Mont Bell Plasma Jacket
I recently got a Mont Bell Plasma Jacket, and took it on the John Muir Trail (JMT), which took us 25 days. This jacket is pretty thin, as puffy down jackets go, but its great for when we need something in cool weather. When combined with a wind breaker or rain coat, plus gloves and hat, its actually pretty warm. I used it on the JMT on cool mornings and evenings, and on certain nights when we slept above 10,000’ elevation and I needed every piece of clothes I had. I got a homeless wino to wear it in the photo below. Thumbnail photo by Thomas Lea.
The wonderful thing about this jacket is its weight. 5.5 oz!!! The terrible thing about the jacket is its cost: $325. Ouch! Getting rid of those last few ounces from your pack gets expensive. I have to say, it seems worth it, and gets my pack base weight close to 12 lbs. My Western Mountaineering Flight Series down jacket is way warmer, weighs only a few ounces more at 14.5 oz, is a twice as bulky, and is still expensive. Like pairs of skis, you need more than one for different types of skiing, and you need more than one puffy for different uses. But if you were only going to have one puffy, this might be it. The Mont Bell Plasma is perfect for 3 season backpacking use, and albergue use.