Marmot Zion Jacket Review
Waterproof and breathable has been marketed for many years now, but you know just as well as I do that waterproof and breathable haven’t really gotten along all that well in the past. For this fall/winter, Marmot is utilizing a new fabric by Polartec called Neo Shell. Most people know Polartec for its fleece that is used in jackets, pants, liners, and more. Neo Shell by Polartec has taken the Polartec and Marmot brand to the next level in the Zion Jacket with a jacket that really is waterproof and breathable.
I was lucky enough to use this jacket last winter and spring while skiing the slopes of Colorado. On the cold freezing days when temps were around zero degrees, I definitely wanted a warm layer underneath. On the days when the temperatures were 15-50 degrees, most days, this jacket works like a champ with a regular baselayer. For insulation, the Marmot Zion uses the Polartec fleece material which helps insulate the body and helps pull moisture to the outside of the softshell fabric. To help keep water out, this jacket is seem sealed which you will see in most higher end brands such as Marmot.
If you are one of those venturing into the side country or backcountry and like to wear a backpack for avi gear, food, PBR, water, or other extra’s, the Zion jacket is a great option. I say this because there are small little grippers on the shoulders to keep the shoulder straps from sliding down your shoulders. This is pretty common while using backpacks with jackets that can be waterproof and slippery. The Marmot Zion jacket also has its pockets adjusted for backpack hipbelts. This way, when you are wearing your hip belt while skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, etc, you can still access your side pockets. These pockets are also water resistant along with the rest of the zippers on the jacket.
For cold, windy, and wet days when you want the least amount of skin exposed, there is an attached adjustable helmet compatible hood. The cuffs of the Zion jacket are best used with gloves that go over the cuff as these aren’t super wide. To keep snow from getting up through the bottom of the jacket, there is an elastic draw cord hem.
As a skier that likes a jacket that I can use for multiple conditions, I think the Marmot Zion Jacket is an excellent choice. As someone who also gets out snowshoeing, and cold weather hiking, I also like the jacket as it provides a good blend of warmth and protection from snow and water.