User Review: Marmot Kingpin Jacket
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $189
Versatile softshell jacket with many useful features. Nearly completely waterproof, but the downside is limited breathability. Long, slender cut precludes heavy layering underneath, but offers good range-of-motion agility and below-waist protection.
- Highly water repellant
- Extended movement range without hem riding up
- Useful pockets and well designed hood
- Limited breathability
- Cut too long without 2-way zipper
- No pit zips
The Marmot Kingpin is a bit of a hybrid jacket in more ways than one. Although it is a softshell, it is sort of a hardshell in that the material is nearly fully waterproof. Unlike some other softshells which have a higher elastane content and a stretchy, rubbery feel, the Kingpin almost feels like a full nylon rainshell which happens to have a slight bit of stretch to it. The fleece backing on the inside is warm, though not heavy nor plush.
Second, although it is a jacket, it is sort of a parka in that it is cut very long. The lower skirt extends at least 4 inches below the beltline in the front, and completely covers the butt in the back. Though there is no waist drawcord in addition to the single bottom hem drawcord (which itself has dual adjustment points at both hips) you get the feeling they forgot to add one, which would have completed the parka look.
The cut is slim and athletic, with near form-fitting sleeves, but the sheer length of the coat contributes to excessive roominess around the mid-torso and lower back. Note that the "pro" listed of extended movement range comes not from the stretch factor (which, again is somewhat limited), but the fact that the cut is very slim around the arms and upper torso.
The two napoleon chest pockets are roomy enough for wallet, smartphone, sunglasses, keys, and they, like the two large side pockets, have highly water resistant zippers and zipper pulls which move freely in both directions -—which is due in part to the "stiffness" of the near-hardshell material which does not move much when the pulls are yanked. There is also a very small accessory pocket along one of the sleeves, probably large enough only for keys and another small item (lip balm?).
There are no pit zips, and for a jacket that has limited breathability, this would have been a good idea. The 2 large side pockets do allow for a slight bit of temperature regulation and heat dumping when left completely open, but there is unperforated fleece lining on the inside of the pockets, so the temperature control options are slight.
The Kingpin's hood can go over or under a climbing helmet, and when fully zipped up, covers the lower part of your face — the chin, and at least part of your mouth. The neck of the hood is long, which allows the entire hood to turn with your face when you turn your head from side to side. The hood also has useful drawstrings and a rain/snow brim that extends slightly over the forehead area.
This is a versatile coat, but could be made better with a shorter cut to the length to allow easier access to a climbing harness; or a 2-way main zipper (or both); addition of pit zips, or if not, then a cooler, more breathable fleece backing and outer shell material, and; a more athletic cut through the mid-torso to match the rest of the upper torso area.
Where to Buy
The Marmot Kingpin Jacket is not available from the stores we monitor.
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