Not much surpasses the warmth and coziness of a down jacket. Pulling on the new Montane Anti-Freeze Packable Hooded Down Jacket immediately sends me into my happy place. But, as with any down jacket, all that goodness does have some drawbacks, so I’ll try to balance all that yin with some yang as well.
Montane Anti-Freeze Down Hooded Jacket Features:
100% recycled PERTEX(R) QUANTUM ECO outer with PFC-free DWR
Filled with 140g of 90/10 water resistant fluorocarbon-free HyperDRY down at 750+ fill power
Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and Track my Down certified
100% recycled PEAQ Down ECO lining with PFC-free DWR
Micro baffle construction
Full-length YKK front zip with internal storm flap
Two zipped hand pockets to safely stash essentials
Zipped internal chest pocket to safely stash valuables
Adjustable hem drawcord help lock in heat
Stuff sack included
Hang loops inside and out
Weight: 365 grams (medium, actual)
At home in the coldest conditions.
Warm and cozy — for the right activities
Without question… Montane knows how to make great-fitting and performing jackets. That and I do admittedly have a thing for British outdoor apparel. Regardless of that, when I put on the new Anti-Freeze Hooded Down Jacket, I was in heaven. And, since Utah is usually blessed by dry, cold snow, a down jacket should come in handy.
Throughout my test period, I donned the Anti-Freeze across a wide spectrum of conditions and exertion. As with just about any jacket I test, one of the first hurdles was a cold morning trail run. No, it’s not as versatile as the Montane Icarus Flight Jacket for that purpose, but it fared better than I thought it would. With an efficient fit, the Anti-Freeze stays out of your way and moves with you. And, that warmth was nice to have on a 25-degree morning. Moisture does build up inside, but it does evaporate better than I thought it would — likely due to the water-resistant HyperDRY down, which fares well with even, slow perspiration.
Stopping mid-run and breathability remains good.
The form-fitting hood is really snug. It’s so snug that you can’t pull it onto your head unless you unzip it a little. That is appreciated during windy conditions and provides amazing coverage and warmth on my shaved noggin. Uniquely, the hood features an built-in foam brim. When deployed, the brim adds shape and provides added protection. But, when not in use, it awkwardly pushes against the back of the neck — which gets exacerbated while running. Again, running is not the intended purpose of the Anti-Freeze, but it’s not terrible.
The sleeve length, collar height/diameter and hem length are all spot-on for proper coverage. You can tuck your chin inside the collar, or allow it to drop down and out of the way. The brushed material is soft on your skin and adds an extra bit of comfort with or without using the hood.
A close-up of the collar when not in use.
Cozy, brushed chin guard comes in handy.
For more typical activities, such as snowshoeing, hiking or walking the dog, the Anti-Freeze doesn’t get overwhelmed and provides consistent warmth. Moisture does build up slightly after long hikes, but not to the detriment of the jacket’s performance. I have enjoyed wearing it on cold, mountain hikes and general outdoor activities. For even more sedentary activities, the Anti-Freeze insulates well into the teens with a midweight base layer. One morning, ahead of Christmas, I volunteered at the Utah Food Bank with our family. With a cold wind blowing and the thermometer stuck in the teens, I was able to help distribute food to 400+ families in complete comfort.
My daughter and I serving at the Utah Food Bank.
As with all down insulation, it’s important to have a waterproof shell to use in case of inclement weather. While the Anti-Freeze does use HyperDRY down, it’s still no match for heavy, wet snow or cold rain. After about 15 minutes in a steady rain, the jacket is soaked through and insulation compromised. If the weather is dry, you’ll have no worries, but even the treated down loses to the rain. Montane states that there is some DWR treatment on the Pertex Quantum Eco fabric, but I’m not seeing anything of the sort. No water has ever beaded up on the face of this jacket, which I would have liked to see.
A snowy hike up American Fork Canyon and the hood came in handy.
The narrow baffles do keep the profile low, but they have proven to be a bugger when it comes to washing and drying. Unfortunately, the fabric does absorb body odors after a good use. I’ve been disappointed by how much odor is retained — requiring regular washing. After each washing, I have had to spend several minutes redistributing the feathers. Using dryer balls does help somewhat, but not as much as I’d like.
As I’ve hiked around the mountains, sharp branches have grabbed the outer fabric, but I don’t have any rips or tears. Durability is feeling pretty good at this point. The glove/cuff interface isn’t the best as it’s hard to keep it from creeping up, but the cuffs are perfectly comfortable when not wearing gloves and are one of my favorite features of this jacket. When it comes to stashing it away, the included stuff sack compresses down to about the size of a typical Nalgene bottle.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 173 lbs, wearing the size medium.
Really great cut and fit
Extra hem length for coverage
Those cuffs are way comfortable
Form-fitting hood stays put in windy conditions
Lightweight and packable
Awesome outer layer or mid-layer, as needed
Redistributing the down after washing is a chore
Gets stinky quick (Polygiene spray will be your best friend)
DWR seems nonexistent, so it wets out pretty quickly
Foam brim does poke the back of your neck when not in use
The Bottom Line: Montane Anti-Freeze Down Hooded Jacket
Montane jackets fit me like they were custom-tailored and the Anti-Freeze Packable Down Hoodie is no exception. I love the cozy comfort this jacket provides and the loft is excellent — once the down is redistributed after washing. With a tight-fitting hood, warmth is retained and extra length in the hem and sleeves ensures coverage in inclement weather.
Buy Now: Available from MooseJaw.com
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