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Marmot DriClime Windshirt Review


Wind Jacket

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Top Pick Award
Price:   Varies from $57 - $95 online  —  Compare at 3 sellers
Pros:  Vicks away sweat, breathes well, very versatile, blocks the wind, durable.
Cons:  Not great in a light rain, not the lightest.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Marmot

Overview

The Marmot DriClime Windshirt is one of the more versatile pieces of clothing we own and gets our Top Pick award. It is hard to know what to call it: a wind jacket, running jacket or performance shirt? It is best for high output activities where the internal fabric sucks up sweat. If you want something for blocking the wind and light rain, go with the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Squamish Hoody, which is half the weight, will keep you dry in a light rain, and seal you off from the elements better.

Or, check out the Patagonia Houdini, which is even lighter and compresses smaller. But if you want jacket for high heart rate activities in cooler temps, go with the Marmot Driclime. Both the Houdini and DriClime windshirt are the two pieces of outerwear we use mostget em both if you can! And, if you want to see how these all compare, check out our Wind Breaker Jacket Review.

The DriClime is ideal for trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing. and high heart rate activities in general. Three things stand out: it does not stick to your skin when you sweat, it blocks the wind, and it is very breatheable. The fact it has a full zipper means you can unzip it almost all the way to ventilate on a steep hill climb. It is optional to wear a shirt underneath it. If you are not wearing a shirt, having it fully unzipped vents it out fast! It has a chest pocket perfect for a phone or MP3 player. Overall, we are quite impressed.

Update - March 2015
The DriClime is now available in new colors; keep reading to compare the changes.


RELATED: Our complete review of wind jackets - men's

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Friday
March 2, 2012

The DriClime Windshirt 2012 vs. The Latest Model of the DriClime Windshirt


On the left is a color from last season; on the right is a new color, peak blue. Marmot has confirmed that the colors are the only change to have occurred since we last reviewed this product.
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge 

Likes


Marmot really invented a whole new category with the windshirt. Few other layers combine a wind blocking outer layer with a very soft and cozy moisture-wicking inner layer. Where softshells are ideal for cold cold weather, the Marmot Windshirt works across a much bigger temperature range.

The Windshirt in one word: versatile. It is usually worn over a shirt but can also be worn without a shirt. The fuzzy inner DriClime "Bi-Component Wicking Lining" feels comfortable against the skin. It feels more like felt than fleece.

The Windshirt is relatively warm and yet also very breatheable. Both the DriClimb inner layer and the polyester outer layer are breatheable. At the armpit area Marmot replaces the polyester with mesh for super bonus breathability. It is ideal for high output activities in cool or cold temperatures. We use it the most when mountain biking or rock climbing. It is relatively abrasion resistant and has withstood a lot of abuse when climbing on Yosemite's El Capitan and the Cascades. It is the layer you see our tester Ian Nicholson wear the most. And since Ian spends 300-plus days a years outdoors guiding and climbing, that says a lot.

The DriClime fabric seems to deal with body odor better than Capilene or other performance shirt fabrics. Yes, it will collect odor. But we feel it at least mutes the odors' potency whereas other fabrics seem to amplify body stink.

It comes in a variety of colors. Most other wind jackets only came in three colors. The DriClime windshirt comes in four.

Dislikes


This jacket just barely packs into its own pocket. But it takes a while and probably will eventually burst a seam. It would be nice if the pocket were just a little deeper to allow for easier packing. That way you could clip it to a climbing harness or more easily stash it in a biking jersey or backpack.

With no hood, this is not a shirt that keeps you dry from than unexpected rain shower. We found the DWR coating did not last that long. After a dozen washings it will repel water for a little while only if it is a very light mist or rain. The good news is that even if the outer layer starts to absorb water, the inner layer can stay dry for a bit. Even better, once the inner layer gets wet, the jacket still works decently well at breathing and keeping you warmish (much better than a soaked thick long underwear layer or fleece jacket).

While it is hard to call this jacket heavy, it is about double the weight of most other windbreakers. This is due to the fact it is essentially two layers in one. If you are obsessed on the most warmth for the weight, get a light merino base layer with a jacket like the Houdini on top. It would give you more protection and warmth for less weight. But that setup would not be as easy to vent or as burly and cost almost twice as much.

Other Versions


Click to enlarge
Marmot Ether DriClime
  • Cost - $110
  • Similar to the Windshirt but slightly more durable exterior fabric
  • Hooded with a side zip pocket

View a Video From Marmot


Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 11, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Mar 6, 2012 - 01:38pm
Lita Collins · Hiker · San Anselmo, CA
This jacket is great for running. It blocks the wind but is still cozy and wicks moisture due to the inside layer. Many windbreakers stick to you skin and get clammy when you sweat but this jacket is great at regulating moisture. Unlike some synthetic fabrics, it does not get the smelly. It is one of the layers I wear the most.

I bought the men's version because I found the women's to be too cropped - it came up too high (the jacket fit well everywhere else). I also didn't love the women's colors. So I opted for the men's small. Most people say it looks too baggy. While I generally go for a more form-fitting layer, in this case, I prefer the looser fit.

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Hiking an unnamed trail in Fairfax with Mt. Tam in the background.


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 11, 2015 - 07:09pm
SteveW · Climber · The state of confusion
It's as they say. One AWESOME piece of layering.
Buy it, use it, love it.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Mar 6, 2012 - 03:00pm
 
Friedo · Climber · South Lake Tahoe
Hands down the best layer I have ever purchased. Warm enough to wear in the winter when the temp is around 35 degrees F, but breathes well enough to wear on a windy summer day. It sheds light rain and snow and performs extremely well in all but the heaviest storms. I actually have 2. one stays in my car at all times, just in case the wind picks up…

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Leif Patterson pose on top of Castle Rock, Lake Tahoe
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