At £400 the Marmot Alpinist is definitely a considered purchase, as it has the highest price tag of those jackets featured, but if you can ignore the price for a moment, then there are some good features.
For starters, although it is made from Gore-Tex Pro Shell like many others, it uses what appears to be a more durable version, so it should resist wear and tear better. Also there are four chest pockets, unlike the two you tend to get with many lower-priced jackets. The two Napoleon pockets are a bit small though and won’t quite fit a Cicerone guidebook for example. The zips are exposed but you do get a wider internal gutter system than others to funnel leaks away. Inside you get a removable snow skirt, and the jacket boasts an excellent hood. There’s also a little more length in the body than many jackets that are lower in price.
This is definitely one of the better options we looked at, but the price is still steep compared to its rivals. Also, it doesn’t come in a women’s version.
Weight 742g (men’s L)
Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Sizes men’s S-XL
External pockets 4
Wired hood yes
Side vents yes
You get plenty of really good features with the Marmot Alpinist, which makes it among the best jackets for performance, but the price is still painfully high.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2011