Marmot Variant Jacket Review
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As athletes look to use their gear for multiple activities more and more, companies like Marmot are starting to come out with hybrid gear versions that allow you to use your gear in a multitude of activities. Recently, I’ve been testing out the Marmot Variant which is a hybrid version of a fleece and synthetic insulated jacket. Marmot uses it’s Thermal R Eco insulation on the front side of the jacket to provide added warmth where it is often most needed, the core. In the rest of the jacket, Marmot uses Polartec Power Stretch which is a form fitting fleece on steroids. Power Stretch has an abrasion and wind resistant outer, and a soft inside to give you the best of both worlds. Another added benefit of using Polartec Power Stretch is that it wicks away moisture from the skin and allows it to evaporate through the outside of the fabric. This helps keep the body warm and eliminates that clammy feeling.
We tested this jacket out on mild weather hikes and colder fall nights and the Variant was just the answer we were looking for. We also wanted to see how it worked in more extreme conditions, so we also tested it out while hiking at higher elevations, where weather conditions are a little more extreme. The Variant Jacket performed until we got above tree line and then the winds and cold temps pushed a little past the jackets capabilities. The winds were 40-50 mph and the temperature was around 20F. At that point, we added a shell and used the Variant as an insulation piece and it worked perfectly. This could also come in handy during ski/snowboard season for the colder days as this jacket has a snug fit and isn’t too bulky. Although the temperatures haven’t allowed me to test the Variant during cold weather running, I think this would be a good cold weather running jacket option.
Overall, I really like the idea of hybrid gear and I think Marmot has hit the sweet spot with the Variant. For more information on the Variant Jacket and other Marmot products, please visit www.marmot.com.