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MEC Tremblant Review

(575 Down Jacket)

 

 

Rating:

 

What's Good: amazing price, thoughtful design, quality construction. 

 

What's to Improve: I haven't found anything negative about this jacket yet. Incredible.

 

I'd always wanted a puffy down jacket, so I finally went shopping for one and decided upon the MEC Tremblant after doing my usual comparison shopping at the various stores in town.

I wanted it mostly for the cross country and touring ski trips when we stop for lunch and my overheated body quickly begins to nose-dive into the cold and shivering territory - it just takes the fun out of a relaxing stop in the middle of a mountain paradise!

The MEC Tremblant is filled with 575 power duck down which I feel would be warm enough for me in any sort of weather that I'd venture out in. In fact, unless you're doing really hardcore mountaineering expeditions, anything more might be too warm - or at least more than is necessary. When I'm out on a trip, as soon as I stop the first thing I do is take off my pack and pull out my MEC Tremblant so the cold never gets a chance to set in. Once my stop is done, the last thing I do before setting off is pack the Tremblant away - and get moving again without delay. As with any down product, it loses its insulating value when it gets wet, so don't be tempted to leave it on while doing intense physical activity or your sweat will soon degrade its insulating value - learning to properly use your gear is just as important as choosing what to buy!

It uses a sewn-through construction which some people say can leave you feeling the cold coming in at those seams. I never encountered that with my MEC Tremblant as the puffy sections above and below each seam tend to come together somewhat to cover the seams, especially in the arms and also when you're sitting down and your torso is more compact.

And don't forget the hood! It seems odd to me that some down jackets don't include a hood - it really seems mandatory for any jacket that aspires to be one for the mountains and not merely for looking good while walking the streets of downtown. We all know that lots of heat loss occurs from the head so it's important to insulate it. The designers at MEC have thoughtfully included a hood - and made it removable - that even goes so far as to add one small baffle to cover the zipper even though the puffy collar inside insulates that area quite well on its own.

Other nice touches are the Velcro cuffs on the arms and waist drawstring which cinch air tight as well as the soft brushed polyester lining inside of the pockets.

The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to to do the magic trick to stuff the jacket into its inside pocket. It seems too small. This is really just a matter of curiosity for me as I'd never spend the time doing it on a trip since I want the jacket to be on and off quickly as mentioned above; it's easiest just to stuff in into the backpack and, actually, packed this way it helps fill all the nooks and crannies to really round out your pack and make it comfortable.

(April 8, 2009 UPDATE: I just tried packing the jacket inside of the pocket to save space while preparing for a ski hut trip and it worked! It's a tight fit, but compressed very small - like a built-in compression sack! Superb!)

It also seems that for its price there is nothing on the market that even comes close to touching it.

Highly recommended. In my original review, I gave 4.5 stars, but after recently confirming that it packs down into it's own pocket, I raised the mark to a perfect 5 stars. I've used this jacket for a few years now and it's fantastic!

If my MEC Tremblant review sways you to purchase one, please come back to this page and add any comments you have in the section below to help other future readers - thanks.

 

 

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