Marmot Women's DriClime Catalyst - black
I was intrigued to test Marmot's new Woman's Driclime Catalyst Jacket, since much has been reported by the outdoor press recently on the so-called 'technical windshell'. Having used this jacket for climbing and running in Pembrokeshire over the summer, I am certainly impressed by both the concept of the product and also its performance both on and off the crag.
To get things started, Marmot first bombard us with jargon that wouldn't seem out of place in a science fiction novel in their blurb on the DriClime:
"The Marmot DriClime Catalyst jacket is a slightly more technical addition to the Marmot Wind line series, using 'upcycled' DriClime fabric, with angel wing arm movement, a bi-component wicking lining for superb wind and water resistance and breathability, as well as stretch panels in the elbows make it ideal for a variety of outdoor activities."
After reading this, we are left contemplating the possibilities of 'angel wing arm movement', but are none the wiser on what this product does, or indeed is. To explain the concept of the DriClime Catalyst Jacket more simply, it is part of a new generation of technical garmets that are not 100% waterproof, but extremely windproof, show-proof, quick-drying, and also have a good level of insulation. The insulation from the lining (in the case of the DriClime) means it can be used as a combined mid-and-outer layer in colder conditions, thus enabling just this one garment to be worn where previously you would have taken both a mid-layer and a light shell.
In use, I found the Women's DriClime Catalyst to be extremely windproof and warm in typically cool, blustery British conditions. The soft lining is comfortable even if worn straight over a vest top. I was also very impressed with how light and supple it is: when used for climbing, it performs brilliantly, allowing excellent freedom of movement and breathability whilst still being very warm for those cold clifftop belays. The fabric also seems highly durable and my sample is showing no obvious signs of wear even after several months of fairly intense use.
My only small gripes with it are with the cut - which could be slightly more fitted for athletic women - and the lack of a hood and pack-away pocket. I also found the zip pocket on the sleeve slightly too small to be useful.
All in all though, the Women's DriClime Catalyst is an outstanding jacket for climbing, running or biking in typical British weather.
Women's DriClime Catalyst - blue
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