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Gear Review: Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Here is a telling statistic regarding the Marmot Minimalist Jacket: I wore the Marmot Minimalist every day this past winter.  Yes, that is correct – every single day while ski guiding in Hokkaido, Japan this past January and February. Historically, Hokkaido averages 24 days of snow every January – and 2012 was well above that average. 

When it is dumping snow day-in and day-out, staying dry is the key to staying warm and on this factor the Marmot Minimalist Jacket delivered in spades.  Even when I was not working, I wore the Minimalist Jacket anyway because its bright and vibrant red prompted compliments and inquiries from Japanese folks while out and about around town.

The Minimalist Jacket features GORE-TEX® Paclite® that guarantees to keep you dry, and PitZips™ -underarm zippers for ventilation.  As the Paclite® word suggests, it is very light (15 oz) and it compresses down to almost nothing.  On the rare sunny day when I did not need a shell, the Minimalist resided unobtrusively on-the-ready in my pack without adding extra weight.

Upon returning to Colorado for an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Ski Guide Course, the Minimalist further demonstrated its versatility.  With mostly sunny days and a light breeze, the Minimalist was still my go-to piece for both uphill and downhill guiding – and I notice my fellow AMGA guides wearing this jacket as well.  The Minimalist’s pit zips allow for fine-tuning your ventilation during uphill skinning, while also protecting you from gusty winds.  Lastly, the Minimalist’s beautiful color options also deserve a nod.  Cheery colors like red, yellow and purple are great for visibility and spotting your buddies while backcountry skiing – and they stand out great during your epic powder photo, too!  Now that spring has seemingly turned to summer already, my Minimalist Jacket will still travel with me in the backcountry to fend with our (hopeful) Colorado afternoon showers.

Thank you Marmot for a beautiful and functional jacket that brings together the best technical features and performance – while still looking hip!!!
Norie Kizaki
Colorado Mountain School Guide
AMGA Rock Instructor

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