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Recent Reviews

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This style of top is quite new to me having only invested in the Marmot Vapor trail eight months ago.

Ireland is not the kind of place that treats lightweight wind shirts with respect. So up until now if I ever needed protection from a cold wind it was on with a fleece or full hardshell.
But of course that kind of clothing system soon turns out to be unsuitable for the majority of the year if you involve any kind of aerobic activity; you sweat heavily on all but the coldest days. And sweat just complicates things.

So I took a gamble. It paid off.

This top has either been worn from the start of every hike and walk in I've done or is immediately used as soon as I stop. Its light weight make it a no brainer to include every time I head to the hills. The m2 softshell is superbly stretchy and beads water very well. It's very breathable, with only the areas under your rucksack becoming clammy. Show me a material that can deal with a heavy pack though and I'll make you a wealthy man!

To make the top as breathable as possible Marmot have used two different versions of their m2. The chest, collar and arm front are fully windproof, while the back and inner arm area are wind resistant, allowing those areas to breathe more freely.
In practice this works very well.
I had concerns about using such a light top while climbing but these concerns have so far proved unfounded. It won't last forever being dragged up rock but its certainly no worse than heavier materials that have been treated in the same fashion.

The stitched hole in the inner arm pocket allows headphones to be run inside of the garment and there is a neat little loop at the collar to prevent them falling back down. A touch that suggests the tops suitability for road runners and bikers.
This top is coming with me until one of us dies.

I got this product on sale at a very good price (50% of normal retail). I'd probably pause to think if I had to pay full price but I have a feeling I'd replace it sooner rather than later!

  • Lightweight
  • Windproof
  • Breathability
  • Excellent build quality
  • Durability
  • Long zip
  • None!
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Marmot really knocked it out of the park with this one!

A full waterproof, breathable insulated jacket in a package that compresses down well. What's not to like?

I can attest to its waterproofing as I've been out in horrendous weather in it for several hours and while some of the fabric near the zip wetted out, it didn't ship one drop.

The hood is great and is very well insulated. The neck area of the hood seems to have had special attention lavished on it as it's very well insulated!

I bought this primarily as a belay jacket but it's also been press ganged into use as an everyday cold weather jacket.

I got this in a large to be on the safe side, and while it's a little too big on it's own for me it's perfect over a mid layer and hardshell.

  • Excellent build quality
  • Warm
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof
  • Only one inner mesh liner!
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This jacket is stretchy - REALLY stretchy in a surprising way when first worn so it lives up to its name!

I got this on a recommendation for a lightweight, waterproof jacket that would stand up well to winter climbing; the Stretchman certainly lives up to those criteria. That being said this is not a jacket for thrashing up some horrible Scottish mixed route and dragged over sharp rock, fast Alpine ascents, ice fall climbing and more conventional rock ascents are more suitable for this garment.

When I first tried this on I was impressed by the weight and feel of the jacket, it doesn't have a conventional hardshell quality to it and seems to be more akin to a softshell (though it isn't). I found the arm length to be good, it fits well across the chest and shoulders and the length means it sit nicely down to the waist (and under a harness). It does seem a little baggy around the midriff, not too much and I mention it more as a curiosity rather than trying to highlight a fault. The hood is well designed and can fit a helmet underneath it happily, though my Grivel Salamander fits better than my Grivel Race. Plus the stretch, I know it feels like I'm harping on about the stretch but it really does stretch a lot - I'm going to bore you with this again, you can guarantee it. The finish is brilliant, zip, seams, cuffs - all of it is top notch.

Out in the wilds the jacket performs really well, it is certainly waterproof and having suffered the best (or worst) that Wales, the Lake District and Scotland have to offer then I can certainly testify to that. It breathes very well and the 'angel wing' movement means that the sleeves don't ride up your arms too much when reaching and it stays under your harness without travelling up your back. The stretch (see I said I'd come back to that) means that you can really MOVE in the jacket, it really is surprising - I've worn this in the autumn and spring over a baselayer just as a windproof garment on long multi-pitches and it's been brilliant.

This is a lightweight jacket though and so it's not as warm as other jackets and certainly will suffer in durability in the long term. I've thrashed mine about a bit and haven't noticed too much in terms of wear but I have been keenly aware of the environments I've been using it in.

This jacket is great for active endeavours, I've worn it all year round and it's light enough and breathes well enough that you don't feel clammy or overheated - in the winter it can err on being too cold but an adequate mid layer system sees to that quite nicely.

Would I recommend this? Definitely.

  • Excellent build quality
  • Light
  • Excellent design
  • Good design
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