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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Marmot Flurry > Andrew Henrichs > Test Report by Andrew Henrichs
Marmot Flurry Jacket
Test Series by Andy Henrichs
March 12, 2007
Name: Andy Henrichs
Chest: 42 in (107 cm)
Sleeve: 35 in (89 cm)
Neck: 16 in (41 cm)
Email address: email@example.com
Most of my backpacking has been in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, as well as the desert in the southwestern US. I’ve gone winter camping several times, but I still prefer backpacking in the warmer months. Most of my trips are 2-3 days, but I have taken several trips of 5-6 days. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to have thru-hiked the 476 mile Colorado Trail over 35 days. Recently, I have been leaning towards the lightweight side of the spectrum.
Manufacturer: Marmot (www.marmot.com)
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Colors Available: Ionic Blue, Black, Fire, Bonfire
MSRP: $150.00 US
Manufacturers Stated Weight (Size Unknown): 1 lb 5 oz (595 g)
Tester's Measured Weight (Large): 1 lb 13 oz (822 g)
Approximate Stuffed Size: 9.5 in by 9.5 in by 6 in (24.1 cm by 24.1 cm by 15.2 cm)
The Marmot Flurry Jacket is a synthetic insulated jacket filled with Primaloft Sport. According to the manufacturer's website, Primaloft Sport "produces the closest synthetic to down in terms of structure, warmth and feel. The only insulation that treats each fiber with a permanent water repellent finish. Twice as warm for it's thickness than other insulation." The jacket features an attached insulated hood, two Driclime-lined zip handwarmer pockets, one external chest zip pocket, and one internal zip stuff sack pocket. The main zipper features a two-way zipper. Each handwarmer pocket measures approximately 9 in by 9 in (23 cm by 23 cm), the external chest zip pocket measures approximately 6 in by 8 in (15 cm by 20 cm), and the internal zip stuff sack measures approximately 11.5 in by 11.5 in (29 cm by 29 cm) when unstuffed. There is a 3 in (8 cm) wide strip of Driclime lining wrapped completely around the neck, right at chin level. The rest of the lining material is "Flashback P-220." This appears to be a type of ripstop nylon. The shell material is "Cubic P-190." I couldn't find any more information about that specific type of material on the manufacturer's website. There is a small care tag sewn into the lower left interior seam of the jacket. There is an adjustable elastic draw cord hem around the bottom of the jacket. The hood is cut fairly roomy, and also features elastic draw cords around the front edge of the hood as well as one around the neck of the hood. There is a Marmot logo on the back, just below the hood as well as on the upper right sleeve.
I was a little skeptical when I pulled the jacket out of the UPS box. It was fairly compressed and sealed in plastic. Basically, it just looked skimpy. I opened the package and let it loft. Attached to the jacket was three hang tags. One tag had information about a Marmot-sponsored sweepstakes, one had the product name, number, size, and color, and the third had information about the dZi Foundation as well as a list of features found on the Flurry Jacket. By the time I finished going over these three hang tags, the Flurry had fully lofted and no longer looked so skimpy. As we've had a bit of a cold spell recently, I've worn the Flurry Jacket everywhere I've gone this past week. So far, I'm pretty impressed. It has kept me warm while walking around town with temperatures hovering around 15° F (-9° C). It also has blocked the wind quite well while making my 5 minute bike ride home from work at night.
My testing will take place primarily in sub-alpine forests and alpine tundra on the Western Slope of Colorado. I would like to get one backpacking trip to the desert of southern Utah sometime this fall/winter, but I don’t know if it will happen. The testing will take place at elevations ranging from 6000 ft (1800 m) to over 14000 ft (4300 m). I would estimate that the bulk of the testing will be between 9000 ft (2700 m) and 12000 ft (3700 m). Daytime high temperatures will likely range from 20° F (-7° C) to 60° F (16° C). Nighttime low temperatures could dip to -20° F (-29° C) or below, but I expect them to usually be between 0° F (-18° C) and 20° F (-7° C) I expect to experience a wide variety of weather. This could include sun, clouds, rain, snow, and possibly hail.
I will pay particular attention to the following aspects of the Marmot Flurry during the testing session:
Warmth – This is, I suppose, the most important part of any insulated garment. The Marmot website claims that the Primaloft Sport insulation used in this jacket is twice as warm for its thickness than other insulation. That seems to be a pretty bold claim; does it hold up to use? What is the useable temperature range for this jacket when active? What’s the useable range when inactive? I'm starting to get a feel for what this jacket can do, but I have a whole lot more testing before I make any conclusions.
