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Gear Review: Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Gear Review: Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Gear Review: Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Gear testing a rain jacket
Portland provides ample opportunity for testing out rain gear!
Last fall I had the opportunity to bike across the country and the trip was truly incredible. Fall colors, beautiful rivers and mountains, and generous strangers were just some of the highlights. I was happy with my gear, our schedule, and even the small mistakes that we made and learned from. However, if I were to do the trip over again, there is one thing I would be sure to change. I would definitely bring along a Marmot Minimalist rain jacket.

We got quite of a bit of rain, sleet, and even snow throughout the second half of our trip (we entered Virginia right as hurricane Sandy went through) and unfortunately my old jacket just could not hack it. My boyfriend and biking partner, Don, had a Minimalist himself, and he couldn’t understand why I was so consistently cold, wet, and uncomfortable. Eventually the elements gave me a nasty cold and halted our trip for a couple days. I have never in my life understood so well the importance of high-quality gear and the effect it can have on an experience.

I came back to Portland committed to finding the perfect rain jacket (I didn’t realize at the time that Don had already happened upon it himself). I wanted a do-it-all jacket and I took everything I could think of into consideration. Weight, compressibility, water-proofness, breathability, affordability, and of course how flattering it was and what colors it came in. After much research I excitedly picked out a new jacket that had just come out in the Spring and wore it the next morning on my bike commute to work. Needless to say, I was sorely disappointed. It took only a few minutes for the inside to feel sweaty and clammy, and by the time I got to work I felt as through I had just sat in a sauna. Sure the jacket was lightweight, affordable, and probably quite waterproof, but the breathability was sorely lacking.

I finally decided that I would try the Minimalist out myself. I did put off getting mine until this Fall (because I had fallen in love with Marmot’s new “sea glass” color that just came out), but it worked out that I received it just in time for Portland’s deluge of fall rain. I wore it bike commuting all over town for 2 solid weeks of heavy rain, and I am beyond impressed with its effectiveness.

This jacket is lightweight and compressible while still retaining durability and a soft, dry touch inside and out. I was able to stand in a torrential downpour for extended periods of time without any water getting in, and most importantly, I could bike all over the place, in Portland humidity, and still arrive at my destination comfortable and dry. The jacket’s pit-zips are a great feature, and the whole fit of the jacket is flattering and clean-looking. Not to mention the beautiful, rich colors that the jacket comes in. Of course, as with any piece of gear, there are always areas for improvement. The hood doesn’t completely fit over a bike-helmet (but when they do they feel huge on a helmet-less head). Also, I prefer two zippers on my pit-zips for easy one-handed zipping (up or down)…but now I’m just getting nit-picky.

To sum it up, Marmot really nailed it with this one. This has quickly become my backpacking, thru-hiking, backcountry skiing, city-walking, bike commuting, mountain biking, do-it-all rain jacket. I never thought anything could make me say this, but….bring on the rain!Get your very own miracle rain jacket at Next Adventure today!

“Oh, I’m sorry, is there a storm raging around me? I couldn’t tell in my new climate-controlled jacket.” – Rochelle, on bike commuting to work in a Portland rain storm


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Road Trip 2013: Don and Rochelle’s Next Adventure