The Marmot Flashpoint is made with Polartec Classic 100 weight fleece (100% polyester). While not the highest scorer, our Best Buy award winner still performs reasonably well for the price point, making it an excellent choice for those looking to save a few dollars. It has two handwarmer pockets with zippers, and it comes in four different color choices.
This lightweight fleece is a great layer to stay in your pack for chilly hikes out of the canyon at the end of the day after the sun has set.
This lightweight fleece not that warm. It's made with a 100 weight fleece (100 g/m² material), making it one of the lightest we've tested in this review. It's perfect for cool fall days on its own or layered underneath a larger layer. When layered, it offers warmth, even during the coldest days of Winter.
A lightweight fleece is an excellent option for activewear or an extra layer of warmth on a cold day. If you are in the market for a lightweight layer, then this is still a good option. It's one of the lightest models in our review (9.3 ounces in size small) and packs down easily, making it easy to pack away and carry.
Even if you're setting out on a day hike on a warm day with no clouds in sight, it's always a good idea to pack an insulating layer along with a rain jacket. Mountain weather can change suddenly, and being prepared for all conditions is essential.
This lightweight fleece is not as warm as a mid or heavyweight layer, but sometimes you only want a thin jacket.
This fleece jacket is quite soft against the skin, and because it is so light, you'll barely notice that it is there. It's a great option to wear while on a hike or even when curling up next to the fire with a good book. In general, it earns average points for comfort and coziness, but it's not the most comfortable option out there.
The seams are made with flatlock construction for a comfortable fit under a backpack or climbing harness. The fleece is not quite as cozy as the thicker, hi piles fleeces, but it still has that soft fleece feel we all love that feels good against the skin. It features two handwarmer pockets that make cold days a little more comfortable.
The hand warmer pockets are a cozy addition to this model. The fleece is soft against your skin as well.
This jacket did well at venting our perspiration mostly because the material is so thin. This jacket does not have any "fancy" constructions with gridded designs or baffles to help vent moisture. This one gets the job done without those extras by venting through the fabric and pockets. Though it did come up a little shy of those jackets for breathability.
This is a better layer for throwing on at the summit, and not on the hike up. The material holds in moisture and will force you to take it off when you're on the move. If you're seeking a layer that'll breathe well for technical missions, this is not our first choice.
The Flashpoint scored very well for layering ability. While this jacket has a tapered silhouette, it is still roomy enough to wear over a heavy base layer or sweater. In fact, we could wear it over most of the other light and midweight layers in this review. Because the material is so thin, when we layered it under a shell or even an insulated jacket, it didn't feel too constricting. This kind of layering flexibility can be hard to find sometimes.
This jacket layers well over a base layer and under a heavier jacket. It is a little on the short side though and didn't work as well under a harness or hip belt as it tends to ride up a bit.
Ease of Movement
The material used in the Flash is not very stretchy, making it a little more challenging to move. While the movement is more difficult in this fleece, it's still a good option for hiking or backpacking. However, climbing, which requires more side to side movement, and flexibility in should material, is where it failed.
We noticed this issue when trying to climb in this model. With the body of the jacket secured under our harness, we didn't have as much freedom of movement to reach arms overhead or move easily from side to side. If you're looking for something to wear when doing activities that require a lot of range of motion in your upper body, like rock climbing, look for a model with elastane in the fabric mix, which this fleece doesn't have.
Marmot replaced the thumb loops with nylon panels instead. The material has a bit of stretch to it but we didn't get the best range of motion.
While the Flashpoint doesn't have the grid channels or baffles that made some of the other models in this review so porous to the wind, the thin material did little to stop the wind from ripping through either. This makes it a good option to wear on its own during hiking or backpacking adventures.
During our water tests, we sprayed the jacket with a bottle to see how it would absorb. When we sprayed it with a water bottle, the water beaded up but then immediately soaked through. We also did this with should patch, which adds durability to the fleece, and it beaded up without absorbing. As a result, like other fleeces, this one is not weatherproof and should be worn with a shell or the like for additional protection.
Water soaks right into and right through the thin fleece material.
This is an affordable fleece, which is about half the price as some of the other models in this review. As such, it is an easy pick for our Best Buy award. While it's fairly plain compared to some of the other technical jackets in this review, it still gets the job done.
The panels on the shoulder offer a little more protection from the elements and some abrasion resistance when wearing a pack, but the styling is a little too plain and also "techy."
We like the simplicity of the Marmot Flashpoint. It's a no-frills, lightweight fleece layer. If you're looking for an inexpensive fleece for times when you need some warmth but not too much, this jacket is a good bet. It layers well, and easily stuffs into a daypack, making it a great option to bring along even on days when the weather looks fine.
The raised fleece pile is not as stylish as a flat-faced fleece or a super fuzzy one.