MARMOT MEN'S ION WINDSHIRT
BY CHRIS BARCHET
November 17, 2009
Seattle, Washington, USA
6' 2" (1.88 m)
175 lb (79.40 kg)
35 in (89 cm)
21 in (53cm)
I began hiking in the mid 80's. I was only 14 when I completed my first 50-miler (80 km). Since then I have hiked on several continents including treks in New Zealand, Patagonia, Europe and Asia. My home range is the Cascades but I have explored most of the western US. I started with heavy packs but now I generally follow moderate to light guidelines for pack weight depending on trip goals. I usually log several hundred miles/kilometers per year including day hikes, backpacking trips, snowshoe trips and ski tours.
Manufacturer: Marmot Mountain, LLC
Web site: www.marmot.com
Product: Men's Ion Windshirt (W's also available)
Size: Large (also available in Sm, Med, XL & XXL)
Year manufactured: 2008
MSRP: $ 65.00 (US)
Weight listed (size not specified): 5 oz (142 g), Actual weight: 5.25 oz (149 g)
Color reviewed: Royal Blue/Navy Blue (available in 2008)
Colors available (2009): Black, Eclipse/Tempest, Forest/Dark Cedar, Fire/Lava, Golden Eye/Burnish
The Marmot Ion Windshirt is a lightweight jacket made from breathable, water-resistant and wind-resistant polyester fabric. The manufacturer's intended use of the garment is an ultra-light packable layer that can be donned to minimize chilling effects of wind.
The fabric is 100% polyester with "Marmot Defender" DWR finish. It has a silky and soft feel. There is no visible laminate on the material. The seams are not taped.
The Ion Windshirt has a full-length zipper in the front and small zippered chest pocket. The chest pocket is equipped with a double pull zipper so it works as a stuff sack.
The hood is made from the same material as the rest of the jacket and has drawstring closures on either side of the chin. The drawstring is elastic and the fasteners are foam tabs. There is also a small strap to secure the hood when not in use.
The cuffs are fitted with elastic. The bottom of the jacket does not have elastic or a draw-chord.
I have used the jacket extensively for over a year in the Pacific Northwest. It is an essential item in my backcountry ski touring gear and day hiking bag. I also use it while fishing and bicycling. It has seen use in almost all conditions including high winds, rain and snow. It is generally worn as my outer layer during aerobic activity.
Temp range - 10 F (-12 C) to 90 F (32 C)
Humidity - Low to High
Wind - 0 to 50 mph (0 - 80 km/hr)
Precipitation - Clear to Heavy Rain to Snow
Very simply put this is one of my favorite pieces of gear. The fabric handles changes of temperature and wind incredibly well. It breathes well enough that it stays dry even when charging uphill. And if it does get wet, like under my pack straps, it will dry very quickly in the air. Plus it keeps the wind effects down significantly. During aerobic activity I only need this jacket and a thin fleece to be comfortable in a range of cool conditions including, moderate wind, light rain and snow.
It is very light and packs small. Not small enough to be comfortable in a pocket but it doesn't take up much room in a pack.
The fabric is silky and has a nice feel against the skin. The trade-off is durability. I am seeing some wear in the chest pocket where I keep hard-sided items like a compass. But, so far, no major tears even after a couple bushwhacking adventures.
The fit is good. The sleeves are long enough to allow free movement but not too long that they get in the way. The elastic keeps them on the wrist where they belong. The cut under the arms also allows free movement of the shoulders. The lower hem sits only a few inches below my waist but it has never felt too short.
The hood is simple but effective. I have used it as ear protection in numerous cases where a knit hat simply wasn't enough to block the wind. The foam toggles are light and effective at securing the elastic chord. I wouldn't switch them for plastic even if I had the choice.
The only negative is the lack of water repellency. The DWR seems to have worn off quickly and attempts to recoat the jacket have been minimally successful. The bottom line is that I don't rely on it for rain protection.
At 5.25 oz (149 g) the Marmot Ion Windshirt is always in my pack when cooler weather is expected. It works to balance the variety of body temperatures and environmental conditions that I have encountered. The fabric breathes enough for aerobic activity while keeping in warmth by blocking wind. It is a simple, comfortable and effective cool weather jacket. However, I would not recommend it for wet conditions.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Chris Barchet