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MontBell UL Thermawrap Pants

Philip on Mt Chocorua

I mostly wear my MontBell UL Thermawrap Pants in camp during the winter when I’m melting water or cooking, but I put them on today when we got to treeline on Mt Chocorua (3,500 ft). With a gusty wind and temperatures in the single digits, I wanted a little extra thermal protection.

This is the second season that I’ve been wearing these insulated pants and they’re one of my favorite pieces of winter kit. Like all MontBell products, they are extremely compressible which I value because I have to get a lot of other gear into my winter pack. They’re also very lightweight, weighing only 12.7 oz, for a size large including a stuff sack.

I normally put them on over my base and wind shell layers, and over my gaiters. They have a 7/8 zipper, two actually, which makes them easy to get on over plastic boots and also lets you vent easily if you get too warm. My pair is insulated with Exceloft, which is MontBell’s proprietary synthetic insulation and they claim rivals down in its thermal weight-to-warmth ration. If you do prefer down, MontBell sells a nearly identical garment called the UL Down Inner Pant.

There are a few other features about these pants worth mentioning including two hand warmer pockets, snap closures at the bottom of the legs and a drawstring waist. The shell and lining fabric is a soft 15 denier ballistic nylon that feels good and is pretty quiet when walking.

I now own a few MontBell garments and I love them all. They are really the perfect balance between features and function in an ultralight package.


  1. Yes, I'll agree, that the Montbell pants are great when the conditions get cold. I particularly like them while sitting around camp. My choice was the Down version which weigh only 7oz. Link photo was hiking on the AT last weekend wearing them. I usually don't wear them while hiking, but forgot they were on before putting my boots on… no side zips on my version.

  2. 7 oz. mmmm….that's a significant weight reduction. :-)

  3. How can you possibly hike with all those insulation layers? Needing them to conserve heat while not moving is one thing, but needing them for even the coldest conditions seems unnecessary in New England.

  4. Often I don't need these many layers above treeline in winter in New England. That's true. Especially when we're in sun. But I was sweaty (particularly my legs) when I reached treeline yesterday, we were in the shade, the temp was 4 degrees in the parking lot and we had winds gusting to 45 mph. It seemed prudent and it was just for 2/10ths of a mile. We ultimately did not summit because it was too cold/windy after-all. I took off my outer pants when we reached treeline but kept the upper down layer on for 2 miles on the descent before taking it off.

  5. Which trail did you go up? We went up Piper on Saturday and it was beautiful! I've never seen it so clear!

  6. We went up Champney Falls yesterday, 12/23. Great westerly views all the way up. My first time, but naturegirl's 8th or something. Descended with crampons for practice but there wasn't much ice.

  7. In winter here in Nevada I backcountry ski with a medium weight polyester base layer and my pants are fleece lined nylon cargo pants from Duluth Trading. Absolutely the best winter pants I’ve ever owned. I have treated them with REVIVEX durable water repellant spray which works well for a few months. Then I re-spray. These DT fleece lined pants are very similar to RailRiders fleece lined pants but are much less expensive and just as durable.

    Yeah, I have TNF Gore-Tex uninsulated ski pants, Thermolite Micro synthetic fill insulating pants (for VERY cold weather) and even Cabela’s GTX Thinsulate ski pants. But the Duluth Trading fleece lined pants just seem th have the right amount of insulation and breathability for comfort in everything but rain.

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