Marmot DriClime Windshirt Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The DriClime attempts to bridge the gap between softshell running layers and single layer ultralight synthetic jackets. Unfortunately, this is tricky territory to enter and to successfully bridge this gap, a high level of design, comfort, and clever problem-solving is necessary. While the DriClime does bridge some of the gaps, it takes a large hit in regards to portability and wet weather performance and is lacking in comfort compared to some of our award winners.
Overall, the added warmth provided by the DriClime is a bit out of step with its ventilation and breathability. Two underarm mesh panels a bit bigger than a closed wallet offer the extent of ventilation with the bulk of the work left to be done by the inherent breathability of the shell. We generally felt like this was adequate until we started working extra hard on hill climbs or intervals. The jackets' ability to shed heat, even on cold days, is easily overcome by cranking hard. When things really start to heat up, the inner liner holds onto moisture more than single layer jackets, and noticeably more than the soft shell layers tested this year.
Initially, drizzle and dew would bead up on the arms and chest of the DriClime. But, like many of the jackets we tested, the DWR coating seemed to fade after a few weeks. Eventually, without reapplying DWR, the DriClime allows moisture to permeate quickly, and the inner layer of the jacket seems to have a high affinity to moisture, not letting it go easily. Where the DriClime seems to hit its stride is on cold-weather jogs around the local city park. The extra warmth added by the inner layer and synthetic shell help to cut the cold when you're not working hard enough to heat things up.
Comfort and Mobility
The DriClime is quite comfortable. The internal liner offers a relatively smooth feel against any exposed skin, and the jacket is cut with a relaxed fit compared to most of the other models we tested. Our 5'11" tester opted for a size large in all jackets, and the DriClime is likely the only one that could have been sized down to a medium. The arm length and ergonomic panels allow for a full range of motion without feeling impeded. We even took this thing climbing on a cold, blustery day and felt comfortable without feeling restricted.
Where many single layer jackets have a massive advantage is in the portability category. The DriClime, however, isn't equipped with a storage pocket and, because of the added liner, likely wouldn't fit into a reasonably sized pocket anyway. Portability is where the disadvantage of trying to bridge the gap between single layer shells and softshells is most apparent. The DriClime is just about as portable as a heavier softshell but lacks the ultra-breathable characteristics. The other side of the same coin is the DriClime being just a bit warmer than single-layer jackets but significantly bulkier.
Bright color options go a long way to boost visibility both during the day and night. That being said, our bar is set high, and 360-degree reflective markings is an expectation to score well in this category. The DriClime doesn't have any reflective markings at all, making it ill-suited for low light situations when running in urban environments.
Overall, the DriClime is a functional running jacket. However, while this layer does have some redeeming features, it's difficult to say that it's a screaming deal at the current retail price. It's reasonable, but there isn't any one attribute that makes it stand out against the competition. Just as the DriClime attempts to bridge the gap between ultralight portable layers and bulky softshells, it also bridges the value gap being neither a screaming deal or a ripoff.
There are a few characteristics of the DriClime we would change if given the opportunity. The snaggy liner, lack of pockets, and relatively poor portability make anything but jogs around the neighborhood a bit of a chore. A few tweaks could help the added warmth and comfort shine, and make this a killer running layer.
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