Review Montbell (well known Japanese outdoor gear retail chain)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Sandy, Mar 11, 2016.

  1.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Montbell is a well known Japanese gear chain, started was established in Osaka in 1975, by Isamu Tatsuno, a mountaineer and adventurer. He wanted good gear that WORKED, and so he ended up producing a huge lineup of gear including very tech clothing, tents, sleeping bags, climbing gear, a big range of hiking boots, etc.

    Previously, I've mainly looked at mainstream non Japanese gear, and at Montbell only in passing. I had the impression that it was kinda expensive, and maybe not as good..... I was wrong.

    I was looking for waterproof breathable jacket that had larger sleeves that would go over gloves (often mainstream stylish gear doesn't) as it seemed to me that the Japanese season this year might be wetter than average.
    I looked at Montbell's gortex, which was reasonably priced (around $350-$370), compared to some North Face gear(and others) which is just absurdly expensive. Then I looked at their OWN waterproof breathable Breeze-Dry Tec micro porous laminate gear(seam sealed) that was alongside the gortex gear. I found that the construction of both was superb, and the jackets had all the things you really want in a tech jacket. When looking at this stuff, you need to differentiate between ski gear and hiking gear. The hiking gear is lighter, no powder skirt, while the ski gear is more robust. They have a good range, and I got the one with the hood that tucks away, and the price was a shade over $200 AUD
    The jacket performs really well in the wet, is very waterproof and breathable (iirc 20,000/15,000)

    I was also after some mittens with the free index finger (I'd never had mittens before, but thought it would be good to have these for those extra cold days), looking at dozens of gloves, and finally coming back to Montbell. The gloves I got are waterproof breathable, and come in two pieces, the outer shell and a thick woolen glove insert, and they come way up the arm, and an easy to use & release drawstring. They are fantastic!!! I got them at the Montbell shop in Yokohama which has an outlet section for about $100) I also tried them with a pair of lighter ski gloves which fit inside, and this combo is also great, and adds flexibility. I pointed a friend to these mittens, and he said they are the best gloves he's ever had!!

    So then I started looking at what else they had at Montbell, both regular and in the outlet section.... They have merino wool thermals for around $45, compression tights (to just below the knee) about $45, reduced from about $90. I also got some merino wool ski socks (compression, shaped to left and right foot).... they are honestly the best ski socks I've ever had!! They are only about $28. They have a thicker toe cap section to keep your toes warm, and come up to just below the knee. They have slightly extra padding on the boney areas of your foot (sides of the fore foot and ankles)

    They have around 70 stores Japan wide, but it's the outlet stores which make Montbell tremendous value.

    Next time you're in Japan, check out their gear. It seems to be designed by a guy (and his team), who knows EXACTLY what is needed, not what just looks good.
     
    :thumbs: Annabuzzy and MisterMxyzptlk like this.
  2.  
    Rimey

    Rimey Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    These are good.
    [​IMG]
     
  3.  
    Rimey

    Rimey Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Then these ^^ are used to hold this:
    [​IMG]
     
  4.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Yep, they also have some funny stuff!!! :D

    Here are the merino wool ski socks:
    [​IMG]
     
  5.  
    dossa5

    dossa5 Dedicated Member

    Ive had some of their gear in the past- not bad at all.
     
  6.  
    climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Season Pass Gold

    I have a couple of their bits of gear, two sleeping bags and a jacket. All rock.
     
  7.  
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    Mont-Bell have good gear at reasonable prices, not cheap by fair.

    They're great for kitting out the kids for a winter season in Japan. My kids gear gets trashed and the Mont-Bell gear has stood the test of time and been handed down to others in great condition.
     
  8.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    And even better when they are in the outlet section here!!!!


    The outlet section for some items in some stores is cheap.
     
