web special, the Micro Puff in all sizes but no Black in stock and on sale for $73.Oct 20, 2005 at 1:21 pm #1343310
I heard a rumor that if you call the Dillon, MT Patagonia outlet directly, they have the Micropuff pullover for $60.
-G$Oct 20, 2005 at 1:44 pm #1343313
Look earlier in this thread—it’s true (or was as of a few days ago). Phone # was posted.Oct 20, 2005 at 8:56 pm #1343359
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