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Montbell Down Balaclava Assessment –

The Montbell Down Balaclava is insulated with 800 fill energy down and can be utilized to enhance an insulated jacket or as part of a backpacking quilt sleep system. Weighing 3.1 oz (87 grams) it’s a extremely adjustable piece of headgear with two rear quantity adjusters, two elastic cords to manage the scale of the face opening, and three snaps that shut over the face and neck. Not like a fleece balaclava, it extends effectively beneath the neck to cowl your higher chest and neck, offering seamless integration with hoodless jackets and quilt draft collars.

Specs at a Look

  • Weight 3.1 oz (87 g)
  • Fill weight: 1.1 oz (30 g)
  • Insulation: 800 fill energy down
  • Development: Sewn-through
  • Material: 10-denier rip-stop nylon

There are two primary methods to make use of the Montbell Down Balaclava. The primary is to enhance a hoodless jacket and the second is to enhance your sleep insulation system, akin to a sleeping bag or backpacking quilt. Each of these eventualities are facilitated by the balaclava’s neck which covers your entire neck in addition to the highest of your shoulders and chest. This ensures a decent seal between the neck of a jacket or the draft collar of an ultralight backpacking quilt. It might additionally act like a draft collar if in case you have a quilt that doesn’t have one to forestall warmth loss round your neck.

The extended neck prevents any leaks when used with a hoodless jacket.
The prolonged neck prevents any leaks when used with a hoodless jacket.

I desire carrying a hoodless insulated jacket in three-season climate as a result of it layers higher with a light-weight rain jacket than a hooded insulated jacket. There are occasions although after I do want I had extra head heat and a garment just like the Montbell Down Balaclava may serve that perform. I additionally like the additional down within the neck space and higher shoulder areas as a result of it’s even higher insulated than a few of the hooded down jackets I take advantage of. There’s a variety of blood flowing close to the pores and skin of your neck and preserving it well-insulated is likely one of the keys to staying heat. I usually carry an insulated Polar Buff for simply this objective.

The Montbell Down Balaclava makes great hood for a backpacking quilt sleep system
The Montbell Down Balaclava makes an amazing hood for a backpacking quilt sleep system

The Montbell Down Balaclava can be effectively suited to sleeping insulation with a down quilt as a result of it’s so adjustable, with a number of methods to regulate the inside quantity and protection it offers. I’ve a small head, so this is a matter that I’m aware of. However do you actually need a down hood when sleeping with a quilt? Firms like Enlightened Gear and Therm-a-Relaxation base the temperature scores they assign their quilts on that assumption (see Backpacking Quilt Temperature Scores). In addition they assume that you simply’ll be carrying lengthy underwear and sleeping on a pad that has an R-value of at the very least 5. So in the event you’ve been chilly in a quilt, which will clarify why.

There are two volume adjusters on the back of the balaclava
There are two quantity adjusters on the again of the balaclava.

There are two methods to regulate the inside quantity of the balaclava, each on its rear. The primary is a velcro tab that controls the place of the panel over your brow with the Montbell brand stenciled on it. You possibly can increase or decrease it relying on how a lot visibility or brow insulation you need. There’s additionally an elastic twine that you may lock in place with a twine lock. It controls the scale of the hood’s crown, simply above the ears, so you’ll be able to forestall drafts from blowing into the hood’s sides. There are additionally two elastic cords on both facet of the face opening. These allow you to management the scale of the opening and the way a lot cheek protection you need.

Comparable Insulated Hoods


The Montbell Down Balaclava is a extremely adjustable down hood that can be utilized with a hoodless jacket or a backpacking quilt. It’s amazingly heat and suitable with all head sizes and hairdos. Whereas it may be used to enhance a hoodless jacket, it does really feel a little bit awkward to put on in the event you’re lively and mountaineering onerous. I desire carrying a down hat or fleece balaclava in these circumstance. However my favourite means to make use of the Montbell Down Balaclava is with a backpacking quilt as a result of it boosts my heat and gained’t come off at night time if I trash round. I particularly like the best way that the lengthy, wraparound neck and higher chest insulation complement the quilts and hoodless sleeping luggage I personal. Should you’re pulling collectively an ultralight, quilt-based sleep system, I can strongly suggest utilizing the Montbell Down Balaclava for that objective. It’s additionally fairly priced, well-constructed, and available.

Disclosure: Montbell donateda pattern garment for this evaluate

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