The Marmot Spire is a cross between an alpine climbing jacket and ski jacket. I really like this jacket for warm spring conditions on the mountain, but it’s also a great jacket for those who like to hike inbounds, or backcountry skiers that want a light jacket that breathes well. During late spring conditions at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, it’s not unusual to be skiing in 50 degrees, which for me is far too warm for an insulated jacket. At the same time, spring is also when A-Basin receives some of its heaviest, and wettest snowfall, so having a jacket to keep me dry is essential. The Marmot Spire is an affordable 3L Gore-Tex jacket that will keep you dry from the inside and outside. It’s not super warm, but offers plenty of room for layering. I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a performance shell at a decent price.
Breathability: Marmot uses a laser drilled pocket backing to help aid in breathability, and although I can’t say exactly how or if the tech works, I can say that the Marmot Spire is quite breathable. The back mesh is also Dri-Clime which helps to pull and wick moisture really well, again keeping you dry from the inside. Being a shell the Marmot Spire seems to breathe much better than insulated jackets, but it’s also not as warm when the weather turns. The pit zips are pretty standard, but do help to release heat when you need to.
Waterproofing: The 3L Gore-Tex shell is highly water resistant and does a great job of you keeping you dry in wet snow or rain. The Marmot Spire also has fully taped seems and water resistant pocket zippers to further enhance the waterproofing, helping to ensure you stay dry in wet conditions. Although it’s not insulated, the Spire comes in a regular fit that allows for room to layer, so it’s not just limited to warm spring conditions.
Fit: The Marmot Spire comes in a regular fit that is pretty true to size. I was torn between the small and the medium since I like my jackets a bit more snug. The Medium offers a bit more room for layering, so if I planned on using this for really cold days I would definitely opt for the medium (although this also meant more material for bunching when I didn’t have a layer underneath). If you like a more snug fit, and don’t need a lot of extra room for layering, you’d probably be okay sizing down, but be aware that the small was much shorter in the waist than the medium. On the plus side, the Marmot Spire doesn’t tend to ride up like many other jackets I’ve used, so even with the shorter length, the jacket never exposed my waist to the cold.
Warmth and Comfort: The Marmot Spire is only a hard shell. The material is stiff, but not overly so. It feels soft on the inside, and it’s comfortable enough without layers underneath. The fit is roomy enough to layer, although if you plan on layering a lot (big poofy down mid-layer) I would suggest sizing up. I run pretty warm, so even with just a light base layer and fleece mid layer I could wear this jacket on most days. Once the temps drop close to zero I’d be reaching for a better insulated jacket.
Jacket Size – M
Normal Specs– 5’10”, 160 lbs,
Upper Body– 34.5” Chest, Torso Length 23” (collar bone to pant button), Shoulder Width Approx 22”, Arm Length 18.5” (pit to wrist)
Lower Body– 30” Waist, 38” Hips, 30” Inseam, 22” Thigh
Turn On’s: Active fit jackets that fit well around my chest and torso, but don’t restrict movement. Size S Pants that have a bit more room in my thighs, that way I can actually use my pockets. And of course getting first chair with 12” of fresh powder on the mountain.
Turn Off’s: Size S Jackets that are too tight, and Size M jackets that are too loose in the waist. I really don’t like a loose waist that can allow cold air in, and I don’t like having to cinch down the waist. I also don’t like jackets that ride up when I’m skiing, The jacket should stay in place. Pants that fit too tight in the thigh, and I can’t use my pockets. Crowds in the mountains, and not being able to find a place to park in at the trailhead or ski resort