The Montane Icarus Jacket is a warm hooded jacket that’s filled with PrimaLoft’s ThermoPlume fill, a synthetic insulation that’s been designed to mimic down, except for the fact that it will keep you warmer if it gets damp or wet. Like goose down, ThermoPlume consists of small clusters of fibers that trap heat, but still falls short of high quality goose down in terms of its thermal value.
Specs at a Glance
- Shell fabric: Pertex Quantum Eco (windproof and water-resistant)
- Liner fabric: PEAQ Synthetic Eco (highly breathable)
- Insulation PrimaLoft ThermoPlume synthetic (equivalent to 550 FP down)
- Weight XL Men’s: 21.8 oz.
Materials aside, the Icarus is an exceptionally warm jacket that beats the chill. Unlike many sewn-through down and synthetic jackets, it has a solid fabric liner which blocks wind and cold drafts from reaching you and prevents your warmth from escaping though needle holes and seams. The impact of having the inner liner is hard to miss as soon as you step outside into the cold.
The Icarus has two side pockets, positioned so they’re compatible with a hip belt pr climbing harness, and a large chest pocket that all close with zippers. The hood is not adjustable, but cut small with an elastic opening and designed to fit under a climbing helmet rather than over it. That’s good news for people, like hikers, who don’t wear a climbing helmet when they hike (beware helmet “compatible” hoods because they’re usually oversized.) The arms have elastic wrists to keep cold from blowing in and there’s a zipper guard running beside the front zipper to block out wind and prevent snags.
The fit is snug around the torso, with micro baffle construction along the sides and under the arms, allowing for fine-grained distribution of insulation to the areas where it’s needed most, as well as dynamic freedom of movement. In other words, good for climbers, and hikers and skiers who reach forward with their arms or use trekking poles.
The front zipper is unidirectional and has a snap at the bottom to prevent it from pulling apart from the bottom up, which can be really annoying if you forget to snap it closed. Really annoying. It’s not a total showstopper as long as you “program” yourself to close the snap at the base of the zipper. Personally, I’d have preferred a beefier zipper that didn’t require a hem snap.
The Montane Icarus Jacket (Phoenix, for women) is a delightfully warm synthetic jacket with an internal liner that helps trap heat and block drafts. With a form-fitting cut, it can be used as an outer layer or an inner layer under a hard shell jacket. But the lack of hood adjustment features and a finicky front zipper limit its range for hard-core winter use.
Disclosure: The author received a sample jacket from Montane for this review.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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