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Montane Future Lite Hoodie Review

Montane Future Lite Hoodie

The Montane Future Lite Hoodie is a lightweight, down hoodie that’s insulated with 750 fill power HyperDry RDS-sourced down. It has what manufacturers now call an “under-helmet” hood that’s thankfully tighter-fitting than the Godzilla-sized helmet-compatible down jacket hoods of yesteryear which were designed to fit over climbing helmets. Designed for fast-paced activities like hiking and climbing, the Future Lite also makes a great hoodie for really slow activities, like cold weather camping and sleeping with a quilt or hoodless sleeping bag.

Specs at a Glance

  • Insulation: 750 fill power HyperDry down
  • Fabric: 15d nylon ripstop
  • Weight: 13.4 oz in a men’s XL, 12 oz in a men’s size M
  • Packing: Stuffs into right-hand pocket with internal hang loop

The Montane Future Lite Hoodie provides a good balance between must-have and nice-to-have features. The hood and cuffs are not adjustable but have elastic openings that seal out the cold without being too confining or too loose. I’m usually pretty wary when it comes to non-adjustable hoods because I have a smallish-sized head, but the Future Lite hood fits me well without letting in the cold.  The same goes for the elasticated wrist cuffs which I can pull up over my elbows to vent heat through my arms while still keeping my core warm.

The cuffs are elasticized and seal the wrists well, but are still stretchy enough to fit over my elbows when I need to dump excess heat.

The Future Lite has three pockets: two on the sides that zip close and a hidden chest pocket, large enough to fit a smartphone, which also closes with a zipper. All of the pockets are covered with down so your hands and battery-operated devices will stay warm. The center one-way zipper is reinforced at the base with a snap, a feature common across the Montane jacket line, while dual hem adjusters let you seal out drafts from below.

The jacket construction is sewn-thru, although there is an inner liner over the front of the torso and inside the hood to protect you from cold drafts, along with a drop-tail to protect you from the rear. The external fabric is a durable 15d nylon ripstop treated with a DWR coating, that provides some moisture protection for use in snowy conditions.

The hood has a fairly small elasticated opening for the face which makes up for the lack of hood adjustment and volume controls

I rarely use the Future Lite Hoodie when I’m hiking because I’m simply generating too much heat to put on a down garment, but I keep it handy for when we stop for short food and water breaks to keep the chill off. I also enjoy using it in camp on cool evenings over dinner or when we’re sitting around and watching the stars. But this hoodie has become my favorite garment for sleeping in when I’m using a quilt or a hoodless sleeping bag because it’s quite warm and snug without being constricting. I doubt Montane envisioned that use for this jacket, but it’s ideal for autumn weather sleeping when wearing a full-blown parka isn’t required or desired.

The Montane Future Lite is great to cut the chill above treeline

A final word on sizing. The Montane Future Lite has an athletic-cut which means it will be snug if you have a little extra weight around the waist. I’d recommend sizing up or choosing another lightweight insulated jacket if you like more freedom of movement.

Comparable Down Hoodies

Make / ModelZipperFill PowerWeight oz.Adjustable HoodPrice
Outdoor Research Baja Down PulloverHalf-Zip8009.2Y249
Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody PulloverHalf-Zip80014.4Volume only249
Montbell EX Light AnorakHalf-Zip9006.2N269
Outdoor Research Illuminate Down HoodyFull Zip80011.8Y269
Marmot Quasar Nova HoodyFull Zip80010.9N285
Feathered Friends EOS PulloverFull Zip90010.6N339
Arcteryx Cerium SL HoodyFull Zip8507.6Y349
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Down HoodyFull Zip8008.8N325
Arcteryx Cerium LT HoodyFull Zip85010.8N379
Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash JacketFull Zip85010.3N390
PHD Yukon Pullover KHalf-Zip100012N532
Rab Zero G Down JacketFull Zip100011N550

Recommendation

The Montane Future Lite Hoodie falls into a category of lightweight down jackets, that are sometimes called down sweaters because they can be used by themselves or as a mid-layer under a hard shell. They’re designed for use while you’re active and generating a significant amount of body heat. While the Future Lite at 12 oz in a size M, is slightly heavier than the jackets listed above and lacks the full set of features some offer, such as wrist cuffs and more hood adjustment controls, it’s also significantly less expensive, at just $200. If you don’t mind the elasticized wrist cuffs and hood that come with the Montane Future Lite Hoodie, it’s quite a good value that will keep you warm standing up or lying down in cooler weather.

Disclosure: Montane provided the author with a garment for this review.

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4 comments

  1. Hey Phil,

    I looked at this jacket on a few ecom websites and noticed some alarmingly bad reviews. Specifically relating to down leakage. Did you experience that at all?

    • None at all. Zero. I think its a previous version of the jacket, largely isolated to units that shipped in the UK.

      • These light down jackets will not keep you warm unless you have a lot of layers under and over.. They are useless below 45 degrees and should be avoided unless you like to shiver and maybe get hypothermia.

      • Bill, while I appreciate your intentions, that statement isn’t actually accurate. Many of these lightly insulated jackets will keep you warm down to freezing and they’re a good jackets to throw into a backpack during autumn and spring. This one is also intended to be used when active, rather than sitting around, and can be treated much like a midlayer, although warmer. It can also be worn under a hard shell. This one is also quite windproof, which is nice to have when you need it.

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