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Gear Review

3 5

Nice jacket, but odd fit

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

Let me first say that this is one hell of a cool-looking jacket, nicely constructed and designed. It seems to be a good weight-- not too heavy, but more substantial than the light Cloudveil serendipity softshell that I've been using for backcountry skiing and winter hiking for the past 8 years.

The Elementalist is certainly more water and wind-reistant than the Cloudveil, and warmer too. I can't say how well it breathes since I never wore it outside and ended up returning it.

I liked the high hand pockets and the velcro closure at the wrists. I am 5'11", weigh just under 200 lbs., and wear shirts with 35" sleeves. My only other Marmot jacket is a Goretex hardshell, Large size... and it fits me like an XL (almost too spacious).

So I ordered the Elementalist in Large, expecting it to also be roomy. The sleeves were certainly long enough; they would have easily fit someone with 37" or 38" arms, but the velcro made that a non-issue. However, the body of the jacket was surprisingly snug-- about all I could wear under it was a long sleeved t-shirt and perhaps a light pullover.. and that would have been almost too snug.

This is obviously quite a departure in fit from the older goretex shell. I considered getting an XL, since I really liked the design, materials and weight of this jacket, but the sleeves on the XL would no doubt be at least 6" too long for me (assuming they'd be 2-3" longer than the Large). I've since ordered an Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody in XL, which hope will fit me better.

I rated this 3 stars, balancing the fit (0) with the fact that if it did fit me, it would be perfect (5). As usual, averaging out extremes sheds little light on anything!

Responded on

Of course there is going to be a discrepancy between fit of a softshell and a hardshell, just based on the intended use of the piece. A hardshell is supposed to fit over layers, and will fit baggier, while a softshell is meant to be worn with maybe just a baselayer underneath, eliminating the fleece and hardshell layering system. It's the whole reason softshells have been designed. So the fact that the body fit snug is to be expected. I do however, agree, if the sleeves are too long, that is a problem with fit. However, rating it a 3 because it didn't fit you personally seems a bit harsh.