The Montbell Thermawrap Guide is an almost-waterproof synthetic insulated parka that scores near the middle of the pack in our ratings. The jacket weighs 18.7 oz. (530 g) and is warm enough for overnight trips in warmer, wetter winter conditions where its waterproof fabric is beneficial. The seams are not taped and, therefore, it is not completely waterproof.
Waterproof insulated jackets are very specialized. If they're highly durable, they are excellent for long-term use around town and activities like downhill resort skiing. However, we rarely recommend them for activities where saving weight is a priority (e.g. backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, etc.) because, most of the time, a separate rain jacket and insulated jacket with a higher warmth to weight ratio perform better and are a better value. We have found that lightweight highly water resistant and waterproof insulated jackets are best for use as a climbing belay parka. But, even then, there must be a lot of dripping water or heavy, wet snow to warrant the water resistance.
Features & Specifications
- Lightweight waterproof fabric (though the seams are not taped)
- 18.7 oz. (530 g) in men's medium
- Designed for alpinism
Description of Field Testing
We tested this jacket on a several winter hiking and skiing day trips in the mountains near Anchorage, Alaska. The author's most instructive test was a multi-day "Darkest Days Traverse," a lightweight solo mountaineering ridge traverse during the shortest days of the year--only five hours of daylight. Dark, cold, windy, snowy, sleeping in a bivy sack while wearing the jacket.
Member's Only Content
- Performance Assessment
- Weather Resistance
- Strengths & Limitations
Word Count: 1,266
Review Rating: Average
Where To Buy
This jacket has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but inventory remains on the closeout and used gear markets. It has been included in this set of reviews as a key point of reference for related apparel.
This review is part of a comprehensive State of the Market survey of synthetic insulated jackets that has been ongoing for the past two years. Included in this survey:
- Arc'teryx Kappa Hoody Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Hoody Review
- Outdoor Research Uberlayer Review
- Rab Xenon X Review
- Montbell Thermawrap Guide Review
- Rab Nimbus Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Light Review
- LLBean Primaloft Packaway Review
- Arc'teryx Proton LT Review
- Black Diamond Heat Treat Hoody Review
- Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review
- Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Jacket Review
- Nunatak Skaha Apex Review
- Montane Spitfire Parka Review
- Arc'teryx Nuclei AR Parka Review
- Patagonia DAS Parka Review (TBA March 25)
- Synthetic Insulated Jackets State of the Market Report (TBA March 25)
The manufacturer provided a sample of this product to the author with no agreement, requirement, or obligation for media coverage of any kind. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, Backpacking Light gets a small commission on the sale. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps support Backpacking Light’s efforts to publish authoritative and valuable information about lightweight backpacking gear and techniques, inspiring stories and film festivals, and remain an active member of the outdoor industry to promote and protect opportunities for public outdoor recreation.