GearToons

Hiking gear reviews for hikers with short attention spans.

Marmot DriClime Ether Jacket review

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No doubt, my favorite piece of outdoor apparel. The DriClime Ether Jacket, from Marmot, is very versatile and works just like I need it to. While it doesn’t weigh a ton, the 10 ounce weight may seem a little heavier than most jackets it’s size. However, there are actually two layers to this jacket, which is why you have the 10 oz weight.

The exterior is constructed of ripstop nylon with a DWR finish. I’ve snagged this thing on more briars and branches than I can count and still…no rips or tears. Pretty amazing, because it feels so thin. The DWR finish is nice if it’s just a light shower that you’re running through quickly, but I was wearing this on a long hike one day, and the light shower turned into a moderate rain. It lasted for about an hour and my shirt underneath the jacket was a bit too damp for my liking. The jacket is also efficient at blocking the wind, I have found.

The interior is the selling point of this jacket, really. The DriClime wicking material does a great job of pulling the moisture off your stinky, smelly body and dispersing it away from your skin, so that it evaporates faster. This lining is throughout the interior of the jacket, except for a length of about six inches from the cuff hems and inside the hood.

The hood, by the way, is what makes this a bit different from the DriClime wind shirt that Marmot makes. So, if you don’t care for a hood, just check out the wind shirt. If you decided you don’t need to use the hood and want to keep it from flapping around in the wind, you can roll it up and strap it to the collar with a little loop with snaps on it.

There’s a zippered chest pocket with mesh lining that the jacket packs down into. However, you feel like the whole thing is going to burst the seams when it’s all packed down. It doesn’t’ pack down very small, by the way. Perhaps a medium sized cantaloupe, or the head of an Oompah Loompah would be comparable?

The chest pocket has a small hole that you can feed earbuds through in case you want to stick your mp3 player or phone in the pocket and listen to some rad music by Curtis Flow or Duran Duran. That was rad music a long time ago, I think. Right?

The hems of the jacket, including the hood, are elastic and the main front zipper has a pull string to make it easier to grab with big fat gloves on. Also, in the video, you heard me mention the GO>ID kit that I keep on my zipper pull. It’s a really cool little gadget that I reviewed for Brian’s Backpacking Blog ( So look for it to be on there soon.)

I’m 5’9″ and 195lbs, and I think the XL fits very well. If I had chosen a Large, I’m pretty sure I’d be complaining about how snug it is. I don’t need my clothes to help accentuate my obesity. My body does that just fine. Also, I like to layer thinner layers underneath this, so the little extra room works out just fine without seeming to baggy.

I wore this on my hike out to Charlie’s Bunion on the AT with only a short sleeve TNF wicking shirt beneath. It was around 50 degrees and after about 30 minutes of hiking, it felt like a furnace inside. The mesh vents under the arms helped to vent a bit, but the jacket had to come fully unzipped eventually. I’ve worn this out with just a long sleeve Columbia midweight wicking shirt under it in low 30 degree temps and stayed comfortable as long as I was moving. I take this on just about every hike I go on, and thats for a very good reason. It works so well every time I’ve used it, whether it’s on a chilly morning run through the neighborhood or a cold hike through the mountains. If this jacket were a person, I’d call him ‘Jimbo’ and we’d be best friends. Not the kind of friend you call up at 3am to bail you out of jail, but the kind of friend who’d be sitting in jail beside you. A TRUE friend.

So, anyway, that’s my feelings on the DriClime Ether jacket from Marmot. As with everything I review here, I bought this by rolling pennies and selling blood …and the occasional kidney on the black market… and I am under no obligation to say good or bad about it. So there. Run and tell that, homeboy.

-Keith

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