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.
Marmot Montreaux ReviewPrice: $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.
Pockets: 2 internal, 2 external
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Winter Jackets for Women of 2018
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: April 8, 2018
100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
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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