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Reader Reviews

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Marmot Ion

in Clothing - Wind & Soft Shell

Average Rating
2.47 / 5 (15 reviews)

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kevin davidson
( kdesign )

Mythical State of Jefferson
The best windshirt in the world? Updated 2007 on 11/14/2005 19:38:03 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

The following is referring to the 2005 Ion.

The good news is that I found that holy grail of UL wind shirts---a hooded windshell in Pertex Quantum with a full zip.

It "breathes" fantastically well, light rain beads up on it better and longer than any other shell this light I've used with this amount of breathibility. Weighs 3.2 oz. in Large. I like it better even than my old Chinook, which I had been pretty happy with. The cut is "athletic" but room for
baselayers. It is barebones function--it doesn't even have a waist drawcord to cut off( which I usually do). Cuff and bottom hem are elasticised.

The fly in this ointment is that Marmot in it's infinite wisdom has discontinued an almost perfect product.

This(2005 model) really deserves a solid 5 out of 5.

Model years, since then---
However, since this model year, the specs have changed twice. In 2006, Marmot went with a far less breathable variant of fabric, which accounts for many of the negative reviews below. In 2007. the fabric is Banshee P-170 which I believe is a polyester similar to that used in the old Marmot Chinook which breathed pretty well. It also now has welded seams, which on paper, would be laudable for a windshirt, making it more water resistant. The verdict is still out on whether the New Ion is a return to the quality and attributes of the original.

Therefore, I'm giving the Ion a revised 3 (a la Guide Michelin when a great restaurant gets a new chef---you get put on probation)

Edited by kdesign on 07/03/2007 15:37:13 MDT.

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Patrick Haynes
( lphthree )
Great things don't always last... on 11/16/2005 21:12:59 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I also was looking for a hooded windshirt, but it had to be at least as breathable as Pertex Quantum. I purposely overlooked the Ion's predecessor, the Chinook, as it seemed to be a redundant piece in my kit at the time. When it came time to look again at hooded, unlined, full-zip windshirts, I found just that in the Ion. My "Small" weighs 2.5 ounces without tags and labels and after snipping the two metal zipper pulls from pocket-*BEEP*-stuff sack. Having a locking zipper on front made me think twice about snipping that one. Regarding fit; I finally found what I'd call an "athletic fit", meaning long enough torso & arms but not a baggy fit. I finally got all I was searching for in one package. I'm not married to any one manufacturer, so with garments, I look for performance of fabric and fit. Unfortunately, I can't even get the latter from one single manufacturer, across their lines. For all the hype around "fast & light" and "breathable" this and that, it does one little good if the baggy fit compromises the very performance the brand is touting. To think that all the hype is to sell to and fit non-users for to-the-brew pub, film fest etc. is just plain sad.
Negatives? only one, zipper catches on it's fabric, so one has to be pretty careful, especially when layering up for bed time.

Cris Reifsteck
( unsuperguy )
Like discovering plutonium by accident. on 03/11/2006 14:28:37 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

For a long time, I found it hard to justify carrying a wind shirt and an O2 Rainshield jacket. It seemed like a redundant combo. But the Ion just gets everything right and it is well worth the 3 oz 'penalty' of having to carry it. If I lived in Australia I'd say it's bonzer, but I live in California so I guess I'm required to say it's rad. Get one.

Edited by unsuperguy on 03/11/2006 14:44:27 MST.

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Brett .
( Brett1234 )

Mine is silicon coated? on 01/03/2007 09:21:37 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

2nd Edit: After numerous inspections by BPL members I believe the consensus is this is coated nylon, not uncoated pertex. For erroneous technical description of the product, resulting in what is basically a very expensive plastic jacket, they get a 1.

Edit: A few of us are investigating if this jacket is truly Pertex Quantum, or silicon coated nylon. This type of PQ evidently is ripstop nylon, but a silicon coating would reduce its permeability. I give it a "3" for now; it is water-resistant but not breathable.

