Overview

The Montane Spitfire One is a toasty-warm synthetic insulated winter parka that only costs $300. We don’t know of any other high-performance synthetic insulated jacket that provides this much warmth per dollar.

We tested the Montane Spitfire One in 2015 and 2016. Montane has since updated the jacket and simplified the name to Spitfire. We found that the old version was too heavy (31.4 oz. or 890g) for activities where saving weight is a priority. Since the fabrics were far more durable than the insulation–Primaloft Gold is one of the most fragile insulations available–the Spitfire could be a good choice for people who work in the wet outdoors, need highly durable fabrics, and rarely stuff the parka into backpacks.

Though the new version of the Spitfire uses different fabrics and has one less chest pocket, it is only half an ounce (17 g) lighter than the version we tested. It weighs almost two pounds, which is as much as a 10-degree Fahrenheit down sleeping bag.

Features & Specifications

  • Large expedition cut fits over lots of layer and a harness full of climbing gear
  • Chest pocket, two interior drop-in pockets, and two handwarmer pockets
  • Two-way full-length zipper

Description of Field Testing

We barely used this jacket. Upon receiving it, we realized we had made a mistake; this jacket does not compete with the other multi-day lightweight outdoor adventure jackets we tested. We used it around town (Anchorage), for a few days trips, and Luc Mehl brought it with him to the Anatuvuk Pass, Alaska for a week of cross country ski coaching–he mostly stood around in the cold.

Review Context

We tested this jacket as part of our Synthetic Insulated Jacket State of the Market Report (to be published on March 25, 2018), which compared fifteen of the best jackets over two years of hiking, climbing, mountaineering, packrafting, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering. Our testing sought to answer the following questions:

1. What’s the best all-purpose synthetic insulated jacket?
2. What’s the best lightweight windproof synthetic insulated jacket?
3. What’s the best active insulation jacket?
4. What’s the best synthetic insulated parka?

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