Marmot Gravity Review
Cons: Fit is very snug, doesn’t stretch, poor breathability, hem adjustments are difficult to use with gloves
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Marmot Gravity is a protective softshell that gives a little worth and a lot of durability. It is very comfortable to wear around and isn't too expensive.
While bike commuting in gusty, 30-degree weather, this jacket provides great protection. With just a t-shirt underneath, we stayed toasty - sometimes too toasty. Marmot's proprietary M1 softshell material boasts great wind resistance and great bulk. During the waterfall test, water came in through the neck, but the rest of the jacket kept our tester dry and toasty. Because the version we tested lacked a hood, the Gravity lost a couple points in the weather protection category. We have no doubt that the hooded version of this jacket would cut through most weather with ease.
As far as warmth is concerned, this softshell is one of the warmest that we tested. The interior of the back is brushed with a light fleece. The body and pockets use Marmot's comfortable DriClime material that claims to aid breathability. This jacket worked well walking around town in temperatures around 40F with a light fleece underneath. However, if you are looking purely for warmth, check out our insulated jacket review for some of our toasty favorites.
The breathability of this jacket was very similar to the Columbia Ascender Jacket, which doesn't provide as much weather protection. High output pursuits are the enemy of both of these jackets. When we worked hard doing things like climbing or hiking, we often overheated and had to throw the jacket in the pack. This is made worse by the fleecy interior that added too much warmth for strenuous activities in temperatures around 30 degrees. This is the biggest downside to softshells that feature this type of construction. Walking around town, we didn't notice the poor breathability.
Mobility & Fit
If mobility is a priority, look elsewhere. This jacket is not cut for aerobic or acrobatic activities. When rock climbing, the jacket either rode significantly out of our harnesses or the cuffs fell drastically below our wrists. This problem is amplified by the tight, restrictive fit of this shell. This is one of the tightest cut softshell jackets we reviewed. Thankfully, the M1 fabric stretches a little bit, but not enough to counter the relatively poor fit.
We measured this jacket at 23.1 oz. This was the second heaviest jacket in the review and one we don't like throwing into our packs. Not a problem in town, but for backcountry use we prefer lighter, un-lined softshell jackets.
Keeping toasty hands is easy with the two zippered, hand warmer pockets on the Gravity. We like the internal chest pocket that is big enough for a phone or snacks, but don't love the sleeve pocket. We didn't encounter a need for this pocket during our tests and we think it detracts from an otherwise stylish jacket. That said, we appreciate the craftsmanship Marmot put into the seams of this jacket. Most of the internal seams are sewn flat and are very comfortable.
One feature that points to the jacket's casual design are the hem adjustments located in the hand warmer pockets. In use, these are impossible to use with all but the lightest of gloves. They're great for strolling about, but for serious outdoor use, we prefer adjustments that can be used with gloves and don't require exposing the fuzzy inside of the pockets to the elements.
The wrist closures on this jacket are its best feature. Many insulated softshell cuffs are bulky when cinched. The Gravity avoids this by using a lighter, stretchier material at the cuffs that easily folds over without adding bulk. The cuffs were large enough on our tester to fit over his gloves when ice climbing. Some reviews we read online cited that the velcro causes pilling of the stretchy cuff fabric. We tried to replicate this effect over time by vigorously abrading the cuff with the velcro. After a couple minutes, the fabric did indeed look quite worn.
If you're looking for a casual jacket with refined, technical flair, the Gravity fits the bill. Otherwise, we prefer the Patagonia Adze because it doesn't have an arm pocket and performs much higher overall.
This was one of our go-to pieces for around town ventures. For resort skiing, this jacket was adequate but doesn't work as well as a true ski jacket.
This jacket is a bit expensive for a casual softshell. If you're thinking about the Gravity, let us point you over to the Mountain Hardwear Fairing, which offers similar weather protection but scored better across our other metrics and is $30 cheaper.
The Marmot Gravity is a very popular jacket that will work well for many people, but for high-output endeavors, we prefer uninsulated/unlined softshell jackets that breathe, move, and have hoods.
— Jeremy Bauman
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