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Michaelwrote a review of on February 8, 2003

5 5

Ultrathin nylon over ultrathin, but warm, fabric. Warmer than 200 fleece, since it blocks the wind, and much lighter (about 7 ounces lighter) and packable.

The fabric lining is the same type of wicking material that goes into so-called "base layers" so it is both very warm for its thickness, and wicks sweat away fast so you don't get clammy. The nylon outer layer is very, very thin, but tough, and very rain repellent, so you don't have to carry a second "soft shell" (although like all soft shells, it isn't meant for heavy or continous rain). There are no waist level pockets (which helps keeps the weight and bulk low), but the napoleon-style pocket, which doubles as a stuff sack, is highly functional (it's mesh lined, so you don't pick up a "hot spot").

All the details are well thought out - the waist cut is "shirt style," so you get front and rear coverage without "binding" at the hips when you walk; the zippers are ultra small-toothed to safe weight; there is a stiff "anti-snag, anti-windleak" tape behind the zipper; the nylon is replaced by Cool Max mesh under the arm pits, where heat is likely to build up; there is no need for a cinch cord at the waist, because the "shirt style" hem allows a trim efficient fit. Much better than any imitator. The only competitors are the Dragonfly and Helium from Patagonia, which block the wind and rain just as well, but don't provide the touch of warmth you might sometimes need and can get from this Marmot.

I hope they never stop making it. The rare times it can't keep me warm enough on a freezing day hike, I put a fleece vest over it.

Much more versatile than Shoeller Dryskin, Extreme, etc, which is heavier, not as warm, and can't block the wind as well.