Anywhere in the backcountry...
Super lightweight, packs small and provides great protection against the gnarliest weather.
I had this jacket and the Arcteryx Beta SL to try at home and decided for the Marmot. The Beta Sl was great, too, but I liked the extra space in the Marmot for extra layers. I also like the velcro strip in the back of the hood, so you can prevent the hood from dropping too far into your face, but if the weather takes a serious turn for the worst, you can put the hood all the way down to your chin and hunker down.
The other cool thing is how much space you have inside. I wore a heavyweight fleece jacket, a long sleeve and a technical short sleeve shirt underneath and still had space for my DSLR with a 105mm zoom lens. The jacket's hood extended quite a bit, so it covered the camera body while taking photos. The lens stuck out a little, but there was only light rain and the lens hood protected the lens from any rain drops. The photos turned out great!
I got the green jacket, because it was seriously discounted (2011 model). The color is quite "vibrant" or in other words: People will notice you! :o) I don't care though. It was a great deal and the jacket is very functional and worked out great for me in the Alaskan backcountry.
I wore these quite a bit on my most recent trip to Alaska as a wind breaker and for rain protection, even though we got quite lucky with the weather and it never poured cats and dogs.
I love the Goretex material! One day, my lightweight hiking pants got a little wet while canoeing. Back in camp, I just put on the Alpha SL pants right over my wet hiking pants and a couple of hours later, I was completely dry again. The entire time, I stayed quite nice and warm. Another day on a strenuous hike, it never got too hot - hooray for Goretex!
I also like that there's a fly. No pockets though!
For me, it was between the Alpha SL and the Marmot Minimalist Pants. I decided for the Arcteryx, because it had a little more room (allows for more layers underneath) and a fly.
Super lightweight and the knife actually cuts (without being super sharp). The set is a little to short for eating out of freeze dried food bags, but if you cut the bag above the food, it usually works out fine. Meals in regular pots are no problem.
I like the easy fill option and the handle when it's zipped close and shut. I also like the clip-in hose connector, even though I keep thinking that it could be a weak point for leaks. However, it hasn't leaked yet and seems to be very solid. The bladder sleeve is a nice add-on. You don't have to use it if you won't want to, but it gives you a lot of fastening options. Also, it gave me a little more peace of mind in terms of "ruggedness" as it seems to protect the bladder quite nicely. With the additional loops on the sleeve, you could stick it to the outside of your pack with some small carabiners, so you can easily refill it without taking it out of your pack.
One thing I didn't care for is the hose. The foam tube is way too large in diameter and the mouth piece cap keeps coming off. I have a Camelbak Lobo with the neoprene lined hose which is MUCH nicer. For my most recent trip to Alaska, I cut off the hose from the Camelbak and stuck it onto the Platypus Big Zip SL (3L). It fits great and worked out perfectly for me.
I think you can get the Camelbak neoprene hose as an accessory. I'd recommend this as an upgrade option, although it makes the entire hydration "system" quite expensive.
Yes, it's totally obnoxious and looks like construction tape, but I love it! It definitively makes my bag stick out from others when it comes down onto the carrousel at the baggage claim.
I also like that there's a little indicator that turns red when a TSA key is used. If the indicator is red and you don't have a TSA notice in your bag, you know that somebody messed with it. With a little push in the right place, you can turn the indicator back to green.
It's lightweight, comfortable, very stretchy, wicking and has 100+ uses. I have a Columbia Heat Elite II jacket which has quite a wide collar and doesn't protect very well from chilly winds. However, combined with the Echo �bertube, it made for a good combination.
Since it's so versatile, lightweight and small to pack, I'll take it on all trips from now on (hot or cold).
I just got back from a two week trip in the Alaskan backcountry. Temps were between 35 and 60, plus a lot of chilly winds (steady 20mph, gusts of up to 35mph)! At home, the jacket felt nice and substantial, but when I got into the cold winds, I noticed that there is no draw cord at the bottom, so you can't prevent the wind from blowing up into the jacket. Also, I found the zippered pockets to be way too big (too high). Check out the product photo - you'll see what I mean. If you want to warm up your hands by sticking them into the pockets, you'll have to zip the pockets open (from the top down). With your hands in the pockets, there is about 5-6 inches of open space to the upper part of the zipper. This leaves a lot of space for the wind to blow in and your hands won't get very warm. It might have been better to design the zippers so they open from the bottom up?!
Also, the collar is kind of like a funnel and there's no way to make it fit a little more snug around the neck.
I'd recommend the jacket for luke warm to semi-cold, non-windy situations. I guess the idea of the super large pockets is to double as vents, but the jacket already has vents under the arms.
Don't get me wrong, I like the jacket - just not for windy situations...
I got it for more than half off on a special deal. If I paid the regular price, I'd probably return it.
I just got back from a two week trip at the Gates to the Arctic National Park (Alaska). We got lucky on the rain, but the wind was icy at times. The Mammut Tundra jacket (in green) kept me nice and warm, without overheating during the hikes through the tundra. I especially liked the collar, because it kept the wind away from my neck. The green color actually looks much nicer in real life than in the product photo, even thought the color is pretty accurate. Mine fits quite snugly with not much room to spare (Jacket: XXL - Me: 6'3"/ 250lbs), but it moves with you, so it doesn't limit your range of motion. The inside is super soft gray fleece. If you reverse the jacket and stuff it into one of its sleeves, it doubles as a nice, soft pillow! :o)
Once I get the camp fire smell out, I'll be wearing it on non-backpacking/camping occasions.
Does anyone know how to get the extra 2oz fill from Western Mountaineering? How do you contact them? I searched on their website, but I can't find anything about sending them my bag...