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Marmot Alpinist Climbing Jacket III

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Alpinist Climbing Jacket III has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2024.

This jacket has to be the most durable jacket I have ever owned. Marmot keeps replacing any ripped or burnt panel. Sometimes I can forgo a light pack because of the pockets or take a smaller pack.

The venting is great. I use the wide cuffs as wind scoops on sunny spring days to cool down. It's nice to know you can use a jacket and not have to baby it. Tear or melt a panel- Marmot fixes it for cheap. I just duct tape the ripped panel until I get back home- and on 2 weeks its back good as new.

I just wish the water repellent coating was better. Nikwax helps a bit, but after 20 years the thing gets wet outside and gains weight.

I can't find any jackets to replace what this jacket does. I can get to 3 of the four front exterior pockets with one hand while wearing a pack- and easily open them with the zipper pulls. I use the sleeve pocket all the time. I sometimes wish there was another one, but having only one lets me know where important small items are fast. I carry rechargeable batteries for my Draco flashlight and the light in this pocket.


  • Super durable, great pockets, bombproof — good enough rain protection that I have used it for foul weather gear sailing.
  • Looks pretty good even after all these years.
  • Washes up and looks brand new every time!
  • Roomy cut allows of tons of layering and all the drawstrings cut down on convective heat loss if you are wearing less.
  • Pockets are not blocked by pack straps.


  • Looking old school now.
  • Heavy when drenched.
  • Doesn't pack small.
  • Definitely too much jacket for spring conditions- better off at Everest.

Super awesome FIT ! WOW...can I ever move around in this. Swinging ice axes overhead is easy and the jacket will not ride up exposing my waist. The arms follow to any position without binding.

I've used this in winter touch football, ice skating, hockey in Quebec, stormy N.H. commutes, and climbing tons of peaks. When I see others with the same jacket we instantly share stories about how it saved us. I've slept in subway benches at 4 a.m. in cities waiting for the subways to run again in the morning in comfort. 

The draw cords are amazing. I can allow air in to vent and remove moisture or zip them shut to let me use the jacket in weather that is 60 and sunny to -20 with 70 mph gusts. I can wear just one set of mid layers and a next to skin layer and control my temperature without having to remove layers.

The pit zips have two-way zippers so I can keep snow from filling my forearms and still be vented when asking powder — or open the forearms if I'm wading through heavy snow and keep snow out of my pits. I can put the vent hole anywhere I want.

When this jacket was new you could have hit me with a firehose and the water just beaded off of it. Washing helps restore the coating a little — though it still gets wet... but inside I am bone dry always. Snow shedding is really good. I don't get build up anywhere. The flaps keep snow from snow guns from penetrating and keeps stuff in my pockets dry even if I forget to close them and keeps snow out. I miss that in todays jackets.

The jacket is super breathable mostly because of the venting. In humid weather when it is cold and after exercise I can see STEAM coming off the jacket..heh heh! This Gore-tex works much better than the old 2-layer Gore-tex or old 3-layer Gore-tex.

The jacket doesn't wick at all. Which I like because it also doesn't get wet and bind with other layers from sweat.

Lots of room for layering... I can even fit a midweight down layer under for super cold dry conditions. As for abrasion... it's the abrasion king! I've bouldered all over in it, wiped out on my bike, and it's saved my skin.

Pockets are the best. I use the goggle pocket all the time and like the tiny arm pocket and also the inner pockets. In the beginning  I forgot which pocket has what so I got used to using certain pockets for certain things. 

Durability... Marmot. nuff said.

I have used this since 1994..and I would buy another if I could. I still look for them on eBay mostly because I want a different color.

Source: received it as a personal gift

I love my Marmot gear, but until a few weeks ago I never had the chance to put it to the test. Now everyone talks about how their Gore-Tex shells keep them dry in the rain, snow, sleet...whatever. Well, this example is the bombproof quality of marmot gear.

I was ice climbing along the cliffs nearby on a nice sheet (so i thought) that my partner and I happened to come across. Well, the weather hasn't been extremely cold prior to this climb, and it was freezing rain out as we got to the base of it. So as I started up the climb I put my hood up over my helmet because cold rain was running down my neck.

Anyways, about 25 feet up and two ice screws later I could hear the thud of hollow ice. Well, I decided to place my picks gingerly until I could get back to some well bonded ice. I started to put in another ice screw when CRASH...the section I was on gave way and I fell behind the ice sheet into a freezing waterfall.

Luckily I somehow wound up upright with both my axes still in my hands. From where I was at I couldn't get back on the ice, so my belayer had to lower me down to where I could get my crampons in the ice. This entire time freezing water is pouring down on me. Well, 10 minutes later I'm out of that death trap and down climbing as fast as I can without busting through the ice again.