Original review follows:

My new Marmot Ions appear and behave exactly like siliconized nylon. As two other posters have noted, these (at least the new ones shipping now) appear and behave exactly like siliconized nylon. The tag says 100% nylon. They have that slippery shiny coated feel and appearance of sil-nylon. Side by side with my other sil-nylon, it looks exactly the same. It has 0 breathability (the air permeability test), quite unlike my real Quantum Pertex, (in my Snugpak sleeping bags).

I tested the Ion and my Hyvent TNF DIAD in identical conditions and layers at 5'C, only changing the shell; the DIAD vented my body moisture, the Ion quickly built up condensed moisture inside the fabric (of course, sil-nylon is non-permeable). Real Pertex would vent it easily.

I am convinced it is sil-nylon. Buyer beware.

Edited by Brett1234 on 02/14/2007 21:49:14 MST.

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paul johnson
( pj )

LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Lyin' Ion has me sighin'...cryin'... on 01/06/2007 13:23:25 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

My Black Ion came from BCO, not Campmor.

As far as recent purchases go, this one is definitely money well wasted.

It too, like those Ion's others purchased from Campmor, has down hidden somewhere in it , according to the label, but i can't seem to locate any (i gotta' compliment Marmot on hiding that down so well). I think that i got ripped off - no down in my Ion!

I believe that Marmot is using very rare 0FP (zero fill-power) down. This is supposedly even rarer than Eider down if i'm not mistaken. The good news here is that even IF this down was collected before molting, a) it wasn't doing the birds any good anyways, and b) i don't think the collection process of only removing 0FP down from the bird was overly traumatic for them. It's good to know that Marmot has a conscience (rare for most large companies) when it comes to the down that they advertise as being used in their Ion.

The material that my Ion is made from seems to be totally unbreathable. I can neither inhale through it, or exhale through it. If i were to wrap it tightly around my face, i would suffocate.

A little later i will attempt two things (NO, not the suffocation test!!):

1) try to carry some water in it, and then squeeze the water filled Ion "bladder" to see if any squeezes through (it might be a nice triple use for an unbreathable Ion - windshirt, water carrier, and suicidal suffocation device; perhaps Marmot will begin to market it as such);

2) try breathing through my Montane Aero (Pertex Quantum fabric), and the top of a BMW Vapr Nano Bivy.

This Ion i have feels and looks markedly different than the PQ mat'l used on the top of the BMW Vapr Nano bivy. This stuff reminds me more of GoLite Wisp/Ether fabric.

I'm beginning to think that i received, the O.P. version of the Ion, either that or maybe i have my very first VB Shirt?

All is not dark and gloomy, however. On the up side, this fabric is so tightly knit and heavily coated (it seems to be coated, at any rate), that i'm pretty confident that none of that down that is mentioned on the Ion's label will leak out (any feathers might have some trouble too).

Sorry, i can't comment on the performance of the Ion, as the size M that i ordered, is simply TOO SMALL to fit on my jumbo dwarf frame. One look at me and NO ONE would guess that I'm really a size L cleverly disguised in a jumbo dwarf package! Well, i guess that i'd be an L or XL in the little people size range.

Fortunately, the size M fits my 102lb wife just fine, though some bust compression is necessary to complete the zipping operation. Fortunately, she's taller and thinner than i am, so at least i didn't have to go through the trouble of sending it back.

I give it a '1' b/c the system won't let me give it either a ZERO or a negative number.

Edited by pj on 01/19/2007 05:19:25 MST.

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Ken Bennett
( ken_bennett )

southeastern usa
Different Ions on 01/17/2007 18:04:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

I just received my Marmot Ion jacket from Campmor, and I agree with the two most recent posts. I don't think it's sil-nylon, exactly, but my hiking test had water beading up on the inside while walking *downhill* in cool weather (over a very light wool base layer).

