Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Montreaux Review

Best Buy Award
Price:  $300 List | $285.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Insanely warm, form-fitting, thick down, removable faux fur ruff, double sided full zipper
Cons:  Heavy, somewhat bulky, limited mobility, some feather loss, not waterproof
Bottom line:  Serious warmth packed into a budget friendly knee-length parka.
Editors' Rating:   
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Insulation:  700 fill down with Down Defender
Length:  Knee-length
Pockets:  2 internal, 2 external
Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

When the temperatures start to drop, you will be happy to have on the Marmot Montreaux. Insulated with some high-quality lofty 700-fill-power down, we were comfy and content in temperatures of 15F. Taking the dog out for a walk or standing in place at a hockey game won't be an issue, period. Reaching our knees, we were seriously cozy when we had the hood on, and the coat fully zipped up. The faux fur ruff around the hood offered extra warmth and style, while the outer fabric has a water-resistant DWR (durable water resistant) coating but isn't waterproof. A better option for a climate that gets a ton of wet weather is our Top Pick for Wet Weather, the Patagonia Tres Down Parka.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Winter Jackets for Women of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Liz Williamson

Last Updated:
Monday
January 22, 2018

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Insulated with Down Defender 700 fill-power down, we were warm, comfortable, and protected in frigid weather when armed with the Marmot Montreaux. Weighing 2.2 lbs, it was one of the heaviest in the fleet, but it's hard to notice. The down is evenly distributed, and we never felt like it was too bulky or constricting. You can't go wrong with any of the four stylish color options, like Black, Midnight Navy, Urban Army, Port Royal.

Performance Comparison


Insulated with plush 700-fill power down  we felt comfortable and warm in some seriously cold weather. The knee-length cut does a great job at offering extra protection and warmth.
Insulated with plush 700-fill power down, we felt comfortable and warm in some seriously cold weather. The knee-length cut does a great job at offering extra protection and warmth.

Warmth


This jacket is by far the warmest contender we tested. The thick plush down makes frigid weather seem downright pleasant. It's insulated with Down Defender 700 fill-power down, which is also water-resistant. The warmth factor meant we were able to extend our time outside in stormy weather while staying super warm, outperforming the Patagonia Fiona Down Parka and The North Face Miss Metropolis Down Parka II.


The hood is filled with plush down, which made a noticeable difference when it came to securing heat. Some models in our fleet, like the Patagonia Tres Down Parka had no insulation whatsoever in the hood.

Unlike any other jacket we tested  the Montreaux offers a soft  fleece-lined torso. In cold weather  we enjoyed being able to slip on a jacket that wasn't lined with cold nylon or polyester. There are two interior media pockets. The one that is pictured is a drop pocket for quick access.
Unlike any other jacket we tested, the Montreaux offers a soft, fleece-lined torso. In cold weather, we enjoyed being able to slip on a jacket that wasn't lined with cold nylon or polyester. There are two interior media pockets. The one that is pictured is a drop pocket for quick access.

We liked that the Montreaux has a fleece-lined torso. On a cold day, it's far more enjoyable, and we felt like we warmed up quicker, as opposed to cold nylon or polyester interiors like the Canada Goose Kensington Parka or the Arc'teryx Darrah has. Microfleece also lines both sides of the exterior pockets, as well as the collar, and the cuffs. It's apparent that extra consideration was put into the warmth and comfort of this jacket.

Down insulation has a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Lightweight and highly compressible  the down found in the Montreaux is a great choice for cold climates.
Down insulation has a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Lightweight and highly compressible, the down found in the Montreaux is a great choice for cold climates.

Weather Resistance


Not intended for a wet climate, the Montreaux is water-resistant, but not waterproof. The chart below shows where this jacket lands on the weather resistance scale.


The exterior polyester fabric is treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. Initially, water beads up and rolls off, but after an extended period in rain/heavy rain, the jacket became saturated. The Montreaux is insulated with Marmot's "Defender Down"; a treatment is applied to the down so that it doesn't lose loft or clump when wet (as untreated down does). Because of this, we were able to stay outside in stormy weather longer than when wearing the Patagonia Down With It Parka or the Patagonia Down Fiona Parka. If you live somewhere where it primarily rains, check out our Top Pick for Wet Climates award winner, the Patagonia Tres Down Parka.

Most down jackets have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the exterior nylon or polyester fabric  which makes water bead up and roll off initially  but is not fully waterproof. Many of these jackets are not intended to be used in super wet conditions.
Most down jackets have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the exterior nylon or polyester fabric, which makes water bead up and roll off initially, but is not fully waterproof. Many of these jackets are not intended to be used in super wet conditions.

