We had the opportunity to test a bunch of Marmot apparel at the end of last season on a trip to Jackson Wyoming. You can see a video we put together half-way through a big day-tour. (No I didn’t wear all those layers at once—such is the life of a clothes model.) Aaaanyway, the Marmot Isotherm Hoody was one of the items that we checked out. This, and the Marmot Nabu jacket, were the “flagship” products and both came about through a Marmot/Polartec® partnership. The Isotherm Hoody uses the Polartec Alpha® fabric and the Nabu is made with Neoshell®.
Let’s talk about the insulation fabric for a second, because it is so key to how the jacket performs. Polartec Alpha® was developed with help of the US Special Forces who needed a garment that provided insulation in both the “dynamic and resting phases in the field.” In other words, it’s something that keeps you warm while you’re burning calories huffing up a slope—or while you’re hanging out. If this sounds to you like something a backcountry skier might benefit from, we agree. So do the folks at Marmot who have incorporated Alpha into the Isotherm jacket/hoody and a couple other items in their current line (see Jordan sporting the Alpha Pro jacket in the video above). Alpha claims to be the first ever breathable puffy. Air is able to pass through the jacket more than with other insulation layers so it’s more breathable.
How’s about some pics?
See the “zonal construction” here. Certain patches are softshell (on the shoulders, for example) for abrasion resistance) and the rest is softshell. The Alpha insulation is featured throughout.
The softshell fabric is also used around the wrists.
Dri-clime® mesh on the inside keeps you dry.
Elastic draw cord on the hem.
Tight fitting hood. Would work under a helmet.
Peripheral cord adjustment on the hood. See the cord slot in the image above.
Zipper garage and more softshell “piping” around the hood brim.
More softshell fabric on the chest pocket. And the Marmot logo.
- 20 Denier Pertex Quantum Fabric
- Angel-Wing Movement
- Attached Hood with Peripheral Cord Adjustment
- DriClime Mesh Lining
- Elastic Bound Cuffs
- Elastic Draw Cord Hem
- Polartec Alpha Insulation
- Softshell Shoulder Reinforcement
- Zip Chest Pocket
- Zip Hand Pockets
Because we got the Marmot Isotherm Hoody last spring, I’ve had a chance to test it in all kinds of conditions. I particularly like it as a midlayer under the Marmot Nabu. If it gets too hot, I can peel of the Nabu and be comfy with just the Isotherm. As far as breathability goes, I run hot and the jacket works well for me over a base layer on the uptrack between 15 and 30°C. I guess that’s the Alpha doing its magic. It’s a great shoulder season garment on its own over a t-shirt (or a merino layer), it fends off light precip (of the rain kind), and worked out well on fishing trips and canoe-camping missions also. I appreciate its light weight, not-too-hot/not-too-cool attributes, its comfort and its fit.
Interested in more reviews of Marmot products? Then check out our thoughts on the Marmot Nabu Jacket, the Marmot Essence Jacket and the Marmot Artemis Jacket which won our Gear of the Year Award. Looking for similar products to this review? Then check out the Outdoor Research Super Layer Jacket, the Arcteryx Atom LT Jacket or the Westcomb Tango Hoody.
Cameron killing it in the Tetons. ‘looks like the jacket is performing well in the active phase.
Price: $250US (but look around for a deal—they are out there)
Colours: Black, red, blue and orange
Weight: 408.2g (14.4oz)
Sizes: S to XL
Outer Fabric: Pertex Quantum© 100% Nylon Mini Shadow Ripstop 1.0 oz/yd, 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane 4.0 oz/yd, Insulation: Polartec Alpha®
Comfortable, super light, high-performance insulation layer that seem more breathable than other jackets with many of the same properties. It packs down really nicely too. The fact that it’s made in conjunction with the military means the standards need to be high.
Pertex fabric seems like a tree branch might tear it. $250 seems a little steep but there are deals out there to be had.
Quality / Price 1.5/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.