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Guide Gear Review: Marmot Zeus Jacket

Marmot Zeus Jacket

I’m a hardman darn it and this jacket is just so…soft! And light! And I’m not a lightweight either (at least in my mind). That being said, this is what I have to say about the Marmot Zeus Jacket: love it, love it, love it.

Marmot describes the Zeus as a city jacket but a lot of us wear it both on outdoor adventures and while visiting the local barista. On some recent camping trips I put the Zeus on when I emerged from my sleeping bag and again as soon as the sun went down. This jacket is so light that I forget I am wearing it. It is like wearing warm air. It has been an excellent layer for fall rock climbing (read: belaying). It has been with me in Red Rocks, Moab, and Eldo this year and soon it will find its way into my ski pack!
The Zeus keeping CMS Guide Eric Whewell warm in Rocky Mountain National Park

If online reviews are any indication than the Zeus seems to be a favorite of both backpackers and air-travelers for its minimal weight (less than a pound in medium size) and packability: it gets tiny. Both of these things appeal to me as I am a “light is right” fanatic about my gear. Beyond that,  the main reason I find myself reaching for the Zeus everyday is the comfort and warmth provided by the high quality down and the soft, supple shell material. The Zeus is shockingly warm for its weight and shockingly comfortable period.

Part of the Zeus’ comfort comes from it feeling lighter than your baseball cap and part of the comfort comes from its excellent fit. It is long enough in the arms to encourage all kinds of movement, snug and cozy but not tight around the neck, and just right in the torso whether layered over a t-shirt or a hoody. Many folks also appreciate that the Zeus is not overly bulky and thus avoids the “Michelin Man” look.

Eric Whewell (CMS Senior Guide) in RMNP

The extremely lightweight and packable shell material doesn’t look particularly burly and honestly a good Manzanita bushwhack might spell doom for it, but thus far it has withstood being my daily go-to-jacket..and I’m not easy on my outerwear.

CMS Guides on Spearhead. Eric (center) is rockin the Zeus.
Other perks of the jacket are: the zippered hand-warmer pockets, the neck-warmer effect of the high collar and the lack of bells and whistles…it comes in lots of cool colors too.
The only real complaint about the Zeus comes from my other jackets: they are lonely. Now, the only question is: is it wrong to take a down jacket to a tropical paradise like Thailand? I plan to find out this week.

Mark Hammond
CMS Senior Guide
Colorado Mountain School

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