by Don Wilson | 2005-08-28 03:00:00-06
Marmot has entered the fray of ultralight rainshells with the new Essence Jacket, which weighs in at near 7 ounces (7.4 ounces in size L as measured). The Essence is full-featured with a full zipper with storm flap, generous hood with stiffened brim and single adjustment, drawcord hem, single chest pocket, elastic cuffs and reflective tape. The jacket is cut for an athletic fit, reducing weight and excess bulk.
Marmot uses their proprietary PreCip Plus fabric in the Essence, which Marmot claims is more breathable and compressible than their other rainwear fabrics. Precip Plus uses a microporous polyurethane that is impregnated with silicon dioxide particles. Marmot claims these silicon dioxide particles create small, very consistent holes which allow water vapor to escape, but keep water droplets out. I have had limited use of the jacket so far, so can't yet comment on its breathability performance.
My favorite feature on the Essence is the large, roomy hood. Some other ultralight rain jackets have sacrificed significant hood volume to keep down the total weight, but the Essence has a large roomy hood that covers my head well and has plenty of overhang on the brim. The generous hood will be much appreciated in long slow rains or windy squalls. The Essence is a significant entry in the ultralight rainshell group, competing directly with the leading jackets on features, weight, quality and price.
In 2006, Marmot will make available an anorak version of the Essence jacket. Marmot lists the anorak at 7 oz (199 g), but lists the jacket at 9 oz (256 g). Our size large Essence jacket is 7.4 oz, so it seems likely that the anorak will weigh in below 7 ounces. With the exception of the zipper, the features on the anorak are identical to the current jacket.
"Marmot Essence Rainshell SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Don Wilson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/marmot_essence_rainshell_spotlite_review.html, 2005-08-28 03:00:00-06.