Marmot Eclipse - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Eclipse is capable of many activities, but while Marmot advertises it for climbing and long distance trekking, we think this is better viewed as an everyday urban or casual rain jacket that can be taken along on the occasional hike or climb in a pinch.
The Eclipse offers good protection from rain with its Membrain Eco 2.5 lamination made from 100% recycled nylon. It has a helmet compatible hood with three adjustment points, and a bottom hem with one cinching toggle to effectively keep the storm on the outside. For a burly hardshell made of 3-layer waterproof fabric, check out the Norrona Trollveggen or the excellent all-rounder, the Arc'teryx Beta AR.
The Eclipse offers decent mobility for a wide range of activities; Marmot suggests this is a shell for climbing and trekking. While all the parts are certainly there to make this a sensible companion on these types of backcountry trips, we were very disappointed to find that the interior feels much like their PreCip jacket, which can easily be found for under $100 (not the $250 of the Eclipse).
This clammy feeling fabric feels terrible when it is wet and humid outside, especially if we are working hard and generating some body heat. The Eclipse is a decent rain jacket, but we don't recommend it for general mountain use. It will work in a pinch if you already own it, but if you intend to spend a lot of time in the mountains, we recommend checking out the REI Drypoint GTX as a great and affordable entry into mountain-ready hardshells.
The inside of the Eclipse feels like the material in their PreCip jackets. We don't mind this on the PreCip because we don't intend to take that rain shell into the mountains, and it is a great deal for $100. But in a jacket that claims to be suitable for climbing and long mountain treks, and which is priced for $250, we expect more. This interior feels clammy when working hard in the mountains.
The Eclipse also has pit zips, but there is only one zipper, so it opens in only one direction, from the arm end toward the torso. We prefer a jacket that allows you to choose how to open the pit vents so that you can expel heat without letting rain or snow inside because the flap is too large or in the wrong spot as you swing your arms.
For improved breathability and venting, check out either of the Arc'teryx Beta SL and Hybrid or the impressively breathable REI Drypoint GTX.
The Eclipse is in the middle of the pack for weight. We really like the performance-to-weight ratio of any of the Arc'teryx models, depending on your needs from ultralight and breathable to burly expedition-ready. And if weight is your number one priority, check out the REI Drypoint.
The feature set of the Eclipse makes it useful for climbing, though we found it to be limited in mountain performance in some of the metrics above. However, the hood is helmet-compatible and adjustable with three cinching points and features a brim that helps keep precip out of your eyes. The jacket has two hand pockets with mesh inside so they can double as core vents, and they are high enough to be accessible above a harness or hip belt. It has pit vents, but they only unzip in one direction, and the bottom hem has one cinching adjustment point. The cuffs feature a Velcro closure to cinch them tighter under or over gloves.
The Eclipse is plenty durable. The face fabric is a little stiffer which we prefer because it resists snagging better than more supple fabrics. The zippers are smooth, and otherwise, the features of the Eclipse held up well in our testing. For the most durable jackets in this review, check out our expedition-ready models, the Mammut Nordwand and the Arc'teryx Alpha SV.
The Eclipse is not as versatile as we had hoped. Marmot suggests that it is mountain-ready, and while the feature set suggests this is true (and it will certainly be adequate for a trip or two) we found the interior and the breathability to be unpleasant, especially for a jacket that costs $250.
The performance for the price tag is a little disappointing. The main limiting factors were the breathability, weight vs. useful features, and the clammy feeling interior.
The Marmot Eclipse is overall a disappointing shell jacket. Marmot advertises it for climbing and long mountain treks, but we think it is better viewed as an active-urban or casual shell jacket that can be taken into the mountains in a pinch on an occasional hike. This is not a great shell for high output aerobic pursuits.
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