Used extensively by Cairngorm Treks throughout Autumn and Winter 2017/18 within the Cairngorm National Park and surrounding areas
Lifting this jacket off the coat hook you straight away realise how ultra-light the Marmot Featherless Hoody actually is (UK size 12/M weighs in at just 416 grams). Despite its filling of 3M Thinsulate Eco Featherless Insulation, it feels like down to the touch and promises to offer the same performance. The jacket packs away into its left pocket – a feature we’ve noticed becoming more common – and allows an easy solution for compressing to minimal size when carrying is needed. As with the other synthetic jackets we have been using it is easily washable at home. This is fantastic if you want to use the jacket for more everyday use, as a walk with the dog won’t leave you worrying about the odd jump up with muddy paws.
The fit is good and there is a reasonable amount of room for layering if needed. With a contoured design it feels snug to the body with nice features such as an extended back panel that covers the hips and buttocks. Marmot have taken a lot of time and effort to create each panel and the results offer exceptional comfort for the wearer and easily match up to a down equivalent. Marmot's Angel-Wing Movement also allows flexibility without much compromise, meaning this is a jacket that can be used comfortably for numerous activities. The choice of colour we received is a simple matt black which is good look for mountain and country walking and after a lot of use hides away any scuffs or marks, although Marmot offer a variety of colours to suit an individual's style.
With regards to warmth, the featherless filling certainly performs as a warming layer throughout the year. It won't keep you warm in minus conditions while you sit still as the wind can still penetrate, but on a winter mountain day it is more than ample for keeping the chill off while you move around. Layered with a warm base and good waterproof, the featherless jacket can easily rival a down alternative for this purpose. The breathability is also very similar to down, keeping an even temperature even when pushing hard on a steep accent, and after a full day's trek there is very little build-up of moisture.
The jacket can be worn easily underneath an outer waterproof layer but can handle a brief rain shower or light snow without any real issues. When wet, there certainly appears to be no loss of warmth – another promise of the unique featherless filling. The hood however doesn't offer any adjustment, so in wind, while it will remain up, it can also be easily filled with unwanted cold air. The cuffs are well elasticated and can be easily pulled over gloves to create a seal, and the hem has a pull cord baffle for the same purpose – although we found the jacket to be long enough to not warrant any real adjustment in this area.
There are two reasonably good-sized pockets on the outer, just big enough to fit a full-sized map, although removal of items when wearing a rucksack was a little restrictive. There is also a very handy internal pocket at the breast – always useful for carrying any electronic devices.
We really like Marmot's featherless range and this jacket is of no exception. Built for a multitude of outdoor activities the featherless technology means that it’s a good option for mountain environments as a warm mid-layer, mountain biking, paddle sports, as well as more general day-to-day use. It is comfortable and flexible, easy to put on and store, and offers a simple solution for keeping warm. Its ability to handle moisture is a significant benefit and the innovative featherless filling is certainly impressive, particularly if you’re keen to avoid down for ethical reasons. As with all Marmot products we have come across, this jacket is built to a very high standard and will be a welcome companion for many outdoor adventures.
Cairngorm Treks is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...