Gear Review: MontBell Permafrost Light Ultralight Jacket

This featherweight MontBell jacket is perfect for moderate winter temps.

For multiday trips in moderate winter temps (think Southwest) or dayhikes in temps above 10F (just about anywhere), this featherweight jacket is the ticket. One tester packed the 800-fill down Permafrost on a trek in Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks, at elevations above 10,000 feet and with a windchill near zero, and the protection was sufficient.

The key: The shell fabric is Gore Windstopper, which adds significant warmth by stopping gusts and making the jacket all but waterproof (it’s not seam-taped). The Permafrost squishes to quart size. And despite the ounce-shaving, you get fleece-lined, zippered handwarmer pockets and Velcro tabs on the cuffs–but no hood. $249; 12 oz.; men’s S-XXL, women’s S-XL;