Chris Townsend finds the Montane Icarus a good price for warmth and functionality despite its greater weight and packing size.

The Montane Icarus is a warm, functional jacket at a good price, but quite heavy. It has featured in our guide to the best synthetic insulated jackets.

Price: $209 | £150 | Weight: 640g (L) | Materials: shell/lining, Pertex Quantum Eco 50% recycled/ 100% recycled PEAQ synthetic ECO; fill, 205g of PrimaLoft Black Thermoplume 100% recycled | Features: stretch rim hood, handwarmer pockets, chest pocket | Sizes: S-XXL | Women’s version: No, but Phoenix Jacket is similar

Montane says it’s ideal for mountain walking in mixed conditions. It would have to be very cold before I could walk far in it without overheating. In cool windy spring weather, it was warm enough for me to be comfortable standing still, just over a T-shirt. That’s because the fit is on the small side. To wear it over a thin fleece I’d need the XL size. I can’t imagine doing any fast-paced activities in the jacket anyway, except maybe in a blizzard. 

The Montane Icarus fill mimics down and is held in micro baffles. It feels very soft, and the jacket is comfy. The hood isn’t adjustable but is close-fitting. It fits under a climbing helmet. The bottom of the handwarmer pockets is cut off by a hipbelt but still accessible. The chest pocket is too small for a map but takes a smartphone or GPS unit.

As a winter jacket for rest stop/camp use and maybe walking in the worst conditions, the Montane Icarus would be ok. However, there are alternatives that weigh less and pack down smaller.