Gear Review: Marmot Variant Hoody - Backpacker

Gear Review: Marmot Variant Hoody

The perfect jacket for when your hardshell is just too much.


Scenario: You’re huffing up a Fourteener with a big pack on a 20°F day, working up a sweat while also getting intermittently chilled to the core by raw, gusty winds. You want protection but your hardshell would be overkill. Solution: the Variant Hoody. The torso panel of synthetic insulation kept our tester warm in precisely that situation, while the breathable Polartec Power Stretch in the back, sleeves, and hood let heat and sweat quickly escape. “It’s also perfect as a warm weather (50 to 65°F) insulator, either at the top of a windy climb or at night in camp,” says our tester. “Despite the trim cut, mobility is stellar, thanks to the super-stretchy Polartec fabric,” says another. “And I love the long sleeves with thumbholes, which kept my hands protected and prevented gapping when I was wearing gloves. $185; 14 oz. (m’s M); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL;