Editors' Choice

Marmot Powertherm ½ Zip

This wool/synthetic blend works as a four-season midlayer.

Brand: Marmot Gear Reviews

Model: Powertherm ½ Zip




Features If you can call a baselayer “fully loaded,” then the Marmot Powertherm fits the bill. An ultrathin zipper extends down to mid-chest for effective venting, and a chest pocket fits cash and keys. In frosty temps, an under-helmet hood with face-hugging elastic and a collar that zips up over the mouth add significant warmth.

Fit The trim cut makes it easy to layer under a snug midlayer, though it’s still stretchy enough to wear over an extra-light baselayer, making it more versatile than average. And long-limbed testers loved how the sleeves extended far enough to let them use the thumbholes without any tugging.

Wicking The Polartec Power Wool fabric kept one tester cozy and dry on hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park and a winter’s worth of snowboarding trips. The layered polyester/merino/elastane places the wool next to skin in a gridded pattern, where it sips up sweat. The outer poly layer then pulls the moisture to the surface, where it dries more quickly (the opposite construction of the Voormi, left, but equally effective).

Warmth Despite being fairly thin, it’s still warm down into the teens; credit the heat-sealing features and the air-trapping merino wool inner grid. Worn alone, “the 40s to low 60s are its sweet spot,” says a tester. Ouch: premium features + premium fabrics = premium price. m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL