Submitted article by Mike Loomis

I’ve been playing in snow since I was a young lad, growing up in the hills south of Buffalo, New York. Ever heard of the “snow belt” or “lake effect”? Ha! I laugh at them! But it was great training for winters in my current home at nine thousand feet in Colorado.

Every year I see a new batch of jackets and wonder, Is there anything left to improve? So I had low expectations when I received a Marmot Mantra jacket, even though it had two cousins in my closet.

First impression: The weight and construction of the Mantra seemed to be just right. For someone prone to cold fingers, a shell is too lite, and my old bulky parka just doesn’t have the cool factor…

Insecurities aside, this jacket is a shell plus a breathable lining, which made a big difference in both warmth and temperature control. Pit zips, a removable powder skirt, and removable/adjustable hood help too.

Digging deeper, for such a great-fitting, sleek design, there are 87 pockets in this thing! OK, I’m exaggerating a bit—there are five exterior pockets, including one on the sleeve that I decided was my trail map pocket. The four interior pockets include a cool phone/iPod pouch that is well placed and kept my gadget warm (I mean my phone of course).

Technically speaking, the shell is made of Marmot’s MemBrain®, which proved to be waterproof and breathable. The lifetime warranty doesn’t hurt either. With water resistant zippers, I didn’t even miss a covering over the front zipper. It retails for a reasonable (for a ski jacket) $260.

All this to say, my old shell + fleece coat is headed to the thrift store. I will be warm, and much cooler (looking) on the slopes this winter in Marmot Mantra!

BIO: Mike Loomis lives in Winter Park, Colorado with his solar-powered wife, Chris, and their pet moose, Marvin. They get outside every day, and love it.