Style


Super sleek and flattering, the knee-length cut, combined with the faux fur ruff around the hood, really gives this parka an elegant look. The exterior polyester fabric has a satin finish, and it looks great with the chevron baffling.


Even though this award-winner is loaded with thick plush down, it doesn't look too bulky or overly puffy. For such a warm jacket, Marmot does a great job of controlling the down and maintain a flattering, form-fitting look.

This jacket is loaded with down and still manages to maintain a form-fitting and stylish look.
This jacket is loaded with down and still manages to maintain a form-fitting and stylish look.

Granted, this style parka isn't for everyone; if you are looking for something stylish that hides the appearance of the down insulation, check out our Editors' Choice award winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. We liked the faux fur ruff around the hood of the Rab Deep Cover Parka as well. If you love the look of a down style jacket but aren't a fan of the faux fur ruff, we recommend The North Face Metropolis Parka II.

The chevron baffling is very striking against the satin finish of the polyester fabric.
The chevron baffling is very striking against the satin finish of the polyester fabric.

Comfort


Almost equivalent to wearing a stylish, cute sleeping bag, we didn't want to take the Montreaux off. Stepping outside on a cold day seemed like nothing in this fortress of cozy insulated down.


Out of all the contenders we tested, this one handled the best in super cold temperatures, as the knee-length cut offered even more protection in blustery weather. When we added the hood into the mix, we were even warmer. The faux fur ruff performed well, blocking cold winds and precipitation, keeping us nice and toasty.

Super warm and encompassing  we had no issues with the hood staying on  in windy weather. Besides looking super cute  the faux fur ruff did a great job at protecting our face and keeping it warm in stormy or cold weather.
Super warm and encompassing, we had no issues with the hood staying on in windy weather. Besides looking super cute, the faux fur ruff did a great job at protecting our face and keeping it warm in stormy or cold weather.

This model is lightweight, especially considering how much down it has stuffed into it. Both sides of the exterior pockets are lined with microfleece, unlike the pockets on the Legendary Whitetails Anchorage Parka and the down layer of the Patagonia Tres Down Parka, that is only lined with fleece on one side. The torso, collar, and cuffs are also lined with microfleece and offered a soft, cozy touch in stormy or cold weather. The fleece around the collar and the chin guard is softer and plusher than the Patagonia Down With It Parka and the Columbia Heavenly Hooded Long Jacket.

The exterior pockets are lined with fleece on both sides  offering ample warmth in cold weather.
The exterior pockets are lined with fleece on both sides, offering ample warmth in cold weather.

Features


The main feature of this Best Buy Winner is it undeniable warmth. Marmot's Down Defender 700 fill-power down insulation is high-quality and water-resistant; it also helped keep our core warm and maximized time spent outside in inclement weather. The stylish faux fur ruff around the hood is removable, as well as the hood itself. There are two interior media pockets; one of the pockets has a zipper, while the other one is a drop pocket (no zipper or Velcro to secure it shut); fleece features seem to be a theme with this jacket. This award winner offers microfleece exterior pockets, cuffs, and collar.

Fleece seems to be a theme with this jacket. We really enjoyed the soft fleece-lined cuffs on the sleeves. In stormy and cold weather they did a great job at blocking cold air and precipitation.
Fleece seems to be a theme with this jacket. We really enjoyed the soft fleece-lined cuffs on the sleeves. In stormy and cold weather they did a great job at blocking cold air and precipitation.

There is a full double-sided zipper for easy access and better mobility. The length of this jacket is a bit restricting compared to Arc'teryx Darrah, The North Face Arctic Parka II or the down layer of the Patagonia Tres Down Parka, but the double-sided zipper helped us gain more mobility in certain situations.

A 2-way zipper should be a requirement on all knee-length parkas. For long walks when we needed a bit more mobility  or for warmer days  we enjoyed having the option of zipping open from the bottom.
A 2-way zipper should be a requirement on all knee-length parkas. For long walks when we needed a bit more mobility, or for warmer days, we enjoyed having the option of zipping open from the bottom.

Durability


We read some reviews online that mentioned that the jacket was losing down feathers at an alarming rate. Over the two years we tested this jacket, we didn't notice that happening, but it is something to consider. The DWR coating on the polyester fabric was durable, and the Down Defender insulation didn't lose any loft after being outside in snowy weather, which could potentially happen with the regular down insulation in the Patagonia Downtown Parka or The North Face Miss Metro Parka. The faux fur ruff didn't lose much loft either in wet weather, but it's not as heavy duty as the coyote fur ruff on the Canada Goose Kensington Parka or the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka. We found the faux fur ruff around the Rab Deep Cover Parka to be loftier, but it wasn't as soft.


