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Marmot Flashpoint - Women's Review

This inexpensive and basic fleece is great for chores around the house of a light hike.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $99 List | $79.98 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, inexpensive
Cons:  No hood option, not very warm
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Amber King & Cam McKenzie Ring  ⋅  Oct 17, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Warmth - 20% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Layering Ability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Movement - 15% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 5% 4

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 thicker base layer or even some of the midweight fleeces in this review, and still fits well under a jacket thanks to its thin material. It's ordinary, feature-wise, and is ideal for milling around the house and performing chores. It's not very technical, and while you can take it on sweaty missions, don't expect it to breathe in the same way other technical fleeces perform. This wins our best buy award simply because it offers some level of technical performance at a price that is reasonable.

Color Updates

The Flashpoint isn't offered in the color we tested any longer, but you can grab it in some updated colors, including the classic black shown above.

October 2019


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Price $79.98 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, inexpensiveBreathable, durable, helmet compatible hood, awesome thermoregulation, high valueBalaclava hood with neck gaiter, good wind and water protection for a fleeceLightweight, breathable, full-length zipper and a hoodSuper cozy materials, stylish, lightweight, warm
Cons No hood option, not very warmNot weather resistant, expensiveNot very breathable, expensiveNot very warm, no weather resistanceExpensive, not the most breathable, zipper slips
Bottom Line This inexpensive and basic fleece is great for chores around the house of a light hike.The reigning champion that simply can't be beat for versatility.A technical jacket for alpine and ice climbing, or other active sports in colder climates.This light fleece is a high-performance layer that is breathable and comfortable.The lightweight and stylish fleece is built for town and leisurely hikes.
Rating Categories Marmot Flashpoint - Women's R1 Full Zip Hoody Fortrez Hoody Rab Nucleus Hoody - Women's Kyanite Hoody
Warmth (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
8
Comfort (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Breathability (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
Layering Ability (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Ease Of Movement (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Weather Resistance (5%)
10
0
4
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
6
Specs Marmot Flashpoint... R1 Full Zip Hoody Fortrez Hoody Rab Nucleus Hoody... Kyanite Hoody
Type Lightweight Midweight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight
Main Fabric Polartec Classic 100 Micro (100% polyester) Polartec PowerGrid(93% recycled polyester/7% spandex) Polartec Power Stretch with Hardface Technology (88% polyester, 12% elastane) Thermic fleece & Power Grid Nylon, polyester
Unique Features Abrasion resistant panels on wrists and shoulders Hidden zippered pocket, balaclava hood fits under a helmet, brick-patterned insulation balances breathability and warmth Balaclava hood with neck gaiter Close fitting hood fits under a helmet Stretchy, abrasion-resistant fabric, gussets for movement
Weight (ounces) 9.3 11.9 11.9 11.2 11.2
# of Pockets 2 (hand) 2 (hand), 1 hidden zippered pocket (right hand) 3 (2 hand, 1 arm) 2 (hand) 2 hand
Hood Option? No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.

Performance Comparison


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 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 lightweight fleece is not as warm as a mid or heavyweight layer, but sometimes you only want a thin jacket.

Comfort


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.
The hand warmer pockets are a cozy addition to this model. The fleece is soft against your skin as well.

Breathability


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.

Layering Ability


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.
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.
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.

Weather Resistance


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.
Water soaks right into and right through the thin fleece material.

Value


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."
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."

Conclusion


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.
The raised fleece pile is not as stylish as a flat-faced fleece or a super fuzzy one.


Amber King & Cam McKenzie Ring