Marmot Stretch Man/Athena (2012)

The Marmot Stretch Man/Athena tops the tables for comfort and design. You’re certainly getting your £200-worth in this regard. The stretch panels featured throughout keep the jacket supple and moveable in all positions, while the dual hem adjusters and neck and hood fasteners (with internal tidies) and extremely long, two-direction pit zips are well-designed and satisfying to use. The two external pockets are cavernous, as is the single internal pocket. All three could accommodate an OS map with ease. The hood peak is rigid and perfectly sized, large enough to provide comprehensive protection from the weather but not so much that it obscures your vision. Everything, from the zip fastenings to the wrist clasps, inspires an assurance of quality. In terms of performance, the Marmot Stretch Man/Athena is not quite the most breathable or the quietest jacket on test, although it will perfectly suit the needs of most hillwalkers. Moisture build-up was minimal and water repellence is impressive considering the mixture of materials and the variety of seams and zips. All of this adds up to a jacket that you’ll look forward to putting on and can comfortably wear in rain or sun.

Weight 369g (size men’s M)
Fabric 2.5-layer MemBrain
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
Website www.marmot.com

 

Verdict
The Marmot Stretch Man/Athena is the most comfortable and functional jacket on test, boasting an excellent design and good performance. Wearing this is a genuine pleasure. It won the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Dan Aspel
First published in Trail magazine June 2012