Fit – Based on my limited use, I'm pretty impressed with the fit. It's actually slightly roomier than I expected. I always get nervous ordering a large, because the sleeves are usually too short for me. Not so with the Flurry. I can extend my arms in front of me or overhead and my wrists are never exposed. All I've done so far is walk and ride a bike with this jacket; I'll see if I feel the same after more activities. Will the Angel Wing Movement prevent the waist of the jacket from riding up? Will the neck choke me, or perfectly seal in the warmth? How adjustable is the hood? I’ve owned some garments where the hood cinches up over my eyes when I tighten it up. Will I experience the same with the hood on the Flurry?
Durability – I've noticed a few stray threads poking from the seams. So far, these seem to be purely cosmetic. Will the seams hold up to extensive use? How well will the shell material hold up to abrasions from rock, ice, and ice climbing tools?
Packability – How much space will it save me in my pack when compared to my current behemoth of a jacket?
Water-Resistance – How well does the jacket repel water? According to the Marmot website, each Primaloft insulation fiber is treated with a “permanent water repellant finish.” Will this finish truly be permanent?
Wind-Resistance – How well does the nylon shell repel the wind? Will I feel gusts sneak through the quilt-through stitches? I have a sleeping bag with similar stitching and haven’t had any problems; will this garment impress me as well? Will a single gust of wind suck out all of the warmth?
Accessory Features – Are the hand warmer pockets big enough for my hands even if I’m wearing gloves? How large is the internal zip stuff sack pocket? Is it useable as accessory storage while wearing the jacket? If so, is it big enough for a hat? Gloves? A water bottle?
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report . Please check back then for further information.
My testing has taken place at various locations on the Western Slope of Colorado. Elevations have ranged from 6000 ft (1800 m) to nearly 12000 ft (3700 m). I’ve worn this jacket in temperatures ranging from -15° F (-26° C) to 45° F (7° C). Most of the longer duration testing has been in the 10° F (-12° C) to 30° F (-1° C) range. I’ve worn the Marmot Flurry in wind, snow, and light rain.
I’ve worn the Flurry nearly every day since it arrived. The bulk of the wear has been while biking around town. I have a 5 minute bike commute to and from work, and the Flurry has held up wonderfully. The only time I’ve felt a gust of wind sneak through the jacket was when I forgot to snug up the cuffs. As I don’t have fenders on my bike yet, I’m quite regularly sprayed with dirty snowmelt during my commute. The water always beads up and is easily wiped off with my gloves.
I’ve also worn this jacket on several ice climbing trips. While it’s much too warm to actually climb in, it’s proven invaluable while belaying. Even after standing outside in 15° F (-9° C) temperatures for several hours, I stayed quite warm. Whenever I did start to get chilled, I just flipped the hood up and quickly thawed out. I was very impressed by how well the hood fit over my climbing helmet. The only reason that I don’t regularly belay with the hood up is because the noise created by the helmet rubbing on the liner material prevents me from hearing my climbing partner well.
The Flurry has accompanied me on two overnight backcountry skiing hut trips, but I found that I rarely used it. I was always working quite hard during the ascent, and even when I stopped for breaks in 0° F (-18° C) temperatures, I found that I stayed plenty warm until I was ready to continue. I did find the Flurry very useful once I actually got to the hut. It was great for lounging around the porch of the hut. Nevertheless, it will stay in my backcountry ski pack as a “just in case” item.
I also used the Flurry one day while resort skiing. The temperature was hovering around 10° F (-12° C), and the Flurry kept me plenty warm on the windy lift rides. It proved to be too warm for the descents, however. I had to ski with the jacket partly or mostly unzipped, which still wasn’t enough to keep me from sweating.