After I got on the ground and the adrenaline rush started wearing off, I realized that I wasn't wet at all. Not a single drop, except for what poured down my face when i fell in. Now that is trustworthy gear. From now on, I will always wear Marmot stuff when mothernature is looking to put me six feet under.

ps. I originally did my ice climbing with a TNF mountain light getup, but it started leaking at the seams. It seems like quantity over quality with their stuff now.

Fabric: 3-ply Gore-Tex
Price Paid: $250 and $175 on sale

This was the best jacket I've owned. I also own NF, OR, and Moonstone. My Moonstone 3-ply gortex pants with full leg zips are the best pants (~2003 vintage) and still in great shape.

Anyway, back to the Marmot jacket. Climbing nearly every peak in WA with snow/glaciers on it (less Glacier Peak), camping with Scouts in everything from Philmont in New Mexico, to snow caves at Mt Rainier National Park, igloos (with imagination) at Blewett Pass, watching kids games in 200 days of rain (Yep, cascade foothills area), 17 days in Banff/Jasper Nat Parks, "work", everything. I used all the pockets and the best feature of all was the left hand sleeve zip pocket.

Well, after 13 years of wear I have worn it out and sent it for repair. Can't be repaired, but got a credit to a new coat. The only problem is none of the new coats are as good. Half the chest pockets are gone, no sleeve pockets, etc. My old coat was basically very comfortable and very tough to everything from rocks to blackberry bushes. Bummer it can't be repaired, and I almost feel asking for my old coat back and re-taping the seams with Duct Tape and keep it going. Great coat, lots of use and memories. New coats don't hold a candle to the it.

Area I live in - East of Bellevue, WA

Purchased from the Marmot store in Bellevue, and awesome store with great stuff and real life experience staff, and a "used" section with some great deals on certain items.

Fabric: Goretex 3-ply
Price Paid: $385

For those people interested in getting a jacket that can handle those extreme days on the ski slopes, on or off piste, this is the jacket to get. Whether needing ventilation on a warm wet day or needing protection stuck on a lift in 0 F and 30 mph winds, my Alpinist Climbing Jacket III did the job providing the protection I needed, while holding up in mint condition and looking great to boot. This jacket is a must buy!

Fabric: Gorw-tex
Price Paid: $395

I looked long and hard over the last month and a half for a top-of-the-line 3 Ply Gore-tex shell. I looked at every jacket imaginable, including the Mountain Hardwear Ethereal FTX, the Moonstone Sauvage, The North Face Kitchatna, and countless others (including many other products from the above-referenced manufacturers).

After an agonizing process I finally decided on the Alpinist CJ III because of the detail, the outstanding quality and workmanship, and the thoughtful features. The new Junction N300 fabric is simply superb. Lightweight, but extremely durable. This jacket has every feature one could want, and at a relatively good price. The jacket matches or excels anything offered by the competition. You can't go wrong with this jacket.

Fabric: 3 Ply Gore-tex
Price Paid: $399

This is about as good as it gets in the jacket business. Superb detail, excellent fabric, and one of the toughest jackets on the market. There is no unecessary fabric on this beauty. I used it three weeks ago in the Canadian Rockies and have never been more comfortable in my life, even during a storm.

I would just like to take this oprutunity to thank the people at Marmot whose hard work, and uncompromising dedication to perfection has created such a superb jacket. Thank you and keep up the good work.

Fabric: 3-ply gore-tex
Price Paid: $399

I LOVE this jacket. It has served as my house during many Canadian ice climbs during winter '98-'99, countless backcountry skiing hours, a few Rainier and Hood climbs and then some. It's tough and lightweight in my opinion and with the snow skirt it keeps the snow out and the warm air in. I have no regrets on this jacket especially for $290 new!

Fabric: 3L Gore-tex
Price Paid: $290 (new)

Climbing jacket is an excellent purchase. It does the job, and is constructed with quality. While snowpacking recently, I fell chest-deep into icy water. With the drawcords tightened, I didn't get a bit wet. It's a wonderful jacket.

Fabric: 3 ply gore-tex
Price Paid: $399

This is the absolute bombproof jacket! None of the other jackets from competitors come even close! It is bit expensive, but considering the quality, functionality and long-term use, it is a great value.

Fabric: 3-layer Gore-Tex; Sunshine M-187R, Junction N-300
Price Paid: $399 (Paid $299 on sale)

Well, I just read four reviews on this jacket with each one raving about it. I hate to be the odd man out BUT I've never been so disappointed in my life. I spent months searching for a jacket and finally decided on the ACJIII. My advice is to test the jacket before you take it into the mountains. Mine leaked. A lot! Water ran down my chest and also entered down by the waist drawcord, dousing my groin area. I sent it back and recieved a replacement which also leaked in the same areas. Be careful with this jacket!

Fabric: 3-Ply GoreTex
Price Paid: $399

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Price Historic Range: $150.00
Reviewers Paid: $175.00-$399.00

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