So the really cool folks at Marmot sent over a Stretch Man for us to give a look see. The surprise for me was that the Medium size jacket fit me almost perfectly. So thus, I got to test it out, much to Josh’s chagrin.
What’s cool about this jacket is that no mater how you twist or move, no matter what you’re doing, it can handle it. This is especially nice when doing something that requires straining and reaching, like hiking and climbing, where the Stretch’s 4-way stretch fabric means it moves with you. It also has Marmot’s water proof technology’s versatility. Marmot MemBrain 2.5 waterproof and breathable fabric is a marvel, keeping the inside from steaming up while keeping the rain from soaking in. It’s fully seam taped. Even the zippers are water resistant. I really dug the pack pockets, which you can cram full of stuff without the jacket feeling awkward.
Marmot lists alpine climbing, camping, climbing and bouldering, and hiking as this jacket’s forte, but I used it trail running, (and running from my Jeep to the office). Under a number of other strenuous activities, the stretchable nature and good breathability made working up a sweat no problem. The thing about this jacket is that as a shell, it surpasses many higher dollar hard shells I’ve tested. The versatility means that I think it can easily go beyond what Marmot claims it can do, acting as a shell in really bad weather when teamed with good insulation. That said, by itself it’s so breathable, it can serve for hard exertion in rainy conditions whenever you need that layer. In other words, this is a four-season jacket in many ways, and that might help with the value prospect necessary to drop the $260 Marmot asks for this stretchable wonder.
If you’re after a jacket that can do anything and like Marmot’s reputation for quality, you’d be hard pressed to do better than the Stretch Man.