Marmot Exum Jacket
The Exum Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best waterproof jackets for 2023.
Well, first off, let's just say I don't baby my gear; I like to let it help me go places I wouldn't normally go, or wouldn't normally like to go. This jacket helps me do that.
It's made of very light and very tough Gore-tex Pro-shell fabric, with my size "small" siting at 14 oz. The hood adjusts perfectly with one hand, locks tight, and it's stiffened wire brim holds hard in a strong wind. On the other hand, it takes repeated crunchings into my pack without any memory in the wire. All of the Exum's zippers and vents are waterproof; not just "highly water resistant," but waterproof. I used the dry-toilet-paper-in-the-pockets test to test this. Water made it through to the paper when I set a garden hose to it, though I'm not entirely sure the cause was water through a zipper.
Much noticeable when compared to regular Gore-tex is the texture of the mini-ripstop Gore-tex Pro-shell fabric Marmot uses--it really has a great weight and drape to it. It "feels" more supple (because it is) and heavy (because it's more supple)than regular Gore-tex, but it actually weighs less per yard. It resists abrasion like crazy, too.
I had to hole up under a huge granite slab to dodge some hail once, and I thought I had torn a huge hole in the back of the jacket in the process. I had done nearly the same thing last year with a Marmot Precip jacket--and tore it in a couple places in the process. This time, though, the Exum didn't even scuff. There was a mark from the moss that was hanging out on the granite, but that cleaned up with some water back at camp. I was impressed.
The jacket packs up nearly next to nothing. I can fit it into a Nalgene, or the lid pocket on my Golite Infinity. The cut is awesome, being both athletic in the chest and hips, and fuller in the shoulders and arms. This, according to their website, allows wearing a fleece or softshell underneath; I find the room enough for a light down jacket, and I'm 6'1", 160 lbs. This is with a size small. I can put my arms above my head without exposing my stomach--the cut on the jacket is that good. I have no reason to believe this jacket wouldn't be perfect choice for all but the worst mother nature could throw at you--places like Antarctica, or Tibet, or some other really cold place I couldn't even imagine.
The Exum is also unlined, and really unbelievably light, so it works well over just a t-shirt in hot weather. The Pro-shell fabric breathes much better than any other Gore-tex product I've used, and I've used a few. On hot summer mid-afternoon rainstorms, this jacket will be a lifesaver. No clammy skin!
The only way this jacket could be any better, would just be to shave off another few ounces; to do so is really impossible, however, so factor that consideration in as well. With the steepandcheap.com price I paid for it, I couldn't have asked for more.
Fabric: Gore-tex Pro-shell mini-ripstop
Price Paid: $150
first impressions of my new bad-weather shell. it has not yet seen the sub-zero bluster of winter on mount washington, but i wore it for several hours of walking, soccer and standing around in heavy rain and high humidity this weekend. dropped twenty degrees while a front passed through.
things i like: tremendously lightweight, weighs less than a pound; simple, not a ton of bells and whistles; completely waterproof and windproof; new generation of gore tex really does breathe better, and easy to regulate temperature with pit zips; outstanding hood that is cut well and easy to adjust; front pockets are reasonably spacious and are in the right place for access while carrying a pack. in other words, a lot to like.
things i will need to get used to: sleeves feel a tad long, which should be great in deep winter, but felt funny at first; bendable wire in the brim of the hood should be great for super-nasty weather, but i wonder if it will last over time.
a great start - i'm very pleased.
In other words, a lot to like.
Update: February 26, 2009
This is a follow-up interview after six months of use, including a trip up the Presidentials in New Hampshire in January.
Now, my reaction is "wow." I wore this jacket with multiple layers in weather than ranged from zero to minus 25 fahrenheit, in winds that were steady at 80 mph and gusting to around 100. I wore it with a heavy pack and bashed through heavy, snow-covered branches overhanging trails & rime-covered scrub above the treeline.
The hood was fabulous with goggles and the high wind; the jacket was truly windproof and breathed much better than my old gore tex shell. no rips, tears, abrasions, blown seams, or failures of any kind.
Fabric: gore tex pro shell
Price Paid: $187
Check my full review here: http://twofeetstuckoutside.blogspot.com/2010/10/marmot-exum-only-one-complaint.html
But to sum it all up, this is one burly jacket. It breathes very well, protects even better, has great pocket positioning, and fits very well. I do miss having a snow skirt, but this jacket isn't necessarily made for dropping through 5 foot of powder snow.
For climbing and backpacking, it can't be beat.
Fabric: Gore Tex Pro Shell
Price Paid: $175
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