Friday, September 26, 2008

Versatile Cold-weather Shells from Marker

I've had this coat in my closet for a while, rarely pulling it out since I live in a southern zone that doesn't get freezing cold all that often. I'm in Iceland right now though, and this shell from Marker is getting a workout.

It was made for this kind of weather: whipping wind, spurts of rain, and fluctuating temperatures. Iceland in late September is like a year of weather in one day. This coat is meeting the challenge head-on though, resisting the rain, blocking the wind, and keeping me snug. The hood tucks away when not needed, but when the nasty weather returns, I can just unroll the hood and form it to my head with cinch straps and Velcro. It all dries quickly when the sun comes back out and the coat is light to carry when it's not needed at all.

There is a detachable vest on the inside that I left at home for this trip because I already had a fleece I was planning to wear underneath. If I were using this to go skiing, which was my original intent when buying it, I would put the vest back in for an extra layer of warmth.

There are other little extras here and there, like an inside zipper pocket, a sleeve pocket for money, and even a front pocket for a MP3 player. Velcro on the sleeves allows you to wrap them tight and cinch straps around the waist allow a custom fit.

The various Marker shells retail for $180 to $240 and if I remember right I got mine for less than a Ben Franklin at Sierra Trading Post. I haven't gotten as much use out of it as I would like, but I would still buy it again. There are more heavily marketed jackets that are very similar in style and structure selling for two or three times this price. Marker seems to be more focused on its bindings and helmets, so you can find closeout deals on last year's models all over the place.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Good blog and review. You should check out this new travel site I found You can review destinations and activities, upload pics and get info for your next trip.