Marmot Alpinist Lightweight
The Alpinist Lightweight has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2024.
Good points: The snowskirt is great for skiing and snowshoeing. The pockets are well sized. The hood snugs around the face well and protects from freezings winds and snow. The sleeves are plenty long (good for us taller people). Excellent with 200 weight zip-in fleece.
Poor points: After extended periods in falling snow I tend to get a little wet around the shoulder area. The rubbery material along the bottom of the snowshirt (for gripage) is annoying when wearing the jacket during less instense weather situations. The bill on the hood may flip up/backwards in a strong headwind. The hood does not stow away very well.
Overall this is an excellent wet and windy weather shell. Keeps me warm and dry. Marmot is an excellent company to work with regarding any problems or concerns. hankfully I came across my jacket on a close out rack. I'd say it's worth the full price though.
Fabric: Gore Tex - 2 ply / 3 ply
Price Paid: $220
This jacket is several years old. The Gore-Tex is still protecting me 100%. I took it hiking and climbing in the extreme wetness of Scotland and Wales and it kept me dry. It does become clammy after a while. It is a good design. It is 3 ply on shoulders and elbows and 2 ply everywhere else.
The major drawback with the 2 ply is the lining. Recently my friend ripped my lining. Overall it is a great jacket. Another major drawback is that is has become a quite popular jacket and the price has now sky rocketed to $399 for the '99 model. It is worth it, but look for older models on sale. I got my jacket for $180 so look for the sales. The Marmot quality is worth it.
Fabric: 2ply/3ply Goretex
Price Paid: $369
I have a fetish for quality jackets, and the Marmot Alpinist Lightweight is by far the best jacket I've owned -- it's all but bulletproof in even the harshest, wind-driven conditions. Among my favorite attributes are the cuffs that seem right off a dry suit and the huge pockets. Also, I love the universal liner zipper (I picked up an LL Bean All Conditions Fleece jacket on sale for $59, and it zips in as if it was designed as the liner, as do most other brands of fleece). The only flaw I've found is that the supposedly roll-up hood doesn't truly roll up. If you want the best jacket, Marmot's your only choice. I picked mine up on sale for $239.
Fabric: 3-layer Gore-Tex
Price Paid: 399
This must be one of the best Gore-Tex shells I have ever purchased and owned... I used to get two or three jackets a season, but with this jacket, and the Marmot zip in ECO fleeces and vests, this is also one of the most versatile three-season jackets/shells that I've owned....
I've used them all--the North Face, Lowe Alpine, Columbia, EMS, REI... but Marmot really lives up to its reputation.
I will always look to Marmot for gear first, before I look elsewhere... I suggest you do as well...
Fabric: 2L/3L Gortex
Price Paid: $395 US
When I first got this jacket I stood under the drain while it was raining and stayed as dry as can be. The best jacket that Gore-Tex was ever laminated to, it can stand up to anything, anytime and anyplace. Far better and more commited to its products than The North Face, Marmot deserves all the recognition it gets and more. Clearly the best and most trusted name in outdoor clothing, it will never fail you.
Fabric: 2/3 ply GTX
Price Paid: $425 (cdn, special deal)
I weighed this jacket against The North Face Mountain Light. What sold me was the use of 2 layer and 3 layer Gore-Tex. It's light enough to use as a late spring/early summer rain shell. In winter I use a Marmot E.C.O. Sweater as a liner. But Marmot has more liners to suit your climate. Trust me, this is a great alternative to TNF's Mountain Jacket or the Mountain Light!
Fabric: Gore-Tex, 2ply and 3ply
Price Paid: $379
This is a GREAT jacket. Nice long pit zips, adjustable hood, waist and hem. Drawbacks are the sleeves if you are short--they are too long--and the hood doesn't really roll into the collar. The cut is pretty slim so if you put fleece under it, the fit is kind of tight (on me at least).
Price Paid: $199 on sale
A very good jacket for backpacking. Very light weight. One of the best hood systems I’ve ever seen. Very well designed details. Strong enough for long year use.
One main problem: strong rain for several hours will cause a wet breast. (still unsolved). The outer fabric doesn't push off water after a few years.
Fabric: 3/2 Layer Gore-Tex
Price Paid: 500.- DM (Ger)
Have owned several Sierra Designs jackets and considering this is supposed to be a high-end product, I am somewhat disappointed. Not very waterproof! The inner lining hangs below the ouside shell. The Gore tape has worn through the lighter fabric.
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Reviewers Paid: $220.00-$399.00
Reviewers Paid: $199.00