Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot DriClime Windshirt Review

This is an insulated running layer best suited for cold dry climates.
Marmot DriClime Windshirt
By: Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 10, 2017
Price:  $95 List  |  $66.46 at Backcountry - 30% Off
Pros:  Warm, breathable, good wind resistance
Cons:  Heavy, no reflective material, less water resistant
Manufacturer:   Marmot
50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Breathability - 30% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 5
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 7
  • Portability - 15% 3
  • Visibility - 15% 2
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  • 2
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Our Verdict

As one of our past top performers in cold weather climates, we had high hopes for this jacket. While it did perform well in very cold temperatures the Marmot DriClime jacket actually turned out to be our go-to jacket for casual excursions around town. We found ourselves constantly picking this jacket out of the lineup for a quick jaunt to the grocery store on colder mornings. While the insulation layer aided in cutting through the early morning chill it made running performance dependent on having very cold temperatures. It was too easy to overheat in this bulky running layer to make it a dedicated running jacket. Compared to the rest of the field the DriClime had a very narrow temperature window where it performed adequately. Unlike the rest of the field, this model had an extra layer built in, reducing our options for gradually stepping down the amount of warmth retention. Overall, the DriClime is best suited to be a warm, stylish, casual jacket for around town and reserved for running with on cold days below 35 degrees.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Hands-On Review


As last year's top pick for cold climates, we wanted to try and stretch the DriClime's legs and see what else it could do. By the end of our arduous testing period, we found out that, indeed, the Marmot is best suited for cold climates and not much else. If you're looking for jackets that are better suited for all around climates check out the Outdoor Research Boost and the Arc'teryx Incendo. Both of these jackets allow layering underneath and give you a much wider range of climate control than does the DriClime Windshirt If we were banished to a frozen wasteland and had to choose one jacket to shield us from the cold weather runs, this might be the one that we take with us.

Performance Comparison


Salt Lake City is an ideal place to find a running jacket that is equally at home on city streets as it is on the trails.
Salt Lake City is an ideal place to find a running jacket that is equally at home on city streets as it is on the trails.

Breathability


In the previous OutdoorGearLab running jacket review, the Driclime Windshirt was tested in a much colder environment in the north east and it performed well. This go around, we tested this jacket in temperatures ranging from 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit and didn't have the same success as in the much colder temperatures.

The underarm mesh panels were the only vents on the DriClime Windshirt. We found ourselves wanting more ventilation.
The underarm mesh panels were the only vents on the DriClime Windshirt. We found ourselves wanting more ventilation.

When we hit the hills, even on very cold days, the DriClime was just too warm. We felt comfortable right out of the door even before we had warmed up, even on days in the mid 30's. Many of the jackets we tested allow for more layering than the Marmot, simply because the Marmot has a built in insulation layer. As soon as we warmed up, the jacket couldn't handle the extra heat and moisture. Because of its extra, built-in layer, we found layering to be uncomfortable and make the jacket feel too restrictive.

Though the coldest we ran in this jacket was about 35 degrees, we feel that it might be best suited and come into its own in an even colder environment. As it stands, we found adequate warmth and protection from most of the single layer jackets in our review, especially when we could add a layer which was removable to dial into our comfort level. The DriClime does have underarm mesh for venting but we didn't find it to be adequate compared to how much insulation the jacket provided. The insulation layer doesn't mirror the vents and traps a tremendous amount of warmth.

The insulating liner of the DriClime is soft and comfortable  and runs along the entirety of the jacket  including to the elastic cuff in the sleeves.
The insulating liner of the DriClime is soft and comfortable, and runs along the entirety of the jacket, including to the elastic cuff in the sleeves.

In very cold temperatures, the mesh allows air to disperse excess body heat and regulate body temperature. The inner lining captures body heat remarkably well, so it's important to think carefully about how many layers you put on underneath the DriClime before you head out - wear too many layers and you'll be sweating so much it doesn't matter how breathable this piece is designed to be.

Bottom line: at sub-freezing temperatures, the mesh panels in the armpits helped tremendously, but when we tested this piece at temperatures of 45 degrees or more, we just started roasting. In these warmer temperatures with little or no wind, our body heat couldn't disperse quickly enough and we could feel moisture building up inside the piece. A five-mile run in mild 40-degree weather was tolerable, but we definitely wouldn't recommend the DriClime in temperatures above 40 degrees.

Weather Resistance


While we found the DriClime to be a more than adequate shield from the wind, its water resistance was poor. The material itself seemed very resistant to water but as water drained down the jacket, it would encounter seams that channeled water into the jacket.

The DriClime's water resistance is based on a DWR finish  but we found it left much to be desired. It can hold up in a light rain  but in heavy precipitation you're going to be soggy.
The DriClime's water resistance is based on a DWR finish, but we found it left much to be desired. It can hold up in a light rain, but in heavy precipitation you're going to be soggy.

