Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Marmot Ion Windshirt

I have been a fan of the Marmot DriClime Jacket for years. Mid-weight insulation built into a windshell makes for a versatile, lightweight piece of technical outerwear. However, during the warmer months of the year or while engaged in high aerobic activities, the DriClime is a bit too much of a good thing.

So, enter the Ion Windshirt. Essentially, the Ion is the DriClime without the insulation and with the bonus feature of a hood. One of my requirements for any piece of gear is that it be multi-functional. This jacket fits the bill. When not on my back, it easily fits in a pant pocket on multi-pitch rock climbs, is always in a jersey pocket while out for a long road or mountain bike ride, and is around my waist while out trail running. The Ion has also made its way into my winter kit as a vapor barrier layer while out backcountry skiing and ice climbing.

As I have found with many Marmot products, there is excellent attention to detail. The thread count on all seams is high. The hood works very well over a climbing helmet and under a bike helmet and can be rolled up and secured with a simple snap when I want it out of the way. Unlike other windshirts I have owned that cost twice as much as the Ion, the zipper is bombproof. Sure, this adds a few grams to the weight of the jacket, but when things get real in the mountains, a blown zipper on a wind jacket reduce it to a worthless piece on nylon; I’ll take a few extra grams!

Whether out working or playing, there are a few items that live in the top of my pack at all times. With a superb weight-to warmth ratio, the Ion has joined the list. It is hard for me to come up with reasons for not having the Ion close at hand. Well, off-widths at Vedauwoo...but isn’t that what K-Mart sweats were invented for?

Ed Crothers
Colorado Mountain School
AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
AIARE Level 1 Instructor

For more information on this and other great outdoor gear, please visit Marmot.com


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Cool Jacket, bit I think it would look better in some darker colors.

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