/ REVIEW: Montane's New Prism Jacket

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Feeling glad I packed it on a windy summer bivvy With its excellent active cut and well-considered set of features, the Prism is a superb light synthetic insulated jacket at a price it's hard to argue with. Dan Bailey admits to being a big fan.

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Frank R. 20 Sep 2019

It seems there is no topic for the associated article yet (I thought UKC's CMS autogenerates them, but perhaps not). https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/clothing/synthetic_insulation/montanes_new_prism_jacket-12138

As I currently need to buy a new lightweight insulated synthetic, and the Prism is among the ones I looked at, what are your thoughts on 40g of primaloft vs 60g that is somewhat more commonly used?

Is it still inside the sweet spot for active insulation (a jacket one wears under harness all the time vs. a belay jacket), or a bit too low, for normal altitude mountains?

It uses just the normal Pertex Quantum, not the more breathable (and less windproof) Quantum Air, is that right? Is it still breathable enough? 

And since synthetic fill usually tends to loose insulating power faster than down (though for an "active" jacket, down is out of the question here), I wonder if the 40g would be a bit on the low side after few outings and stuffings, making it effectively just 25g or so (perhaps exagerrating a bit, but hopefuly you get my meaning)?

Otherwise, the jacket is among the few I am considering (as the price is right as well, and the hood looks nice too)

Moderators, if you do create a dedicated forum post for the review in question, please move my post there, so we don't have doubles in the forums  thank you!

Post edited at 11:48
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In reply to Frank R.:

Hi, seems there was an error in auto creating the thread this time! thanks for letting us know. I  have moved your comment into this thread.

Cheers

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Bellie 20 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I have the previous version which doubles up the insulation in the body area around the pockets, giving 80gm of insulation. This works well. But I cant see it mentioned as having the same in the new model. 

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In reply to Frank R.:

Hi Frank - glitch in the system, hopefully fixed now...

40g vs 60g+ ... To state the obvious, it's not as warm when you're stood about but on the other hand you aren't going to overheat as quickly when you're on the go. It's probably best regarded as a lightweight jacket, not a midweight. It's not an exact science since we all run differently, but I'd use it as a belay jacket in spring/autumn sort of weather, but definitely not in winter.

It seems a sensible amount of fill for active use - I've only worn it on summer hills so far, and not found it too hot when climbing in cool/breezy conditions although of course if you're steaming up a hill then most insulated jackets are going to be too hot, and this is no exception. I can see it being a good active layer for winter mountains though I'd be bringing a warm belay jacket too (would it be odd, taking two weights of synthetic jacket? jury's out)

Fabric. On paper Quantum Air would seem to make more sense in an active piece than Quantum, but I think the Quantum works well here as this is quite a multi-purpose jacket. So far it has seemed to strike a useful balance between wind resistance and breathability. I don't run particularly hot or cold, and I'm not a very sweaty person.

Durability of fill: I can't make any long term verdict yet but it's fine so far. Personally I'm a lot more precious about down jackets and much happier to mistreat synthetic ones. Yes the fibres do degrade over time/use, but I'm not sure how much this really affects the performance until things get noticeably thin and threadbare. I don't think you'll be feeling like it's down at the equivalent of 25g after only a few uses!  

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In reply to Bellie:

I actually hadn't noticed, and it's not in the product spec. But you may be right, just in the pocket area. I'll ask Montane

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Frank R. 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Thanks! I do carry a heavier belay jacket (or a heavier down jacket if just hillwalking) for winter anyway in addition to a lightweight/midweight one, so it's not odd at all to me A lightweight piece sounds nice! The "25g after few uses" was just an exaggeration...

I would definitely be interested to know if the new model has doubled insulation in some zones.

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Frank R. 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Bellie:

Thanks! I thought - from the old model product description - that it was just double insulated handwarming pockets (the description wasn't very clear on that), or is it more of whole body core zone that is double insulated?

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Bellie 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Frank R.:

Its the pocket area but they are quite large ones so the double insulation is more or less the panel area shown on pics of the old jacket where there is vertical stitching. 

Mine worked great on winter treks, allowing a nice balance of wind protection without overheating.

Oh - and the hood is great!

Post edited at 13:47
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wilkesley 20 Sep 2019
In reply to Bellie:

I have got two of the previous version. GoOutdoors had them at a silly prices recently, so I bought a second one for when the first one wears out. I use this jacket almost daily in the winter. I think I have had it for around four years. The hood is great for keeping out cold wind and I like the range of adjustment. The only weak point in the old version is the zip, which isn't very robust. I am glad that they have upgraded it in the new version.

Post edited at 15:39
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katiep 20 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I'm also am owner of the original version of this jacket and think it's great. I bought it cheap and initially questioned my purchase as I already had a fleece and down jacket. Actually it's my best loved bit of kit, great for belaying in everything but winter and really useful in cold winter days if walking without getting too hot. Mine must be over 5 years old now and is still in good nick

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olddirtydoggy 20 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Theres some old models on the Montane outlet ebay shop for 50 quid. Great jacket.

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speedsnail3 22 Sep 2019
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I own the previous model of prism with 80g in the torso area in front and therfore it must be significantly warmer then this newer model, the breathability is questionable, I have this jacket more than 3 years now, and the outher fabric was pertex microlight back then, now its called quantum so nobody knows if its the same material or something else, the outer fabric would be fine but the inner lining is what kills the breathability in the previous model, they used PEAQ Synthetic lining back then , its silky and smooth but its useles in terms of breathability. Now they used some different material called FEATHERLITE™ Mini Rip-stop 20D nylon lining, but it seems to me quite simmilar, and yes they used only 40g throughout the body,  so it wont be as worm as the previous model, perhapy only as running jacket in late outum/winter and for walking in early outumn/in summer for mauntain walks. When I used the previous model and it was snow outside the front of the jacket was fine, but the arms and my back/shoulders were unplesently cold +5 celsius was the limit as a stand alone jacket, other than that this jacket is wind resistant and has nice hood, so if you walk fast you will be eventually sweaty under neath it, but because it has only 40g of insulation it wont feel too worm if you sweat, but you will sweat if you know what Im traing to say. I would say good breathing outher fabric perhaps the quantum air and 80g of primaloft silver or 60g of primaloft gold would be good for active use. And the last thing hope they changed the fit because the previous model too wide, so preferable would be more atletic fit and defenetly longer.

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Frank R. 28 Sep 2019
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Thanks for the link! In the end, I got the old version, even though it might be slightly less breathable according to some here - such a price cut is hard to resist. So far so good, will see when (if) winter comes 

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