As water permeated the jacket, it saturated the insulation layer inside the jacket. The two runs we went on one in light rain and the other in moderate rain resulted in incredibly uncomfortable results. The inner insulation layer becomes saturated and heavy and doesn't dry. Once the inner layer is wet, the only real solution was to put the jacket in the drier. The positive side of having the insulation layer was comfort around town and a feeling of superior wind protection. The wind that did permeate the jacket was less impactful because of the extra buffer created with the inner layer of polyester.

One issue is the underlapping seams on the chest of the DriClime. Water drains down your chest and into the jacket as it encounters the seam. It's essentially the opposite of the shingles on your roof.
One issue is the underlapping seams on the chest of the DriClime. Water drains down your chest and into the jacket as it encounters the seam. It's essentially the opposite of the shingles on your roof.

The DriClime's ability to repel water is based on a DWR chemical finish. We found that in a light rain this piece effectively repelled water; however, on a moderately rainy day, this layer quickly felt heavy with water, and close to wetting out. Although the inner liner will slow down the water from penetrating entirely through, the DriClime is not the first running jacket we'd reach for on a rainy day. For running on rainy days, read up on the Arc'teryx Incendo or the Patagonia Houdini Pullover.

Comfort and Mobility


The inner layering of the DriClime offered a soft comfortable feel, especially when just hanging out or on casual outings. The fit of the jacket was comfortable overall and didn't feel restrictive when we had a technical t-shirt layer underneath. We did have some issues with the lining of the jacket bunching up when we put on the garment. It was nearly impossible to keep the lining from emerging from the wrist cuffs every time we put on the jacket demanding that we stuff it back inside the jacket. This was more of an annoyance than a comfort issue.

Every time we put on the DriClime  the lining would sneak out of the arms.
Every time we put on the DriClime, the lining would sneak out of the arms.

Aside from the little annoyances, there is plenty of room for any range of motion you could think of. The sleeve lengths are also great. Additionally, the material in the back is slightly longer than the front, reaching past the hips, which is a benefit if you're intending to use this piece for cycling.

Portability


At 8.4 ounces, the DriClime is one of the heavier models in this review. This is primarily due to the inner lining of moisture-wicking insulation. This added layer, though thick and heavy, is what makes this piece so well suited for cold weather running, so we think is a very acceptable trade-off. The Montane Featherlite 7 was the lightest layer we tested and remains a good alternative for runners who insist upon lightweight gear.

At 8.4oz  the DriClime was the heaviest and bulkiest jacket in our test. The extra heft would be useful if you're running in a very cold climate.
At 8.4oz, the DriClime was the heaviest and bulkiest jacket in our test. The extra heft would be useful if you're running in a very cold climate.

As you can see from the picture, the Marmot is able to pack into its own pocket, but it is a tight fit. We felt that the zipper would have a significantly reduced life due to the strain it had to endure as we closed the stuff pouch.

For the amount of warmth the Marmot provides  it is a reasonable size. That being said  it is by far and away the bulkiest jacket in the testing field.
For the amount of warmth the Marmot provides, it is a reasonable size. That being said, it is by far and away the bulkiest jacket in the testing field.

Day and Night Visibility


The DriClime we tested this year was forest green and had no reflective material. We feel that visibility has always been and is increasingly important. Drivers today are more distracted than ever and thus our jackets need to be more visible than ever. It isn't discussed much but urban running can be quite dangerous if the proper precautions aren't taken. One important piece of that puzzle is a visible jacket.

The DriClime has no reflective material. We felt that this jacket wouldn't be suitable for low light conditions in an urban environment.
The DriClime has no reflective material. We felt that this jacket wouldn't be suitable for low light conditions in an urban environment.

Perhaps our biggest issue with the DriClime is that it completely ignores runner safety but omitting reflective accents and offering colors that equate to urban camouflage. If you decide that you want a DriClime, make sure you buy one of the high visibility colors that they do offer.

For safety's sake  we would recommend this jacket in a brighter color. The green on green color scheme blends into urban and backcountry environments.
For safety's sake, we would recommend this jacket in a brighter color. The green on green color scheme blends into urban and backcountry environments.

Best Applications


Thanks to the DriClime's insulated lining, you can use this piece in a wide variety of cold temperatures. We found that it performed well in below-freezing temperatures. Even in temperatures up to 50 degrees (depending on how much energy you are expending), the insulated lining wicked away moisture well enough to keep us feeling dry. This running jacket also holds up well against the wind; however, it is a little baggy, which is a concern if you're trail running on a path with seriously encroaching vegetation, since it can easily get caught on stray branches, thorns, etc. In the end, we found the Marmot to be a cold weather specialist and also a comfortable piece for simply hanging out around the grill on a cool evening.

Value


At $95, the DriClime is a great value. Though it lacks some of the bells and whistles the other contenders have, it makes up for it in performance. And since you'll be able to use it for the better part of three full seasons (if you live in a cold climate), you'll get a lot bang for your buck, which is always a plus!

Conclusion


The Marmot DriClime Windshirt is a mid-weight running jacket designed for insulation and wind resistance. This warm piece also offers decent breathability, which means you'll require fewer layers for running in cold conditions. Additionally, the DriClime features a breast pocket for storage as well as elastic cuffs to help trap heat and stifle the wind.

Brian Martin

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Most recent review: June 10, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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