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Marmot Kingpin Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars

The Kingpin Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best soft shell jackets for 2024.

photo: Marmot Kingpin Jacket soft shell jacket

My jacket of choice for pretty much any condition.


  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Bombproof
  • Windproof


  • A little stiff in some spots
  • Don't like black interior fleece

I bought this jacket on Altrec for 50% off, amazing deal considering how much I love this jacket.  I was looking high and low for a jacket that resembled my Mountain Hardwear Brono softshell, as I had purchased it several years ago and wore it frequently and loved the versatility of the waterproof/windproof/breathable material, but felt it lacked a hood, an essential feature for rainy fall/spring days and warmer snow days in Utah.  

I looked high and low to find something with a similar softshell weight as the brono, with an athletic alpine fit, and finally found the Kingpin.  It's a fantastic softshell.


Fits extremely well.  I'm 5'10" 160, slim, and the small fits close to my body.  Not much room for layering, but I don't tend to layer a lot anyways, and prefer piece of outerwear if possible.  It's very comfortable and extremely supple in the arms, but the torso fabric is a bit stiffer.  It's thicker, warmer, and more windproof, but can be stiff.  The only time this can be annoying is around the neck.  The jacket zips up VERY high, almost to my eyes if I do it all the way, and when unzipped, the flaps can get annoying at times.  Other than that, fit and comfort is perfect

Very water resistant, never had it leak on me in moderate rain and snow.  I've never taken it into a downpour, but I expect it would do fine for a reasonable amount of time.  The water just beads up and rolls off, and the waterproof zippers work flawlessly.

Very breathable.  I sweat quite a bit, and overheat quickly.  This jacket does a good job of breathing and exporting the sweat.  I get wet armpits frequently, and although I know it's a softshell, I do wish there were pit zips.  I know, I know, that's the point of a softshell, but it would be welcome after my daily hard climb to campus on my bike.

Warm.  For its weight, it's warm.  This is also an effect of windproofness, but the fleece insulation is good.  It's not incredibly soft, and can be a bit abrasive on the skin after being worn down, but it's not static cling crap either.  Good balance.

I've layered with another fleece, or long sleeve thermal, and it works, but there isn't a lot of space.  Had I wanted a layering piece, I would have bought a size up, medium. 

Very durable, excellent construction.  Absolutely no complaints there.  I'm quite picky about the construction of my gear, and this is top notch.  Zippers are a bit stiff, and I don't really like the arm pocket, it's just not useful, and I wouldn't want anything in there anyways for my purposes, but they are all constructed well.


I really don't like the black color fleece inside.  In the Marmot ROM, they use a grey color, which I would have preferred.  Black gets all dirty, especially since I have dry skin.  

I don't like how stiff the flaps around the neck are.  Part of this is the stiffer waterproof zips, and part is how tall the jack zips up.  Not a huge deal.

The contrasting softshell weights are a little too different.  The torso is a thicker softshell material than the arms and the waist area, and I wish the two weights were a little more similar.  It gets floppy in the thinner areas, and stiff in the thicker areas.  Over time it breaks in, but it feels a bit weird at first.

Overall, excellent jacket.  Not sure I would pay the 275 full retail, but it would be tempting.  I love the jacket.  Great buy for $200 or less

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130

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.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $189

Excellent jacket that is almost perfect. Light weight and packs easily into my backpack. I have had the jacket for about 2 months now. Jacket keeps me very warm and the pit zips are a nice touch. I haven't tested it out in the rain so I don't know how water proof the jacket is.

One of the only cons in my opinion is that they should've added a pocket on one of the arms.

Overall a great jacket that is light weight and keeps you warm. I like this jacket better than my Arc'teryx MX. Purchased my jacket on sale at backcountry outlet.

Price Paid: $137.97

This jacket is one of my favorites, thanks.


  • Looks badass, and catches the eyes of the ladies
  • Big pockets for bigger flashlights
  • Keeps me dry in the southeast Alaskan rainforest


  • The cops can see you a mile away
  • Once you're seen in this jacket you won't be forgotten
  • It doesn't have an invisibility feature

Great work guys, keep it up.

Source: I traded a booster some shards

I love my Kingpin Jacket. I use it in all conditions and I wore it all winter long. With a polar under it, I was comfortable even at -25 degres celcius. It is perfectly waterproof. I don't leave home without it!

Price Paid: 260$ can

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Price MSRP: $260.00
Historic Range: $103.95-$274.95
Reviewers Paid: $130.00-$189.00
Weight 1 lb 5.5 oz / 609.5 g
Main Material Polartec®Power Shield® 88% Nylon, 12% Elastane 6.1 oz / yd, Softshell WPB 100% Nylon Plain Weave 7.7 oz / yd

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