Marmot Alpinist Jacket
Price Paid: $210
Great jacket. Very heavy and tough. I also purchased a Thunderlight jacket to ski, run and mountain bike in. The Alpinist is a lot of jacket to ski with but should be just right for cold/wet winter hiking in the south. Marmot jackets fit well and seem to be made very well. Thanks to this page I found out that Marmot jackets run large; therefore I was able to buy an XL and still have lots of room underneath to layer.
Found Alpinist jacket and Marmot Thunderlight jacket at overstock.com. Alpinist is from last year's catalog, and the Thunderlight is from a catalog two years old. Both new and in original wrapper with full Marmot warranty. I checked with the company. I was looking for a couple of TNF jackets to replace my 12-year-old leaking TNF ski jacket. Upon checking with TNF I found that they will not warranty a jacket purchased at a discounter or even one of their outlet stores. That is too bad.
Both jackets cost me less than $370. I am pleased.
Price Paid: $280-430
I've had my Alpinist for about five years and it is definitely a top quality shell. It has proven to be very durable (except for the velcro on the very handy flash pocket). The lycra fit hood is a bit odd but functional. It has always kept me dry even after numerous consecutive days in the rain in the Cascades. I've worn it ice climbing, camping, mountaineering, and just around town. You can close yourself up in it pretty well for great wind protection.
The Alpinist is a bit heavy though. I think a lighter shell in warmer or wetter conditions, or when engaged in strenous activity, would probably perform a little better. But for cold weather or less strenuous activity the Alpinist is excellent. It even fits me well.
Fabric: 2ply/3ply GoreTex
Price Paid: $300 (on sale)
I bought the jacket two years ago on sale at an EMS store. It normally retails for substanially more, and I don't know that I would have bought it at full price--however, if you want a bombproof winter alpine shell, it's worth full price! I've used it for xc skiing, and mountaineering in the Rockies. It's been abused in scree fields, and subjected to long glissades on some pretty harsh snowfields. It stands up to abuse well, and the wrap around hood is great--just make sure you zip the hood on *before* the weather goes south!
The only downside to the shell is that it's a bit on the heavy side. While it's great for mountaineering, it is some pretty serious overkill for generic hiking or three-season backpacking.
Price Paid: $250 (on sale)
This would be the jacket to have for full-on winter conditions. The shell is very abrasion resistance, the construction impeccable, and the fit is terrific. Water cannot penetrate this jacket. However, this is not a light jacket, and its weight makes it somewhat inconvenient for hikes/climbs where weight and/or volume are considerations. This is also not a summer jacket.
While I haven't had any problems with this yet, I can imagine various ways a zip off hood could be a nuisance...
Overall a great jacket for mountaineering or winter hiking, but probably a bit exessive for day-to-day wear.
Fabric: 2ply/3ply gore-tex
Price Paid: $360
The Alpinist Jacket by Marmot is a great go anywhere, do anything jacket. I bought the jacket last summer and haven't had any problems. It has kept me warm in all types of weather east and west, ranging from rain storms to blizzard type conditions. I love the pocket in between the the zipper and the outside layer. I have found that for the price of marmot versus the price of North Face, Marmot serves a higher line of quality. Not only is it better quality, but it looks good too.
Fabric: Gore-tex Triple layer
Price Paid: $250
This is a decent jacket, I like it as much as the North Face jackets that I have previously owned. It is a little pricey if you can not find it on sale, and it is a little heavy. I think I could have done better with a Moonstone or Mountain Hardwear jacket, but none of these brands were on sale. I guess as long as I don't freeze to death, the jacket is doing its job.
Fabric: Gore Tex 3/2 Layer
Price Paid: $399
Marmot seems to have mastered the engineering and ergonomics to cut this jacket perfectly, at least for my 5'11" 180 lb frame. Adjustments on the hood, collar, and waist lets it fit like a glove, whether I'm wearing it as a shell, with fleece, polarguard, or down.
The abrasion resistant Gore-tex is also tuff stuff. My only criticism is that it only came in yellow and red (a bit too flashy for me).
Fabric: 3 Ply Gore-Tex
Price Paid: $430
An excellent shell. It lives up to all my expectations for a shell. Pit-zips, rain gutters for the zippers, flash pociet, etc. It is impossible to get rain inside this shell. Has enough room for a fleece jacket underneath and still gives freedom to move. A very expensive coat but you get what you pay for.
Price Paid: $500
The best $500 I have ever spent. I have had mine for seven years, have bought one for my girlfriend, father and brother. The jacket has held up incredibly well, has kept me warm in all climates and will probably last forever. The second it wears out, dissapears etc., I'm getting another one.
Fabric: 2/3Layer Gore Tex; Dri-Clime/CoolMax
Price Paid: $449
Waterproof, wind resistant, tough, stylish -- of course. The drawcord in the collar, the incredible fitting hood, the flash pocket, and the fact that it's not a part of the North Face Designer line of fashion are the win-me-overs. Only peeve: No hand warmer pockets and slightly starchy feel.
Fabric: 3-layer gore-tex
Price Paid: $215 (I got it half price at EMS
This shell is amazing. It is so breathable that I put it on after my shirt was already soaked, and my shirt dried underneath it as I hiked. It fits great, and I haven't been able to rip it yet.