Compared to my lovely wife's 2-year old Ion jacket, the new one feels and looks very different. Her older jacket would rate a solid FIVE -- it's a terrific jacket, very breathable, very light, and with a full zipper and hood. Perhaps the factory made an error in the fabric, or maybe they switched to a different Quantum fabric. Not sure, but the new one is going back to Campmor.

james solomon
( dralahiker )

Southeast USA
Campmor version of Ion not Quantum on 01/18/2007 19:57:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

The comments above explain my perplexion with the Ion - it's highly water resistant, but breathes noticably less than my old Marmot Chinook. I just happen to have a pair of Montane Featherlite rain pants of Pertex Quantum. After about 20 min. of light rain hiking on fairly levels trails, the difference became apparent, sadly. Too bad some thorny bush in Peru added venitlation to my Chinook and reduced the water resistance.

Perhaps Marmot got a great deal on the type of Pertex Quantum used in it's sleeping bags and transfered it to the Ion. That would explain the "down proof" label, and reduced breathability compared to the type of Quantum that Montane uses. Ah well, the Ion can be my loaner windshirt.

Has anyone written Marmot an inquiry?

Edited by dralahiker on 01/18/2007 20:05:12 MST.

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Michael Coulter
( azhiker )

The Marmot Ion Vapor Barrier on 02/14/2007 08:09:57 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

I ordered a large Marmot Ion from Campmor when they were having their $55 while supplies last sale.

What I liked:
- athletic fit (5'11", 185lbs)
- front pocket
- light weight at 3.5oz
- hood with drawstrings

What sucked:
It's a vapor barrier. It did not breath at all. After a just 10-15 minutes of hiking in cool weather on a slight incline, I took teh jacket off and I was soaked. This was with the zipper zipped down half-way.

This material is obviously not Pertex Quantum. It does not feel like the correct material. I am pretty much turned off from Marmot because I can't trust them. They need to recall these fake jackets and Campmor needs to stop selling them.

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Andrew King
( drewboy )

Pertex Quantum breathable shirt (NOT!) on 02/15/2007 09:36:48 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I'll have to mirror the recent comments about the Marmot Ion purchased from Campmor. I really like the fit and functionality of the jacket. It is an incredible amount of warmth in windy conditions for the weight. But I cannot wear it very long when active due to the poor breathability. After a moderate 45 minute climb in 50-60 degree weather I was literally swimming in condensation inside the windshirt. I would have loved to try out one of the originals that captured all the glowing reviews. Sadly, it looks like those days are gone forever and Marmot has moved onto a heavier windshirt with a wicking lining. An UL version of the driclime, if realized, would be pretty sweet though!

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Miles Barger
( milesbarger - M )

West Virginia
Campmor version is terrible on 02/18/2007 12:15:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

Man, what a disappointment. I, too, got stuck with the Campmor version of the Ion. I'm quite thin and short-waisted, so the Ion's athletic cut and short length were great for me. The fit of the garment is the only reason I'm not giving it a 1.

As for the fabric, what can be said that hasn't already been said by some of the other reviewers here? It doesn't breath. At all. Not a single drop of moisture can escape from the fabric as far as I can tell, making it completely useless as a windshirt. Marmot really should issue a complete recall of and refund for these garments, as this kind of snaffu has made me question whether or not I really want to own another Marmot product again.

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evan parsons
( freestyleparsons )

Dowtown LA
Perhaps the issue is perspective? on 02/23/2007 23:38:07 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I too have purchased the Ion and received it only to be shocked by the materials lack of breathability an dvery short cut, but after re-evaluating what I'm holding in my hands, I think I may have a perfectly worthy piece of gear.

Instead of a heavily breathable light wind shirt, I think I have a great summer shell. In a case when I expect no heavy rain, this is going to be a great outer layer, that will resist light rain and break the wind. I imagine that with this 3.4 oz jacket, I'll be fine with just a thin wool base layer. This means I can leave any insulating jacket and my rain shell behind.

Then again, maybe I'm just being positive...

