If, before we have even started, you are thinking something along the lines of ‘first down, now synthetic, what are these guys talking about?’, then do not fear, have a look at these two very handy articles published on UKC back in 2012, going into a great deal of depth and explaining the ins and out of technical insulation.
If you are well acquainted with the intircaies of outdoor technoilogies, then, well done you and keep on reading, we have some flipping wonderful products for you.
The Calen Hoody is a classic insulation piece suitable for a plethora of activities. It features a polyester ripstop face fabric for durability and protection from the wind, which is also DWR treated to keep off a shower too. We filled it with Primaloft Black, one of the most popular insulation technologies available, which is undoubtedly one of the best in terms of value for money and overall performance.
The hoody has a fixed hood with peripheral adjustment to keep it off the face so you can see what’s going on in all situations. It comes equipped with four zipped pockets (3 external and 1 internal) for efficient storage and we even included a mesh drop pocket inside for goggles, sunglasses, guidebook … whatever you want!
We love the Calen for braving the cold of a spring session at Goldsborough Carr, when we can strip down to our sweater when we are pulling on to the crag, but need that little something extra when hanging around spotting our pals or keeping warm between attempts. We also love it for packing down into a tiny pack for multi-pitch missions in Riglos.
Available in Mens & Womens versions. Also available in hoodless version – Calen Jacket – RRP £110
The Headwall jacket is a new addition to the Marmot collection, launching in autumn 2015. Designed with British winter conditions in mind, it is a superb piece of kit to use in the mountains.
The outer shell is fully waterproof, utilising Marmot NanoPro Membrain technology, just like the Artemis Jacket. It features a new hood construction which is optimised for use with a helmet, but works just as well without, and has a roomy, high-fitting collar to hunker down behind when the spindrift is just too fierce. The insulation that runs throughout the jacket is a brand new and exclusive to Marmot technology from Primaloft, called Primaloft Silver Active. Primaloft Silver active is a very warm, but also very breathable insulation that will not impede the air permeable performance of the NanoPro Membrain outer. In short, it’s packed with clever stuff.
We love the Headwall Jacket for climbing with boundary pushing athletes like Marmot PROS Andy Turner and Robert Jasper when the weather is brutal and we need all the protection form the cold that we can get, whilst still pushing ourselves to our physical maximum. We also love the Headwall as an all-weather belay jacket, perfect for waiting on the ledge of Mousetrap while your partner negotiates the delights of Gogarth for the first time, all the while being pelted by the Irish Seas finest. We love to use it on the hanging stances on our trips to the Verdon in spring time too, and it's also pretty handy for dossing aroud the campsites. We also love the Headwall for wearing every day of the week in the grim winter months when all we can dream of is climbing on rock, and hunkering down behind our collar due to horizontal rain pelting us we leg it from car to office is the closest to spin drift that we are going to get.
Available in Mens & Womens.
The Variant Jacket is one of a number of hybrid styles in the Marmot collection. Pairing Thermal R synthetic insulation with Polartec Powerstretch fleece, the variant offers a super-stretchy, mega warm mid layer option.
The face fabric is durable and wind resistant, a ripstop fabric in fact, to keep your core insulated when your outer layer is unzipped or if you are wearing this on its own. The sleeves and back panel use Polartec Powerstretch, which if you haven’t used before, is simply brilliant. It’s tight weave face and brushed inner keep you warm, whilst allowing it to move freely under other layers. We keep the bulk of the insulation in the front, and the most breathable materials in the back – where your pack will sit.
We love the Variant for bouldering on the grit. We love to layer it with and shell and take it backcountry skiing with all our supplies in tow. We also love it because it looks awesome, that’s ok, right?
You’re on the approach to Viking Buttress, your partner is keen and you are keeping a fair pace up to get to the route first for the best conditions, and you’re sweating. It’s too cold not to wear any form of insulation, but your current jacket just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Enter the Isotherm Hoody.
It’s made with Polartec Alpha, a super lightweight, breathable insulation. The first of its kind in fact. It differs from down or conventional synthetic insulation by allowing moisture vapour to pass through it and therefore keep the wearer comfortable. The face fabric is Pertex Quantum, the most durable ultralight fabric in the Pertex range and on top of that has softshell reinforced shoulders. An adjustable hood, four pocket design (3 external, 1 internal) and athletic cut, really push this jacket to the top of the pile when it comes to choosing a versatile midlayer.
We love to use it for so many things. It comes with us on our winter trips to Catalunya, when sun isn’t always guaranteed and believe us, it has saved our bacon on many a day when the clouds have been thick and the wind bitter cold – managing to put in hard onsights and redpoints in the otherwise impossible conditions. It comes mountaineering with us when are moving fast and light on the Grandes Jorasses underneath our award-winning, air permeable shell – the Artemis Jacket. We also keep it handy for those sub-zero sessions at ‘The Works’, when it really is colder inside than out.
Available in Mens & Womens versions.
We stuck to Polartec Alpha, but this time we used a lighter weight version of it. We stripped back the features with better weather in mind, no hood required. The cuffs use a brilliant lycra fabric to stop pinch points on pumped forearms two thirds of the way into your hard onsight.
We love the Isotherm Half-Zip for multi-pitch routes in the Lakes, breathable enough to keep you comfortable whilst you’re boxed out of your mind (again) on your hardest onsight and durable enough to cope with grappling in the depths of Gwynne’s Chimney. We love it for long days in the Peak District bagging classics at the Roaches. We also love it for sitting in the beer garden at the Old Dungeon Ghyll with a real ale and a generous helping of pie and chips.
Available in Mens & Womens versions.
ADDITIONAL INFO – POLARTEC ALPHA
If you aren’t familiar with Polartec Alpha, then check out this info there's a pretty useful video too.
We are very proud to say that the Isotherm Hoody won an ISPO GOLD AWARD when we launched it in 2013.
You could be the owner of a Marmot Isotherm Half Zip in just a few clicks ... enter the UKC competition here.
Keep an eye out for more of the “Marmot Does …” series to learn more about the Marmot products that are out there for us all to enjoy ... next up is Mountain Packs.