Dennis Rwrote a review of Marmot Trail Wind Hooded Jacket - Men's on May 22, 2011
Just got back from traveling around Ireland for 3 weeks and the weather really put this wind shell to the test. At ~160 lbs. and 5'11" I ordered the medium and it fit very well over my constantly-worn Patagonia Island Hopper shirts and lambswool sweater.
Temps were between low 50s and low 60s for highs and it was ALWAYS windy. Changing clothing layers was a constant activity.
Wind: My experience was that this featherweight shell sheds wind well until speeds are above 25 to 30 mph, at which point, if the temp was on the cool side, the underarm mesh venting became a detriment and I became chilled very quickly if I wasn't being very active. Switching to my Gore-Tex jacket added significant warmth. When wind speeds remained constantly above 25 mph with speedier gusts, I actually tucked the hood inside the jacket and zipped it all the way up since I didn't want it covering my head at the time but definitely needed protection from the wind to stay warm. Stronger gusts twice pulled the hood right out of the jacket and the hood flapped back and forth wildly and was nothing but a nuisance. At the time I really wished there was a way to secure it and I'm sure the Marmot design team could come up with something.
Rain: Obviously this is not a waterproof jacket, but Marmot describes it as offering "incredible wind and water resistance," so it's reasonable to expect that it has an excellent DWR treatment. Light, short mists were not a problem (except in terms of their frequency - being numerous times a day) and water droplets did bead up for a short while before the jacket "wetted" out. Having a wool sweater on underneath meant that I never actually felt the moisture.
When mists turned to actual rain drops - even light rain - the jacket wetted out quicker than I would have ever expected. Once we reached the north coast and all along the west coast of Ireland I always opted to throw the Gore-Tex jacket in my daypack instead of - or in addition to - this jacket. Since we experienced more actual rain on these coasts, I ended up never opting for the Trail Wind Hoody until we again headed back to the east coast and the Dublin environs where it was dryer but still constantly windy.
It has some water resistance, but I wouldn't call it "incredible."
Bottom Line: As reflected in its name, this is primarily a wind jacket. It is ultralight and super packable and these two characteristics make it a worthy investment. There were a couple times where I literally stuffed it into my back pants pocket and it actually fit! The nylon material is so thin that I suppose no current DWR coating is going to make much difference. Don't expect a lot of water resistance. And because the material is so thin, it needs a way to secure the hood in really high winds if the hood isn't being worn. Otherwise the hood will wildly flap around your face and is quite a nuisance. Zippers and cord pulls all performed as expected and I walked by one exceptionally thorny bush which grabbed the jacket and put a small hole right in the shoulder. The jacket did not rip at all and now I can't even find where the hole was, so the ripstop nylon appears to have some good durability. The hood also fit very well over a lightweight wool hat.
Ultimately, I like the jacket a lot and would purchase another if I lost this one.
4 out of 5 stars due to the crazy hood in high winds and minimal water resistance.