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Sam Haraldson
( sharalds )

Gallatin Range
Sweaty and Short on 03/08/2007 09:32:07 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've been wearing my 2006 Ion lately while biking. It's winter here so I've been wearing it layered over my U.L. Thermawrap and after a steady, sweaty climb uphill there is significant sheen of perspiration between the outside of the Thermawrap and the inside of the Ion.

I've only had the Ion for a week now so not soon enough to make any real judgements but I can safely report about it's breathability in this one situation. I ordered a size large and wearing it alone it comes down to just my waist. When wearing the Thermawrap underneath there is a significant gap between the two as teh Themawrap hangs just below the waist as an insulating layer should.

I do however have a good thing to say about the Marmot Ion windshirt. It does in fact do an excellent job of stopping the wind. A recent fast bicycle ride in temperatures around the 20s proved quite warm with the above combination of clothing. Usually there is significant wind felt on my arms and chest but with the Ion that is cut to the barest minimum.

Edited by sharalds on 03/08/2007 09:56:14 MST.

Orest Kawka
( techgeek )
Marmot playing games with Ion? on 07/03/2007 09:17:16 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

This isn't a review but more of a recent observation that all of you might be interested in hearing about. I recently saw the Ion windshirt on sale at REI. I have been looking for a lightweight, breathable, and approx. waist length windshirt that I could use for both aerobic activities, sailing, and for emergencies. Liking what I saw with the Ion, I came across your site with the above reviews. I went back to REI and inspected the jacket. I noticed two things. First, the Marmot label says that it is an 'updated fabric', but doesn't say what it is - very strange. Then I also noticed that the jackets also have large Driclime tags on them touting its breathability. BUT, Driclime is a knit fabric as in their Driclime windshirt. The Ion has NO such layering. This sounds like it might be a direct response to the above complaints; but rather than improving the breathability of the jacket, Marmot just tossed a new DriClime tag on it. Is this marketing gone haywire? Is it a mistake? Or is it just plain old deceptive advertising? The fact that it also states on the other (non-DriClime) label that it is an 'updated' fabric tends to indicate that Marmot is being very evasive (deceptive?).

I also looked at Marmot's website. They also list an "updated fabric" notation on it, but, once again, without saying what it is. Luckily, they at least don't state that it is DriClime on the website. That would be bad. I am going to give Marmot a call today to see what they have to say.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Marmot DriClime Windshirt - Boy's priced at: $26.53 - $44.95
Marmot DriClime Windshirt - Women's priced at: $27.00 - $95.00
Marmot DriClime Windshirt - Men's priced at: $62.93 - $95.00
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Sab .
( sabme - M )

Heavy. Recommend me a Wind Vest? on 07/04/2007 05:39:09 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I generally like Marmot but don't believe in everything they do.

I loved my Chinook, extremely breathable, fast drying & lightweight. Liked the hood for extra sun protection but annoying when not in use, constantly caught by the wind. I'd give it 3.5 to 4 out of 5.

Ordered a new Ion this year, definitely not Quantum fabric. Liked color, fit & price apart from still being a bit short in the torso BUT definitely didn't appreciate the weight increase.

My medium weighed around 135 grams (4.8 oz). As this was significantly more than stated on my retailers site I sent it back.

Can anyone recommend a nice looking, athletic fit, windproof vest?

I need a wind vest more than a wind shirt.

As far a other Marmot products go if you're considering buying a Marmot Wave sleeping bag go for something from Mountain Hardwear instead much better insulation distribution.

Edited by sabme on 07/04/2007 05:40:34 MDT.

Patrick Young
( lightingboy )

2007 Model on 03/20/2008 13:46:09 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've had my '07 Ion Windshirt for over a year now and it has served me very well. In temps. from 14F to 30F when I'm working hard (snowshoeing in 18" of snow uphill)I find that it breathes rather well and shedds snow just fine. I have Revive-Xed it on a couple of occassions and have been pretty happy with it. I did get it for $25.00. I am dissappointed in the weight 4.8oz but it was a bargin.

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