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Marmot ROM Hoody Review

This is a softshell ready for the worst weather you can throw at it
marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review
Credit: Marmot
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $225 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Excellent weather protection, great mobility
Cons:  Slightly heavy, larger sizing
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Weather Protection - 30% 8.0
  • Breathability - 30% 8.0
  • Mobility - 25% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.0
  • Versatility - 5% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Marmot ROM Hoody stands out for its superior weather protection. Using high-grade Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 3-Layer fabric in key areas, this jacket is built for tough mountain environments, which is why we love it for climbing and skiing. This current version is not as trim as previous models of the ROM or the more technical-fitting jackets in our lineup that also have great weather protection, allowing it to be used in a broader context and with more options for layering underneath. We found the newest iteration of the ROM to be one of the best softshell jackets for using in the winter, even when compared to ski-specific jackets.

Editor's Note: This newest version of the ROM Hoody was added to our lineup on November 7, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review
This Product
Marmot ROM Hoody
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $225 List
Check Price at REI
$249 List$249.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$129 List
$129.00 at REI
$115 List
Check Price at REI
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Pros Excellent weather protection, great mobilityDurable fabric, great fit, all-around usefulnessWaterproof, comfortable, stretchySuper breathable, durable, inexpensiveIncredibly light, very mobile
Cons Slightly heavy, larger sizingLimited water resistance, fitted cuffsSmall hood, light on featuresPoor wet weather protectionLimited weather protection, few features
Bottom Line This is a softshell ready for the worst weather you can throw at itThis is a great medium weight softshell jacket that will hold up to rugged use thanks to its durable fabricThis waterproof softshell jacket is one of the few hybrid models that we have found to be highly breathableThis budget-friendly softshell is one of our favorites for summertime rock climbingThis is one of the lightest softshells out there, perfect for cool windy days at the crag
Rating Categories Marmot ROM Hoody Arc'teryx Gamma LT... Rab Kinetic 2.0 Outdoor Research Fe... Rab Borealis
Weather Protection (30%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
4.0
5.0
Breathability (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
8.0
Mobility (25%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
10.0
9.0
Weight (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Versatility (5%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
Specs Marmot ROM Hoody Arc'teryx Gamma LT... Rab Kinetic 2.0 Outdoor Research Fe... Rab Borealis
Measured Weight (size medium) 16.1 oz 17 oz 11.6 oz 13.4 oz 10.5 oz
Material GORE-TEX Infinium: 92% recycled nylon, 8% elastane, plain weave, 170g/sqm Wee Burly (56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane) 100% recycled polyester 86% nylon (46% recycled), 14% spandex Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR
Type Active Active Technical Active Technical
Lined/Insulated? No No No Yes, lining 91% nylon, 9% spandex No
Hood? Yes, hood compatible Yes, helmet compatible, adjustable StormHood Yes, under helmet with rear hood adjustment Yes, climbing helmet compatible, adjustable, stowable Yes, under helmet with lycra binding
Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted) 2 zippered hand, 1 zippred chest 3 (2 handwarmer, 1 internal) 2 (hand) 3 (2 hand, 1 chest) 2 (external chest)
Adjustable Cuffs? Yes, vecro Stretch cuffs Yes, velcro Elastic cuffs Lycra cuffs
Available Sizes S - XXL XS - XXL S - XXL S - XXXL S - XXL

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Marmot ROM Hoody is a top-tier softshell jacket that is deserving of your attention. We wore this excellent layer on day hikes and on backpacking trips into the alpine environment of the Sierra Nevada, where we got Arctic breezes that really demanded the best wind protection. The jacket is a step above the rest and is far from average, performing well across all of our review metrics.

Performance Comparison


marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - moving fast to beat the chill on a cool fall day in the high sierra...
Moving fast to beat the chill on a cool Fall day in the High Sierra with our Marmot ROM Hoody.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Weather Protection


The ROM Hoody uses Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 3-Layer softshell fabric to cover the most vulnerable locations like the head, the shoulders, and the arms, but uses a lighter and more stretchy fabric with more elastane along the back and chest. This effectively produces a hybrid jacket that can deliver excellent weather protection where it is needed most. The Gore-Tex can block wind and repel moisture better than many other fabrics. This jacket allows moisture to bead off continuously because the membrane is on the outside, rather than being covered by a fabric layer that will eventually wet through and clog the membrane's pores, inhibiting its ability to shed perspiration. The inside of these areas also has taped seams, another thoughtful design feature that lets the ROM excel in inclement conditions.


