Rating: 9.2 / 10
Value for Money 2.4
I usually spend about two months agonising over which lightweight, three season down jacket, to choose and after trying on a number of jackets I finally decided on purchasing the Mont Neon Jacket.
Like many hikers my clothing list is made up of a series of layers that provides a fair amount of versatility. In my attempt to go ultralight I have set myself a checklist when deciding what gear comes into my hiking kit and like most people I want it all. However my criteria I consider when replacing a piece of equipment like a lightweight down jacket are:
The Mont Neon jacket meets all the requirements and just as importantly it looks good; well at least I think it does. At 351 grams for my large size jacket this falls into the ultra lightweight category. While a number of hikers I know prefer a hooded style jacket I must admit I just can’t see the purpose and would rather maintain head warmth in really cold conditions by using beanies and buffs instead. I find this jacket to be extremely comfortable in particular around the neck. I do a lot of weights in the gym so with a larger than average neck find many jackets and insulation layers tend to be a bit tight on the neck area; something that is compounded when you increase your under layers. This jacket is firm enough but doesn’t constrict and the neck baffles are also high enough to provide excellent warmth
As mentioned in the introduction I am trying to become ultralight hiker and make good use of a layering system that I have developed over the past few years. This means that with the use of four layers, including the Mont Neon Jacket, I am toasty warm down to -7° celsius when stationary. I usually wear this jacket as my second layer when its starts out cold first thing in the morning and will soon strip it off as I warm up after a short period of walking. I will also use this as my third layer when its freezing but rarely if ever do I need to do this as I have a high tolerance to cold.
This jacket is well constructed and is made out of 100% recycled polyester which gives it serious street cred for sustainability. There is only 100grams of down in this jacket but being goose down with a loft of 800+ its amazing how much warmth it generates.
Every piece of equipment has its negatives but the Neon jackets are pretty minimal. The jacket is sold as a mens jacket and there is no equivalent for women. Women may be able to get away with wearing the mens but only do so if it is a good fit. Another minor niggle is that while many modern jackets come with at least one large hand pocket to ‘self pack’ the Neon jacket comes with a small stuff sack. I usually don’t tend to other with this and just end up strong this jacket close the the top of the pack in the main compartment.
My main complaint with this jacket is the very fine zip that is used. In most situations this works perfectly well but on my Larapinta Trail trip we were blasted with wind on the first night and woke up with everything covered in a fine red dust. This dust managed to clog the zip and It took some viogourus blowing to clean get it working again. I didn’t really manage to get the zip working prophecy until I got home and gave the jacket a wash.
One last issue is that this is a very popular jacket so it can be difficult to get hold of at certain times of the year. In addition only limited stores tend to sell this jacket so you may need to go mail order though Mont’s website if you aren’t going through Canberra anytime soon. I found that my choice was limited to red which doesn’t really bother me and as a result I got a really good deal.
Overall I have been very happy with this jacket and would happily make the same purchase again.
Mont Neon Jacket in ‘Spice Red’ colour
Mont Neon Jacket in ‘Ombre Blue’ colour
Mont Neon Jacket in Black
Wearing the Neon Jacket on the Larapinta Trail. Zero degrees in the morning to 32°Celsius in the afternoon. This is the ideal jacket when you get an extreme range of temperatures
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer