In case you haven’t noticed, puffy jackets have evolved. And synthetic options are becoming more and more down-like every year. And while down remains the gold-standard for insulation, it still falls short when breathability and warmth-when-wet is desired. Thank goodness jackets like the Montane Icarus Flight Jacket exist because they show us just how far synthetic insulation has come.
Montane Icarus Flight Jacket Features:
- Primaloft ThermoPlume insulation
- Thermo Stretch Pro panels for breathability
- Featherlite Mini Ripstop 20D with DWR
- Dual-sided adjustable drawcord hem
- Micro baffle construction
- Weight: 515 grams (medium, actual)
- MSRP: $180
Icarus takes flight — under the right conditions
Primaloft ThermoPlume is one of a handful of insulators that are taking synthetic puffy jackets to new heights. It’s no coincidence that Montane has named this jacket after Icarus — with a narrow window for its ideal use.
As with all hybrid jackets, the Icarus Flight Jacket is a mixture of insulated and breathable fleece panels. Here, the fleece panels span from the elbow, through the armpit and down the sides of the jacket. This stretchy fleece delivers excellent breathability and allows excess moisture to escape. This is excellent news while active hiking or running. But, if you wear this one solo, the wind will cut right through those panels, making for a downright chilly experience.
The key with the Icarus Flight Jacket is knowing when it’s suitable alone as an outer layer and when to use it underneath a shell. A classic use case here would be backcountry skiing where this jacket can provide warmth, weather protection and breathability on the way up. Then, all you need is a lightweight shell on top to keep the wind off on exposed ridge lines and high-speed descents.
The shell features Mini Ripstop 20D fabric with a light DWR treatment. By no means would you want to get caught in a downpour in this jacket, but it will hold its own in a pinch. And the Primaloft ThermoPlume will retain warmth so long as the wind isn’t ripping through the fleece sides (again, have a lightweight shell handy). After extended use, the back panel does get wet with perspiration, but does dry out relatively quickly.
I’m absolutely in love with the cut of this jacket and would kiss Montane’s designers full on the lips for crushing two things: extra sleeve length and a contoured hood. You see, nobody every complains that the sleeves are too long (within reason), but the majority of jackets I test have sleeves that are too short. That is not the case here as sleeve length is ample to stay put even when reaching high above my head.
And, the contoured hood is perfectly snug. The wind doesn’t blow it around nor does it try to be “helmet-friendly.” It covers my noggin perfectly and keeps my bald head toasty warm while the zipper garage keeps my chin happy. I’ll add that the collar height and diameter is spot-on as well. It sits perfectly over my mouth when zipped and never feels constricting.
The simple elastic sleeve cuffs fit on top of gloves quite well and the dual-sided hem toggles keep drafts out. While the exterior fabric is light and packable, it’s not super-durable, so be careful.
- Perfect fit
- A touch extra sleeve length is kiss-worthy
- Breathes well overall
- Contoured hood is perfect
- Excellent collar height and diameter
- Slips under a shell with ease
- Extra hem length lands mid-butt
- Excellent price point
- Phones stay put nicely in front pockets
- A couple of full-length interior chest pockets would be nice to stash climbing skins
- DWR is minimal and exterior fabric isn’t as durable as I’d like
- Porous side panels make for a chilly experience if standing around in a cold wind
- Thumb loops would be nirvana
The Bottom Line: Montane Icarus Flight
The use of Primaloft ThermoPlume was an excellent choice in the Icarus Flight Jacket. It’s warm, fairly breathable and comfortable to wear. When active, this jacket is superb in every way — just don’t get caught without a shell once you’re done.
Buy Now: Available at CampSaver.com