There’s no better way of designing a mountaineering jacket than asking the folk who use it to give you some feedback. Or is there?
The original Marmot Glenmore was designed in 2001 with help from instructors at Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms, one of the most respected outdoor centres in the UK. It was updated in 2003, and again for 2008 there is a revised edition. With so much input over the years from the leading lights of mountaineering instruction, you’d expect the latest version to be as polished as an instructor’s ice axe.
As with most jackets this winter, the trusty Gore-Tex XCR has been replaced with Gore-Tex Pro Shell. I’ve been using this fabric for about a year now, and I reckon it is definitely an improvement, moving Gore fabric performance a notch closer to the company’s holy grail of ‘Guaranteed to keep you dry’. But with the Glenmore there is also a big, red Marmot logo across the inside of the jacket that impairs breathability.
The wet conditions in the Lakes this winter are a clear indication of how our weather is changing. So I was glad to see an external stormflap on all the zips. You get a snow skirt too – useful for skiing – but walkers can zip it out to save weight and bulk.
The basic layout of the jacket has not changed much since 2001. It is still relatively short. Movement in the sleeves is good and the hood is outstanding – not something you can say of many US brands. As with any jacket destined for serious use, the pockets are mounted high on the chest, so they can be accessed while walking with a rucksack or climbing in a harness. Better still, the pockets take OS maps easily. You get a dedicated map pocket too behind the chest stormflap.
The zips are not the water-resistant variety, which is surprising, as while such zips still let water in they are more water-resistant than conventional ones. However, the standard types of zip are not as stiff as the water-resistant type, and they’re less liable to freeze up too.
The original version of the Glenmore had side vents that extended to the hem, which meant you could get really good venting. The old vent zips leaked a bit in my experience, but now the vents are placed under the arms in the conventional pit zip fashion.
Overall this is a good jacket. The inner Marmot logo is annoying, but not quite a deal-breaker. However at £300 and 732g this is heavier in price and weight than its competitors, and for me the input of Glenmore Lodge staff has not provided the inspiration that I was hoping to see. This perhaps proves there is more to designing a great jacket than merely handing the design process over to outdoor people?
Materials: Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Weight: 732g (size M)
Made in: China
Verdict: High price tag and ludicrous logo detract from an otherwise great mountain jacket.