Marmot Power Stretch Half Zip Top
This marriage of Polartec’s technologically advanced…
This marriage of Polartec’s technologically advanced Power Stretch fabric and Marmot’s legendary quality results in just exactly what you should expect, a superlative base layer garment.
- Superior wicking action
- Incredibly fast to dry
- Robust construction
- None as far as I can tell.
Marmot’s Polartec Power Stretch Half Zip sweater is my go-to base layer three seasons of the year, Spring, Autumn, and Winter. I use it even in summer, but usually only when climbing at higher altitudes. It is designed for moderate to extremely cold so it is just too hot for warmer summer environments.
While some like to wear a t-shirt or other thin base layer under this sweater, this defeats the purpose of the fabric’s design, which is to have direct skin contact so as to wick sweat and dry skin. It is by far the best base layer fabric that I have ever used. I have found nothing else even remotely as good at wicking and drying my huge volume of produced perspiration. However, this is not to imply that it cannot be used as a second or third layer, for Marmot claims that it “is the most versatile base-, mid- and outer-layer fleece you'll ever wear.”
Marmot sizes do not generally run either too large or too small and this sweater is no exception. However, it is best to try this garment on before purchase for as with any base layer, the sweater should fit snug, not loose, which does not mean tight. A snug fit provides better skin contact so therefore greater wicking ability. To get it a bit snugger, you may even wish to downsize. Because the fabric has a great degree of stretch ability, even with a snug fit, it can still be used as a second layer, should you so choose.
Marmot has made this sweater with a pocket either in the arm or in the chest. I much prefer the chest pocket as it is generally easier to access than an arm pocket and is also far roomier. You will have to double check with online venders if you wish to know for certain which incarnation they are selling, as you should not trust a photo. The sleeve ends contain a small section which Marmot refers to as “Cuff Nosewipes,” which is a small section of the fabric reversed.
Power Stretch fabric has a smooth outer surface similar in appearance to a soft shell fabric and a fleece inner surface with a soft hand that is quite comfortable to the skin. It has none of the coarseness that some of Polartec’s thicker Power Dry fabrics have.
Power Stretch seems quite durable. I have used it for about two years and have yet to notice any wear either inside or out, and Marmot has done such an admirable job with its flat lock sewing that I have yet to encounter either a loose thread or seam.
All in all, this is a most impressive sweater.