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.
Marmot ROM Hoody Review
Cons: Slightly heavy, larger sizing
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Marmot ROM Hoody
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|$249 List||$249.95 at Backcountry|
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$129.00 at REI
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|Pros||Excellent weather protection, great mobility||Durable fabric, great fit, all-around usefulness||Waterproof, comfortable, stretchy||Super breathable, durable, inexpensive||Incredibly light, very mobile|
|Cons||Slightly heavy, larger sizing||Limited water resistance, fitted cuffs||Small hood, light on features||Poor wet weather protection||Limited weather protection, few features|
|Bottom Line||This is a softshell ready for the worst weather you can throw at it||This is a great medium weight softshell jacket that will hold up to rugged use thanks to its durable fabric||This waterproof softshell jacket is one of the few hybrid models that we have found to be highly breathable||This budget-friendly softshell is one of our favorites for summertime rock climbing||This 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%)|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Ryan Huetter
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