The ROM jacket is a new addition to Marmot's range this year. Constructed using Marmot's own stretch woven soft shell fabric combined with Gore Windstopper Soft Shell. The idea being that the non membrane stretch woven nylon provides breathability whilst the Windstopper provides protection and durability in areas where you need it most.
First impressions of the jacket were good; it's quite light (510g), feels soft and flexible and looks great. After some initial testing out mountain biking a few times I was impressed at how breathable it was whilst still cutting the wind. Further testing in some proper Lakeland rain showed that the DWR performed admirably for the first 20 minutes or so. Eventually the rain over powered the DWR on the lighter fabric and it leaked. Given that these kinds of conditions are not what the ROM is designed for, however, I was impressed.
In the interests of a thorough test, I took to the jacket to Spain to experience it in a generally drier climate. Ryanair's militant baggage regime meant I took the ROM as my only jacket and hoped it would cope with all eventualities. It certainly did that. Although I didn't always climb in the jacket, it was really good for belaying and walk-ins, and with a fleece layer underneath makes a pretty warm combo. This flexibility allowed me to use it every day and managed to fend off the infrequent showers as well.
The quality and finish of the jacket is excellent, the minimal style keeps it simple and with two hand pockets and one chest pocket, storage options are good. The hood features a one handed adjustment, but I found it to be a close fit, so had little need to change the volume. The construction throughout is very good, and the use of the stretch fabric under the arms gives great freedom of movement and stops the jacket riding up. The attention to detail such as asymmetric cuffs and hidden draw cords make for a very sleek looking garment.
The boundaries between soft and hard shells are becoming increasingly blurred but this is definitely a 'soft' soft shell. The main advantages of this being weight, breathability and a material that gives more freedom of movement. With this in mind, the ROM is definitely not the jacket for a typical British winter, but when used on dry, windy days or in mixed weather is ideal. It wont let you get too sweaty, just don't expect to be kept dry in 'proper' rain.
ROM, as I later found out stands for 'range of movement', though for myself I found this aspect was a little disappointing. My test jacket was a large which, whilst excellent round the shoulders and the arms provided a bit too much room around the middle (the medium was too short in the arms). This may of course be different for other users of a different shape. My other gripe is the hood, which when worn over a helmet is very tight and looking up does become a bit of an issue. Although Marmot don't claim that the hood will fit over a helmet I think it's a necessary feature for a technical soft shell.
Ignoring my issues with the fit and the hood, I found the ROM to be a great product. It is a highly breathable, lightweight and very versatile soft shell.
|Marmot ROM Jacket|
|The Rom is a brand new softshe..|
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