Thoughts (so far)
I’m very impressed with the Marmot Flurry so far. It fits quite well, yet still allows plenty of room for layering. For most of my field use, I’ve worn a baselayer, a fleece-lined softshell jacket, and the Flurry. I really haven’t had to snug up the neck or hood to seal in warmth despite the cold temperatures I’ve been in. I’m especially impressed by how well the hood warms me up. The only shortcomings of the hood so far have been problems endemic to all hoods, namely limited visibility and difficulty in hearing things around me. Based on my experiences so far, I would feel comfortable wearing this jacket for an extended amount of time in temperatures down to 10° F (-12° C) when inactive. Frankly, I don’t ever see myself wearing this jacket while very active. I personally pump out way too much body heat to justify it. Even while ski touring in -20° F (-29° C) temperatures I simply didn’t need to wear an insulated jacket. Maybe I’m just a freak. That said, I would feel comfortable wearing this jacket in -10° F (-23° C) temperatures while moderately active (such as walking without a pack, short bike rides across town, etc).
The jacket has proved to be über-durable so far, resisting scrapes from rock, ice, and ice axes. Other than the stray loose threads mentioned in my Initial Report, I haven’t had any issues with the seams. As mentioned earlier, the fabric does an amazing job resisting water and wind. The only time the jacket became damp was when it was stored in the bottom of my pack. A pile of snow fell into the pack, and when I unloaded it several hours later, the shell was completely wetted out. After less than an hour, the shell was dry. The pockets have also functioned very well. The hand warmer pockets are plenty big to store gloves in, and the openings are large enough to fit my gloved hands inside. I typically use the external pocket to store a headlamp or granola bars. I don’t find myself using the internal zip stuff sack pocket very often. It’s the largest pocket, and has worked best for larger or odd-sized items such as books, large maps, and smaller water bottles, which typically go straight into my pack.
The one thing that I don’t like about the jacket is how it stores in my pack. As a synthetic insulation jacket, it’s fairly bulky when stuffed. It takes up more room than I would like, but I found that it actually conforms and packs better when it’s not zipped into the internal stuff sack pocket. In all fairness, it does provide an excellent amount of warmth for the weight and bulk.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
My recent testing has taken place in the Elk Mountains of western Colorado. During the Long Term Reporting session, I've used the Marmot Flurry at elevations ranging from 6000 ft (1800 m) to nearly 11000 ft (3400 m). Temperatures during this portion of the testing session have ranged from approximately 10° F (-12° C) to 50° F (10° C). I've worn the Marmot Flurry in sun, strong wind, and snow.
In addition to serving as my daily around-town jacket, the Flurry accompanied me on several backcountry skiing trips and one ice climbing trip. Again, while ice climbing it is much too warm to wear while actually climbing, but proved invaluable when belaying my partner. One backcountry skiing rip was a solo overnight backpack trip on Huntsman Ridge. I set up my camp at approximately 10500 ft (3200 m). While temperatures remained around 10° F (-12° C) all night, the winds picked up early in the morning. The Flurry worked perfectly that night; keeping me very warm as I stomped out a tent platform, pitched the tent, melted snow, and cooked dinner. It proved to be invaluable the next morning as the winds created a significant wind chill. Again, it kept me warm as I broke camp, packed up my gear, and skied out. On the single-day backcountry skiing trips, the Flurry never left my pack. I got so warm during the skin up that I didn't need to add another layer during breaks. Still, it was nice knowing that it was in my pack, just in case something were to happen.
After so much use during the test session the jacket was getting pretty dirty. It also seemed like it wasn't repelling water as well as it had originally. I followed the directions on the care label and the Flurry came out looking like new. The water repellency also seemed to be fully restored. While going over the jacket after the washing, I noticed that one of the Velcro closures on the wrist cuff is pulling off. Half of the stitching has already pulled off. I think it will be a simple fix, but I was very surprised to find it. Other than that, I haven't noticed any other wear issues with the jacket.
I really like the Marmot Flurry. It's quite warm, very water-repellent, and fits well. I like the fact that the hood accommodates both my ski and climbing helmet. I think the pockets are of good size, but I never really used the internal stuff sack pocket. It was fairly difficult to get the jacket actually stuffed. Once it was stuffed, I had a very rigid, very odd-shaped object. I found that it was easier to throw the jacket into my pack unstuffed, thereby letting it fill space in my pack more efficiently. I'm a huge down fan, but the Flurry definitely holds a special place in my heart. In the future, I'll probably bring a lightweight down jacket along if I'm out on quick, lightweight jaunts. If I expect much moisture or expect to wear an insulated jacket for an extended period of time, the Flurry will be my jacket of choice.
Thank you to Marmot and BGT for giving me the opportunity to test this jacket.
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