Apr 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm #1288938
Has anyone any experience with the new montbell versalite rain shell?
6.7 ounces, fully featured (pockets, pit zips, etc.) , nice styling. It uses a "2.5-layer Super Hydro Breeze Technology"
My questions are on durability, waterproofness, and breathability.
BradApr 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm #1869233
Joseph RBPL Member
@dianodaLocale: Chicago, IL
I have no personal experience with the jacket, but will chime in to note that it was included in BPL's recent UL WBP jacket SOMTR – check it out for some opinions from the experts on how the jacket compares against its peers:Apr 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm #1869234
@shortbusLocale: So Cal
It was covered in the WPB Jacket SOTMR last month.
I was thinking about the pants. Seem like a good deal at 4 oz and fully taped seams, but I hope they get the DWR treatment sorted out. I will have to hear something better before I buy.
Joseph beat me to it.Apr 20, 2012 at 4:37 am #1869302
Arapiles .BPL Member
I also posted some comments on it last week, since I'd seen the 2012 version in Tokyo.
"I was in Tokyo last week and bought a few things at Mont-Bell, mostly bike stuff for the upcoming Austral winter. While I was in their Ebisu store I spotted the 2012 Versalite jacket. I presume that this is the version which David Chenault reviewed in March but the claimed weights appear to be different (this one is lighter – the current US model works out at a claimed 189.90 grams for a size M (cf 209.8 grams claimed/198.4 grams actual for the US version in David's article)) so maybe it's a later iteration?
The Japanese market jacket is claimed to weigh an average 168 grams (the 21 grams weight difference between the 2012 Japanese and US versions is presumably due to the pit zips which the Japanese market jackets don't get). Instead of nominating a weight for a particular size they nominated an average for the range of sizes available. Since there are 5 sizes and the middle one is M, that's presumably the weight of the medium. That's very light for a jacket with the waterproofness and breathability they claim (20,000/20,000 – the details are on MB's US website if you're interested). The question then is what is the variance between the sizes? Can the L or XL be under 200 grams?
Impressions? The jacket looks and feels like a windshirt (actually the blue is very similar in colour to the blue Houdini) but with a clear plastic coating on the inside: that and a slight stiffness are the only indications that it's not just a windshirt.
In terms of sizing I was able to comfortably wear both the L and the XL (I'd probably be a US L as a comparison). The length was below the waist and cut longer at the back (so the low weight is not simply because they've cut the jacket really short) but it's still shorter than my Montane LiteSpeed.
One thing I did really like was that the cuffs had velcro and elastic, which I think should be standard but annoyingly isn't. In fact a Mont-Bell softshell I bought didn't have the elastic, which is a pain.
My interest in the jacket was because I'm always looking for a super-light breathable waterproof that I can carry in my panniers in case of rain (I commute by bike most days). The price in Japan is pretty reasonable but I decided to not buy it until I had checked some reviews about its breathability. (I was also thinking that it's Breeze Dry-Tec, which gets good reviews, but it's actually Super Hydro-Breeze which, based on David's review, doesn't seem in practice to match eVent or Breeze Dry-Tec). On that basis, for me, the light weight alone would not be enough to justify the purchase, as in my experience cycling tends to steam up even eVent unless it's very cold."Apr 22, 2012 at 6:16 am #1869853
Thanks for the replies everyone. Although it looks great, it doesn't seem like this jacket is worth the dough.May 10, 2012 at 1:12 am #1876143May 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm #1881376
Paul HatfieldBPL Member
I checked 2012-05-26 at the Mont Bell store in Shibuya, and they have none of the jackets or pants.They said that there is a problem with the construction.May 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm #1881441
christopher smeadBPL Member
@hamsterfishLocale: San Jose, CA
They discontinued them again?
I bought the pants about a month ago after they apparently fixed the seam welding issue, but they pulled them again? Anyone have any details as to why?
I'm about to take these things on a long trip and I'm wondering if they are going to fail me at first rain. Quite frustrating being an early adopter.
I own almost the entire MB line of insulated jackets and always trusted the quality. I guess you can't win every time.May 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm #1881445
Arapiles .BPL Member
On the bright side, at least they don't leave them on the market when they find something wrong.
Re the MB softshell I bought it turns out that it is actually supposed to have elastic – in fact it's there, but it's sitting flat and wasn't ruched and then stitched. My wife contacted them and they said to get it fixed locally and they'd pay for it.May 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm #1881446May 28, 2012 at 5:35 am #1881657
david richardsonBPL Member
I received both my pants and jacket here in the USA recently, after a recall of the original shipment. Not sure how much different they are from the products sold in Japan. I will say that I really like them and the total weight of 11 oz for jacket and pants in size large. They just became available again in the last 10 days. daveMay 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm #1881861
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Thank you Joseph and Rob.
No sooner did I go back and re-read the rain jacket report than I found Rab Pulses at LaHout's backpacking store in Lincoln NH. Couldn't resist. Budget shot to heck.
It is extremely well made and fit me perfectly, with plenty of coverage down below.
Never thought I would find RABs here in NH to try on. If it survives the summer well, will do a review.
Now I have two Patagonia Specters to hang on the wall and heaven knows how much else.
Did have a 'tent' sale of a dozen or so tents a few years ago, and lo and behold, a trip leader from a local school showed up and bought the whole lot. Highly recommend this to Franco.
One of these days, will have a blow out yard sale of all the rest of the stuff. Maybe to raise the cash for the bankruptcy filing fee.Jul 25, 2013 at 11:38 pm #2009636
Adam KilpatrickBPL Member
@oystersLocale: South Australia
wondering how the recall went…did they fix the problem with delaminating?
I'm now living in Tottori, Japan, and there is a Montbell store at Daisen, which I hope to visit in the next couple of months to hike it. I'm keen to get a new light jacket for me and my wife.
Arapiles; what do you think of it as a jacket for cycling? We'll be doing a lot of that here too. As long as it cinches ok at the waist and wrists, and has a bit of a drop tail I'm happy.
AdamJul 26, 2013 at 6:26 am #2009672
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