Insulated with Down Defender 700 fill-power down, we were warm, comfortable, and protected in frigid weather when armed with the Marmot Montreaux. Weighing 2.2 lbs, it is one of the heaviest in the fleet, but the heft is hard to notice. The down is evenly distributed, and we never feel like it was too bulky or constricting.
Insulated with plush 700-fill power down, we felt comfortable and warm in some seriously cold weather. The knee-length cut does a great job at offering extra protection and warmth.
This jacket is by far the warmest contender we tested. The thick plush down makes frigid weather seem downright pleasant. It's insulated with Down Defender 700 fill-power down, which is also water-resistant. The warmth factor meant we were able to extend our time outside in stormy weather while staying super warm, outperforming the Canada Goose Kensington Parka and The North Face Gotham II Hooded Down Jacket.
The hood is filled with plush down, which made a noticeable difference when it came to securing heat. Some models in our fleet, like the Patagonia Tres Down Parka had no insulation whatsoever in the hood.
Unlike any other jacket we tested, the Montreaux offers a soft, fleece-lined torso. In cold weather, we enjoyed being able to slip on a jacket that wasn't lined with cold nylon or polyester. There are two interior media pockets. The one that is pictured is a drop pocket for quick access.
We like that the Montreaux has a fleece-lined torso. On a cold day, it's very enjoyable and warmer than cold nylon or polyester interiors like those in the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. Microfleece also lines both sides of the exterior pockets, as well as the collar, and the cuffs. It's apparent that extra consideration was put into the warmth and comfort of this jacket.
Down insulation has a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Lightweight and highly compressible, the down Montreaux is a great choice for cold climates.
Not intended for a wet climate, the Montreaux is water-resistant, but not waterproof. The chart below shows where this jacket lands on the weather resistance scale.
The exterior polyester fabric is treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. Initially, water beads up and rolls off, but after an extended period in rain/heavy rain, the jacket became saturated. The Montreaux is insulated with Marmot's "Defender Down" — a treatment is applied to the down so that it doesn't lose loft or clump when wet (as untreated down does). Because of this, we were able to stay outside in stormy weather longer than when wearing the Patagonia Down With It Parka. If you live somewhere where it primarily rains, check out the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Down Parka.
Most down jackets have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the exterior nylon or polyester fabric, which makes water bead up and roll off initially, but is not fully waterproof. Many of these jackets are not intended to be used in super wet conditions.
Super sleek and flattering, the knee-length cut, combined with the faux fur ruff around the hood, really gives this parka an elegant look. The exterior polyester fabric has a satin finish, and it looks great with the chevron baffling.
Even though this award-winner is loaded with thick plush down, it doesn't look too bulky or overly puffy. For such a warm jacket, Marmot does a great job of controlling the down and maintain a flattering, form-fitting look.
This jacket is loaded with down and still manages to maintain a form-fitting and stylish look.
Granted, this style parka isn't for everyone. If you are looking for something stylish that hides the appearance of the down insulation, look at the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. Two other jackets we tested this year that hid their insulation well and have a smooth, sleek appearance are the Fjallraven Nuuk and Kuhl Arktik parkas.
We liked the faux fur ruff around the hood of the Rab Deep Cover Parka and the Best Buy award winner, the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Jacket. If you love the look of a down style jacket but aren't a fan of the faux fur ruff, we recommend The North Face Metropolis Parka II.
The chevron baffling is very striking against the satin finish of the polyester fabric.
Almost equivalent to wearing a stylish, cute sleeping bag, we didn't want to take the Montreaux off. Stepping outside on a cold day seemed like nothing in this fortress of cozy insulated down.
Out of all the contenders we tested, this one handled the best in super cold temperatures, as the knee-length cut offered even more protection in blustery weather. When we added the hood into the mix, we were even warmer. The faux fur ruff performed well, blocking cold winds and precipitation, keeping us nice and toasty. If the knee-length isn't for you, check out the North Face Gotham II.
Super warm and encompassing, we had no issues with the hood staying on in windy weather. Besides looking super cute, the faux fur ruff did a great job at protecting our face and keeping it warm in stormy or cold weather.
This model is lightweight, especially considering how much down it has stuffed into it. Both sides of the exterior pockets are lined with microfleece. The torso, collar, and cuffs are also lined with microfleece and offered a soft, cozy touch in stormy or cold weather. The fleece around the collar and the chin guard is softer and plusher than the Patagonia Down With It Parka.
The exterior pockets are lined with fleece on both sides, offering ample warmth in cold weather.
The main feature of this Best Buy Winner is its undeniable warmth. Marmot's Down Defender 700 fill-power down insulation is high-quality and water-resistant. It also helps keep our core warm and maximizes time spent outside in inclement weather. The stylish faux fur ruff around the hood is removable, as is the hood itself. There are two interior media pockets — one of the pockets has a zipper, while the other one is a drop pocket (no zipper or Velcro to secure it shut). Fleece features seem to be a theme with this jacket. This award winner offers microfleece exterior pockets, cuffs, and collar.
Fleece seems to be a theme with this jacket. We really enjoyed the soft fleece-lined cuffs on the sleeves. In stormy and cold weather they did a great job at blocking cold air and precipitation.
There is a full double-sided zipper for easy access and better mobility. The length of this jacket is a bit restricting compared to The North Face Arctic Parka II or the down layer of the Patagonia Tres Down Parka, but the double-sided zipper helped us gain more mobility in certain situations.
A 2-way zipper should be a requirement on all knee-length parkas. We enjoyed having the option of zipping open from the bottom for long walks when we needed a bit more mobility, or on warmer days.
We read some reviews online that mentioned that the jacket was losing down feathers at an alarming rate. Over the two years we tested this jacket, we didn't notice that happening, but it is something to consider. The DWR coating on the polyester fabric is durable, and the Down Defender insulation didn't lose any loft after being outside in snowy weather, which could potentially happen with the regular down insulation in the Patagonia Downtown Parka.
The faux fur ruff didn't lose much loft either in wet weather, but it's not as heavy-duty as the coyote fur ruff on the Canada Goose Kensington Parka or the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka. We found the faux fur ruff around the Rab Deep Cover Parka to be loftier, but it wasn't as soft.
If you live somewhere that's extremely cold, like Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, etc., this jacket is perfect for you. This jacket did a fine job in the snow, but it's not the best option for someone living in a mild or super wet climate. If this sounds like your environment, we'd recommend the Patagonia Tres Down Parka or the Arc'teryx Patera instead. If you live somewhere that experiences cold winters, with more snow than rain, check out the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Jacket, which offers an excellent value.
For $300, this jacket is a steal, especially for what you're getting — an insanely warm jacket. The warmth factor itself makes this jacket an incredible value, which is why this contender is our Best Buy award winner.
If you are in the market for a stylish knee-length parka, look no further. Warm and dependable, this winter jacket will keep you super cozy and looking good all winter long, while keeping some money in the bank.
We are impressed with the Marmot Montreaux. It's exceptionally warm and comfortable and still maintains a flattering look. A classic winter parka, minus the lack of waterproofness, though the DWR coating on the exterior fabric still performed well in snowy weather. In fact, it's a great jacket to wear around town shopping or hanging outside at night looking at the stars. We would recommend this award winner to anyone who wants to stay super warm and enjoy themselves outdoors.