The fabric is unlined and does not offer the wearer any additional warmth, so this hoody is best layered with a fleece jacket underneath. We appreciate the large helmet-compatible hood, making this a solid option for those climbers and skiers who want to be able to cover their heads while out in poor weather. Large cuff openings allow for a wide range of gloves, from gauntlet style (over the cuff) to inside the cuff styles.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - large cuff openings and velcro closures easily operated by gloves...
Large cuff openings and velcro closures easily operated by gloves make this a versatile choice for those going out in cold weather.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

We found this to be one of the best jackets for beading water off, though it is not a hardshell jacket. Those spending lots of time in wet weather that comes down as rain rather than snow will likely find the limits of this hybrid fabric.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - the infinium windstopper fabric does a great job at beading water...
The Infinium Windstopper fabric does a great job at beading water off along the head and shoulders.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Breathability


The ROM has excellent breathability for its weight and especially for its weather protection. Other jackets offer lighter weight and enhanced breathability and moisture-wicking, but not as much weather protection. The Gore-Tex Infinium fabric used to weatherproof the upper body breathes fairly well, but it is meant to shed water and block wind, relying on the lower elastane fabric panels to help dump heat from the body.


In our testing, we engaged in aerobic activities like fastpacking, hiking, ski touring, and rock climbing, all of which generate a lot of heat — especially when wearing a base layer. The ROM Hoody expels this heat quite well, meaning you won't suffer from damp layers underneath, a concern if recreating in cold temperatures. You can open the zippers to dump even more heat, as they have only a mesh backing rather than a solid lining.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - comfortably roomy and stretchy, the rom hoody is great for...
Comfortably roomy and stretchy, the ROM Hoody is great for unencumbered movement while climbing.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Mobility


The ROM gets praise for mobility as a climbing and skiing jacket. Compared to previous iterations, this version feels slightly larger. Some may desire a tighter, more technical fit and could consider sizing down. We found the larger room to be more accommodating of base layers, and it gave a longer fit in the hem to fit underneath a harness or a backpack waist belt.


Some users have complained that the athletic fit of the ROM Hoody is neither trim enough nor relaxed enough. For us, it has just the right amount of room for wearing base layers underneath while not being so baggy that it loses its function in athletic activities. Our lead tester is a medium across the board, and at 5' 11", he finds the ROM spacious enough to allow a thin long-sleeve shirt, as well as a medium-weight hooded base layer or even a lightweight insulated jacket, without feeling any constriction in the body or arms.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - longer in the hem and arms than earlier models of this jacket, we...
Longer in the hem and arms than earlier models of this jacket, we like it for its casual style and ability to layer.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Weight


We verified the weight of our size medium ROM, and it came in just a hair over a pound, at 16.1 ounces. For the weather protection it provides, as well as for its top-notch performance in rough terrain thanks to its durable fabric, we feel that while not the lightest weight jacket in our review, it is certainly quite light for its functionality.


There are now many softshell jackets on the market that weigh below 10 ounces, and considering weight alone might lead you to discount the heavier jackets (though this reviewer still remembers when 1-pound softshells were almost unthinkable!) These layers don't provide nearly the same protection, and especially the durability, as the ROM Hoody, though.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - testing the weight of the rom hoody on our own scale.
Testing the weight of the ROM Hoody on our own scale.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Versatility


When rating versatility, we consider style, usefulness, and included features. The ROM Hoody has appropriate features for its intended use, can be used at ease in casual as well as in technical settings, and has a simple, elegant style that will appeal to a large audience.


The cuffs are adjustable, with velcro closures, so they can seal around gloves. The hood has a single adjustment point and a brim that sheds snow and rain away from the face. This model improves the sizing of the hood, easily fitting over most climbing and ski helmets, expanding the versatility and usefulness to a wider range of activities.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - plenty of room under the rom hood to fit a climbing or skiing helmet.
Plenty of room under the ROM hood to fit a climbing or skiing helmet.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Should You Buy the Marmot ROM Hoody?


This jacket is a good value as a softshell jacket well-suited to mountain activities. It has great performance in important metrics like weather protection and breathability and is a sharp-looking piece that we feel confident in recommending.

What Other Softshell Jackets Should You Consider?


If you really want a fully waterproof softshell jacket, take a look at the slimmer-fitting Rab Kinetic 2.0. It has a full body made of waterproof material rather than just in the key vulnerable areas. Our favorite do-it-all jacket is still the Arcteryx Gamma LT Hoody, which is just a bit tighter fitting, stretchier, and slightly more breathable.

marmot rom hoody softshell jacket review - cold winds in the forecast? bring along the windstopper-infused rom...
Cold winds in the forecast? Bring along the Windstopper-infused ROM Hoody and keep the gusts at bay!
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Ryan Huetter
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