  9.  
    PMG

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    We have bought mid layer tops from their Shinjuku store in the past. Great quality and reasonably priced. Bought a pair of their Thinsulate Dry Tec ski pants at the end of this year's trip. Rated 20,000/15,000. See how they go in Aus this winter. For $180 I thought they were worth the punt. They look really well made.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  10.  
    DeskRider

    DeskRider Dedicated Member

    Have use their mits for a few seasons and rate, like the long cuff. also have a spray jacket which i cant fault
     
  11.  
    Kieran

    Kieran Addicted Member

    I bought the kids some Mont-Bell mitts at a store here in Indonesia (of all places). Could have been a little warmer, but construction and waterproofing was good. Price was good at about the equivalent of AUD$15.
     
  12.  
    tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker Season Pass Gold

    It's great gear!
    I have a bomber light weight tent
    [​IMG]
    And some primaloft jackets and a wind shell.
    Good functional gear.
     
    :thumbs: skifree likes this.
  13.  
    ecowain

    ecowain Dedicated Member

    They have some great gear. Sleeping bags are awesome - stretchy mummy bags.
     
  14.  
    sn0wbunny29

    sn0wbunny29 Well-Known Member

    We had a very happy time in the Hakuba shop and came back with some great base layer gear.
     
  15.  
    Tegski

    Tegski Active Member

    Great beanie from them keeps my bald head warm ;-)
     
  16.  
    skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I noticed their gear in more shops around here this season. There was even a Montbell shop in one of the local shopping centres that I had not noticed before.
     
  17.  
    tele-whippet

    tele-whippet beard stroker Season Pass Gold

    They have a fantastic shop in Zermatt.
    Had to show great control whilst browsing.
     
  18.  
    Draizuh

    Draizuh Dedicated Member

    Can get a bit of there stuff in NZ, all the hardcore BC types in hakuba seemed to wear montbell outerwear. Their sleeping bags look lightweight and warm!
     
  19.  
    Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I've got one primaloft mid-layer. Purchased from the Shinjuku store 4 years ago for about $100 AUD. Equivalent item at K***U would be 4x. I had to super glue my wallet shut when I stumbled on the a store in Sapporo recently.

    Well made, good designs and great value.Wish they'd open a store in AUS
     
    :thumbs: almontyrat likes this.
  20.  
    Tegski

    Tegski Active Member

    Larry Adler has MontBell - I have just seen their stock in Jindabyne today :)
    On sale too...
     
  21.  
    climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Season Pass Gold

    Anywhere else stock them?
     
  22.  
    Tegski

    Tegski Active Member

    Google tells me Torpedo7 - great website - hold onto your wallet - too many bargains! ;-)
     
    :thumbs: climberman likes this.
  23.  
    Chappo

    Chappo Just Registered

    Montbell has recently (Nov 2016) opened a store on Kent St Sydney. The staff there know what they're doing too!
     
    :thumbs: sn0wbunny29 likes this.
  24.  
    Chappo

    Chappo Just Registered

    :thumbs: dr80 likes this.
  25.  
    Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    about time, awesome
     
  26.  
    Tanuki

    Tanuki Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    limited range though and a bit of an AUS tax
     
  27.  
    PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    Mini Pini loves his orange Mont Bell onesy!

    [​IMG]
     
    :thumbs: Ralph_implement and tele-whippet like this.
  28.  
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    Wow, Mini Pini has already got venting sussed too I notice.
     
  29.  
    PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    haha yep! it was mid October so pretty hot
     
  30.  
    Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    My wife and I are now sporting (non matching) Montbell puff jackets.

    I'm a fan.
     
    :thumbs: tele-whippet likes this.
  31.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Yeah, they're good.
    I bought a Montbell 20,000/15,000 jacket the other day, 21,600yen!!! Great deal!!
     
  32.  
    sn0wbunny29

    sn0wbunny29 Well-Known Member

    I love my stuff that I got in Hakuba. Would love to get more!
     
  33.  
    DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    These ones @Sandy ?

    [​IMG]

    https://en.montbell.jp/products/goods/disp.php?product_id=1118179
     
  34.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    :thumbs: DidSurfNowSki likes this.