Thursday, October 7, 2010

Marmot Exum. Only One Complaint.

I've been putting off writing this review for a while. Why? You know when you love something so much that your heart hurts to say something bad about it, especially in public? It's just hard to say something mean about anything you love so much. I'll get back to that point after I extol all of the Exum's good graces.

Marmot introduced the Exum jacket about 2 fall seasons ago. It's remained mostly unchanged, but has managed to lose one ounce of weight, but then decided to jump FIFTY dollars in price. I'm not really sure why, other than cost of products have risen recently (oil costs, directly affecting the plastics needed for the jackets construction), licensee's, and corporate greed. Joking about the greed part, it's worth it. I'd pay for it all over again... well actually I'd get the Marmot Alpinist jacket, just for the snow skirt.
Wow I just got really off track. So end game is, the jacket is worth the price, if you can swing it.

The Exum utilizes Gore Tex Pro-Shell fabric, which blows my mind in both how light, how tough it is. I've never had an issue with sweating excessively, to the point where the membrane can't dump your nasty sweat. I've also never, ever swamped the jacket in a rain storm. This impresses me, as I've had this problem with my Marmot Precip and other water-proof jackets. The Angel-Wing design allows a massive amount of movement in the shoulders and arms, but I still always recommend bibs over pants, I just like the butt and back coverage from snow and wind. The sleeve length is great, with just the right amount of velcro tabs to take down the size of the cuffs.

Perhaps my favorite, just smart additions to the jacket are the water-resistant zippers, the well placed pockets (above harness or hipbelt), and the dri-clime patch placed right at the upper part of the zipper. You won't scratch or trap your chin when you zip up!

Now... I have to say what I hate.

I've worn a patch off the wire-brim hood. I don't have a clue how or why, but my gorgeous jacket has a small wear patch. This makes me sad. Second, the jacket doesn't have a powder skirt. I knew this before buying the jacket, but I still really miss it. I also would have loved to have the integrated sleeve gaiters, but whatevs.

End result, great jacket. I love it for climbing (never snagged on a rock), ski hard in it, even have used it for running. So good, really no distinct faults. Good to go!


  1. Hi there, nice review!
    I've been looking into getting this jacket and came across your partial review on, where you mention that you bought the jacket for $175. Can you please tell me from where it is that you bought it that price? Especially as the other reviews on trailspace also have a price listed in that range, whereas I can't find it for less than $400 !
    Cheers in advance, and thanks for the persuasive review!

  2. I actually got it through a gear store I worked for, so the price is pretty atypical. You can find it for a lot less on a few other sites. Typically has the last years jacket (just as good) for around 200.

    as the season is just getting rolling here, the jacket prices will naturally be higher. The should start to slash by around January, and really good deals by April.

    Best of luck! I'd look around the outlet store. They normally have similar pro shell jackets at a cheaper price.
    You may also want to look at Polartec Powershield Pro fabric for softshells. They're getting stellar reviews, plus you get the benefit of softshell.

    just a thought!

  3. I've been researching this marmot alpinist jacket and your review has proven that it's certainly a worthy purchase. I love the ice climbing pictures. Would you say this is a good jacket for doing some winter backpacking?

  4. Hmmm... Well that depends on what you want out of the jacket. The Alpinist has a powder skirt, which is one of the major differences b/w the alpinist and exum. Moving on...
    If you need something with insulation, this won't do at all. Being soooo thin and light, it doesn't add much insulation. So if you want it only as the shell, it's amazing.
    The gore-tex pro shell is absurdly tough. You really won't have to worry about abrasion or tearing. Pretty nice pocket placement too, right above the waist belt.
    The hood is also great, works well for rain.
    As a backpacking jacket, I think it's phenomenal, spring, winter, and fall.
    Just play the layering game right, and you're good to go.


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