An eco-friendly wet weather jacket that promises a lifetime of protection from the rain.
At a glance
Plusses: Durable, totally storm-proof, eco-friendly, warm.
Minuses: Heavy, bulky,warm.
Weight: 640g (m), 561g (w)
Features: Marmot claims this jacket is the most sustainable it’s ever made. Using Marmot’s proprietary three-layer MemBrain Eco fabric, which has been upcycled and has a PFC-free durable water repellent that is said to never wear out, it certainly looks sustainable. The permanent DWR is achieved by applying the water-repelling treatment at the molecular level, bonding to the fabric so that it won’t wash out. Other features include underarm pit zips, articulated elbows, drawcord adjustable hood and hem, water-resistant zippers on external pockets and the front zip, all seams are taped.
Fit: The size medium fitted well across my shoulders and the jacket hung to below my waist, offering good full-body protection. The sleeves came to just past the heel of my hand, allowing decent reach without losing coverage. There is ample fabric, providing room beneath for all necessary layers to be worn.
Comfort: It’s a heavy three-layer jacket that feels bulky and I found myself quickly warming up during humid wet weather. Pit zips do help vent excess heat, but they are of limited value in warmer conditions. During cooler autumn testing, comfort was improved markedly and I found myself sweating much less. The breathability of the jacket is at the low end of the spectrum. Most jackets these days allow 20,000g of water vapour to pass through each square metre of fabric over a 24-hour period, but the Clouds Rest is rated at 15,000g/m2.
In use: I used this jacket over several months during summer and autumn from humid Auckland to chilly Wanaka and the wet West Coast. I much enjoyed using it in cooler South Island conditions, where I didn’t warm up so easily. The jacket, in all cases, proved exemplary in holding out downpours. On the West Coast, we were hit with several days of rain and I remained dry as a bone and the fabric never looked close to wetting out (being a new jacket, this is to be expected. Whether the lifetime DWR claim holds out is yet to be seen).
Hiking around Auckland, I always had the pit zips open but often felt too warm, even after minor exertion. I’ll carry on testing it over winter and I am sure I will feel better in it then.
A plus side to the questionable temperature regulation I experienced is the durability of the jacket. It looks and feels like jackets of old and for those who take on rough environments in extremely wet locations, this will be a major benefit. Off-track on the West Coast, I felt indestructible.
The hand pockets can be accessed when wearing a pack and, pleasingly, the internal chest pocket is just large enough to hold a Topo50 map.
The jacket’s bulk means it doesn’t stow as neatly as more compressible garments. It takes up a decent portion of my daypack.
Value: In the grand scheme of things, this is a cheap jacket – if you can afford the initial outlay, you’ve got a product that should last, if not the lifetime Marmot claims, many years.
Verdict: In cool to cold climates with extreme wet weather and where durability is required, this is a good choice.