Gear Review: Marmot Up Track Jacket

This wind resistant yet breathable softshell is great for layering.

[great for layering]

Wind-resistant—yet very breathable—the Up Track was popular with testers who log lots of vert in exposed places because it delivers a touch of warmth without compromising ventilation. “It’s substantial enough to substitute as a fleece layer, but also keeps me from overheating on the climb up,” reports one wearer who relied on it while scaling Front Range couloirs near Boulder, Colorado. Credit Marmot’s proprietary M3 softshell fabric, a double-weave nylon that balances protection and ventilation thanks to the moisture-wicking weave next to skin and a tight, abrasion- and weather-resistant outer weave (it repelled snow easily, but couldn’t handle a soaking).

A snug hood and high collar provide extra warmth. Three chest pockets—all placed high enough to clear a hipbelt—secure even broad items such as maps, and big vertical pockets inside stash climbing skins. Drawcords on the hood opening and hem, as well as Velcro tabs on the cuffs, cinch those openings and effectively seal out snow and wind.

Overall, the fit is roomy but not loose. In most cases, though, you won’t want to wear more than a baselayer underneath, since the Up Track provides some insulation. Reality check: It’s not as wind-resistant as The North Face Kishtwar or a hardshell, so testers felt chilled by strong summit gusts. $175; 1 lb. 6 oz.; m’s S-XL;