Recently I was in the market for a new insulating layer to add to my current layering system. I have a heavy Down Jacket by TNF, which is great for Winter use, but through the Summer and shoulder seasons, or even in the Winter when stopping for only a few minutes for a break, it’s mostly overkill.
Obviously, I went with the latter. Price point ultimately decided it, as, specifications wise, they are pretty similar. You can find the jacket on Amazon: Marmot Men’s Quasar Jacket, Black, Medium. If I’d gone with the Ghost Whisperer I would have been paying an extra $2.60 for every extra gram of weight saved. Not worth it in my opinion.
Since getting the jacket it’s been with me on nearly every trip into the mountains. I commented on a few of the noteworthy features in the video above, below I’ll mention a few of the jackets pros and cons that I’ve noticed so far.
- Super light, very warm: It almost feels like wearing nothing and I was skeptical as to how warm this would actually keep me. But, the 900 fill down and windproof Pertex fabric works wonders. It’s very warm and insulates excellently.
- Color: This is subjective, but I love the almost metallic finish to the color. In the Backcountry I purposefully choose garments that will stand out against the natural colors of the environment. This serves two purposes; one, they stand out better in photographs, two, if I ever needed to be found by SAR I want my clothes to make it easier for them.
- Durable fabric: I was wary about the super thin fabric used but I haven’t had to baby it at all. I’ve stuffed it in my pack with hard objects like snow probes and shovels and it hasn’t damaged it. The fabric also seems resistant to letting the down bleed out. I’ve noticed no bleeding so far.
- Compact: I could literally ball it up and make it almost fit inside my closed hand. It’s light enough and small enough that there is very little reason for me to ever not have this jacket in my pack.
- Fit: It’s long on the torso. I can understand this as being a benefit in some situations but in most it means the hem works its way below the hem of my waterproof hard shell allowing it to get wet. I usually have to keep the hem draw cords pulled tight to stop this from happening. It’s pretty boxy in the shoulders and waist also. The “Angel-Wing Movement” design that is mentioned on Marmots website causes the armpit area of the jacket to feel a little tight also.
- Insulating material: It’s an assumed drawback but I will mention it. Down stops insulating pretty quickly when it gets wet and I live in the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world here in BC, Canada. We get a lot of rain. The Pertex fabric resists rain but you’d want to get a hardshell over it pretty quickly. When I’m active it absorbs sweat also. So more care needs to be taken keeping this jacket dry than if I’d chosen a jacket with synthetic insulation like PrimaLoft.