Best Application


If you live somewhere that's extremely cold, like Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, etc., this jacket is perfect for you. Being outside won't be an issue, as it will be enjoyable. This jacket did a fine job in the snow, but it's not the best option for someone living in a mild or super wet climate. If this sounds like your environment, we'd recommend the Patagonia Tres Down Parka or the Arc'teryx Patera instead.

Value


For $300, this jacket is a steal, especially for what you're getting: an insanely warm jacket. The warmth factor itself makes this jacket an incredible value, which is why this contender is our Best Buy award winner.

If you are in the market for a stylish knee-length parka  look no further. Warm and dependable  this winter jacket will keep you super cozy and looking good all winter long  while keeping some money in the bank.
If you are in the market for a stylish knee-length parka, look no further. Warm and dependable, this winter jacket will keep you super cozy and looking good all winter long, while keeping some money in the bank.

Conclusion


We are impressed with the Marmot Montreaux. It's exceptionally warm and comfortable and still maintains a flattering look. A classic winter parka, minus the lack of waterproofness, though the DWR coating on the exterior fabric still performed well in snowy weather. In fact, it's a great jacket to wear around town shopping or hanging outside at night looking at the stars. We would recommend this award winner to anyone that wants to stay super warm and enjoy themselves outdoors.

Liz Williamson

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 8, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Skier

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   Apr 8, 2018 - 11:45pm
SueD · Skier · Chicago

So hard to find good reviews of winter parkas to find something for very COLD temperatures. Like *Duluth* cold. The problem with most winter jackets is quite simple, they have far too little insulation compressed into thin sections. It's great to have the latest high tech super insulation or goose down with 1,000 fill power, but only if it is thick all over to keep heat from escaping. It seems the better the quality of insulation, the less they use. The Montreaux may indeed be, "by far the warmest contender we tested", but it's no exception to this problem. It's not a super thick parka and it has no insulation at the seams that separate the down filled sections. This is the exact same problem shared by all other "fashion" parkas of this design, like the North Face Metropolitan and every other similar style parka I've seen.

For warmth, you not only need a high fill power for down, you also need a lot of it measured by weight. And then you need thick, overlapping down filled sections. I had a parka of that design many years ago and it was super warm, but they just don't seem to exist today at any of the outdoor or department stores. I just haven't found a single moderately priced or even higher priced parka that has a lot of insulation in offset sections to avoid wind and cold penetrating at the seams. And most companies tout the quality of their down or synthetic insulation, but intentionally omit the weight and thickness of the fill.

While I didn't try it in the cold, perhaps the best moderately priced parka I found at stores was the North Face Outer Boroughs Parka not mentioned in the Outdoor Gear Labs comparison. It has a lower fill power down (550), but by appearance it looks to have a lot thicker fill plus a solid outer shell to block wind and rain from penetrating at the stitched seams between down sections. On the down side (pun intended!), it is less stylish and is at least 50% more expensive. The Marmot Montreaux is about $200 on sale, while the Outer Boroughs is well over $300 on sale.

I did find two models that may be the only ones that look to be substantially warmer, though I didn't try them, either. Sadly, neither one was in the OGL comparison, probably because they are stupid expensive. The Canada Goose Mystique also seemed to have somewhat thicker fill, but not enough thicker to justify the $1000 price tag. The North Face Cryos parka also seems thicker and heavier, with a windproof shell like the Outer Buroughs parka. But the Cryos is 3x the price at over $600 on sale.

So, if you buy the Montreaux, it may well be the warmest for the money, hard to say since it seems somewhat insubstantial for being the warmest parka in the Outdoor GearLab comparison. It is long and looks great and has a very nice liner, zippered pockets and insulated hood. The super soft fleece internal cuffs and collar are nice, too. Layering will certainly make it a great option. It's just too bad no one has comparisons that tell you the down fill power AND the thickness/weight of the insulation. You need both or an objective outdoor test to compare.

The lesson is that if you want a truly warm jacket, the ones that say "lightweight" or "thin" aren't going to live up to expectations, no matter what marketing they use. There is no substitute for a Michelin Man jacket that weighs at least a few pounds or preferably more if you are in really cold climates. The Montreaux is reasonably warm for the money, but it's just not super warm as some reviewers make it sound. Problem is, there is there may be nothing warmer for anywhere near the price.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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