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Cicerone’s Joe Williams reviews the Marmot Ether DriClime Hoody, a jacket that isn’t well known to many UK walkers, climbers and runners. The jacket – and its precursor the DriClime Windshirt – is probably the most used, loved, depended on and effective piece of mountain and outdoor clothing he has ever owned. Here he explains why.
More than just a breathable windproof jacket
It is a very simple jacket, comprising an ultralight windproof shell with a thin wicking lining underneath. The lining is very fine fleece – it adds a bit of warmth, but not much. The combination of lining and windproof shell seems to draw moisture away from your body very effectively. There’s two uninsulated hand pockets, a chest pocket that doubles as a stuff-sack and an adjustable hood with elasticated trim that fits snugly around an un-helmeted head.
Marmot have been making this jacket for years in one form or another. My first version was bought in 2006 – a much simpler garment back then.
Things I like about the DriClime Hoody:
Things I don’t like about the DriClime Hoody:
The jacket can be worn as a midlayer, with a short or long-sleeved baselayer beneath for slower moving activities, or it can be worn next to skin for very high output sports. It’s best used for cold-mild conditions. I have used it for:
There are many jackets on the market that are similar to this, such as the Rab Vapour-Rise series, and even the classic Buffalo. But I think the Marmot is the best because of its incredible versatility – you really can wear it for any activity in any season.
Case study: Poland’s Tatras mountains
I was running in the Tatras mountains in southern Poland, heading up from the treeline towards the peaks above. The air temperature was -5C and the air was thick with wet, freezing fog that I’d never experienced before. I pushed the pace through the deep snow, breathing hard and sweating. I was wearing the DriClime Ether Hoody next-to-skin, but despite the horrible conditions and thinness of the jacket I was quite warm and comfortable. I stopped to check if my sweat and the damp, freezing fog were soaking me through – a dangerous situation in these conditions. I discovered the inside of the jacket was bone dry, while moisture simply beaded on the outside fabric.