Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Flashpoint - Women's Review

Marmot Flashpoint - Women's
Best Buy Award
Price:  $95 List | $65.73 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, thumb loops, media slot in sleeve pocket.
Cons:  No hood option, not very warm.
Bottom line:  An inexpensive and basic fleece.
Editors' Rating:   
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Type:  Lightweight
Main Fabric:  Polartec Classic 100 (100% polyester)
Unique Features:  Thumb loops, slot in arm pocket for headphones
Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

The Marmot Flashpoint is a basic lightweight fleece that won't break the bank. It breathes well but is not very warm. It's roomy enough to fit over a heavy base layer or even some of the midweight fleeces in this review, but it still fits well under a jacket thanks to its thin material. It also has a few nice features, like thumb loops and a media slot in the arm pocket for a headphone cord to run up the sleeve. If you are looking for a basic and inexpensive fleece, then our Best Buy winner might be the one for you. If you are looking to save even more money on your next fleece jacket purchase, then check out the REI Co-op Fleece, which retails for only $50. It's bulkier than the Flashpoint but also warmer.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Fleece Jackets of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring

Last Updated:
Friday
January 8, 2016

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The Marmot Flashpoint is made with Polartec Classic 100 weight fleece (100% polyester). It has two hand warmer pockets and one arm pocket, as well as thumb loops. It comes in eight different color choices.

Performance Comparison


While not the highest scorer, our Best Buy award winner still performed reasonably well for the price point, making it an excellent choice for those looking to save a few dollars.

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 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.

Warmth


This lightweight fleece is about as warm as the Patagonia R1 Hoody, which is to say, not that warm. It's made with a 100 weight fleece (100 g/m² material) and when compared to the 300 g/m² The North Face Denali Jacket the difference is quite noticeable.


However, you don't always need or want a heavyweight fleece, and 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 (10.6 ounces in a size small), and it packs down compactly. If you are looking for a summit layer for day hiking you'll barely notice the Flashpoint in your pack, but might be glad to have it on a cool and windy summit or if a storm rolls in.

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. It also has some nice extra features  like thumb loops and an arm pocket.
This lightweight fleece is not as warm as a mid or heavyweight layer, but sometimes you only want a thin jacket. It also has some nice extra features, like thumb loops and an arm pocket.

Comfort


This fleece jacket is quite soft against the skin, and because it is so light, you'll barely notice that it is there.


The thumb loops are a nice touch for keeping your hands warm and your wrists covered, and the seams are made with a flat lock construction for a comfortable fit under a backpack or climbing harness. The fleece is not quite as cozy as the material of the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover, but it still has that soft fleece feel we all love.

The thumb loops on this jacket are cozy and not too tight.
The thumb loops on this jacket are cozy and not too tight.

Breathability


This jacket did well at venting our perspiration mostly because the material is so thin.


Other models, like the Patagonia R1 Hoody, have "fancy" constructions with gridded designs or baffles to help vent moisture. This one gets the job done without those extras, 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. If you are in the market for something even lighter and more breathable, the Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody weigh 8.4 ounces in a size small and is highly breathable.

Layering Ability


The Marmot 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.

We liked the ability to layer this jacket both over and under other layers. This makes it a more versatile piece.
We liked the ability to layer this jacket both over and under other layers. This makes it a more versatile piece.

Ease of Movement


Here's how the Flashpoint scored compared to the other models for ease of movement.


The material itself is not quite as stretchy as some of the fleeces that are paired with elastane, and we noticed the difference 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 as we did in the Patagonia R1 Hoody or the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoodie. 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.

Wind Protection & Water Resistance


While the Marmot 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.


When we sprayed it with a water bottle, the water beaded up but then immediately soaked through. If you need a fleece jacket that will give you some protection from the elements, the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody - Women's is a great option. The North Face Denali Jacket also provided more protection from the elements, thanks to its thicker material and nylon patches on the shoulders. Alternatively, you could buy a wind breaker jacket if you were looking for something to provide wind (and also light rain) resistance.


While water initially beads up on this jacket  it quickly saturated through due to it being so thin.
While water initially beads up on this jacket, it quickly saturated through due to it being so thin.

Style & Fit


The style of this jacket is fairly basic. While it has a tapered silhouette, the standard fleece pile look has no extras going for it.


We did like the longer arm length on this jacket (which you get because of the thumb loops). This is a great choice if you have long arms relative to your size. If you are in the market for a flashier looking fleece, check out the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody. We also preferred the retro styling of the Patagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover.

With so many flashy and silky fleeces out there to compare to  this one ends up looking a little plain. We appreciate the tapered silhouette and long arms though.
With so many flashy and silky fleeces out there to compare to, this one ends up looking a little plain. We appreciate the tapered silhouette and long arms though.

Best Applications


The Marmot Flashpoint is a great jacket for stashing in your pack when you are not sure if you'll need an extra layer or not. It weighs only 10.6 ounces, and you'll barely notice it there. It's also a great piece if you love to layer, as this fleece works well both over other layers and under your outerwear.

Value


This affordable fleece costs $95, which is about half the price as some of the other models in this review. As such, it was an easy pick for our Best Buy award. While it's fairly plain and "low-tech" compared to some of the other technical jackets in this review, it still gets the job done. If you are looking for a warmer layer that is also affordable, check out The North Face Osito 2 jacket, which retails for $100.

Conclusion


We liked 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 day pack, making it a great option to bring along even on days when the weather looks fine.
Cam McKenzie Ring

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Most recent review: January 8, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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