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OWNER REVIEW - Marmot Meta Softshell Jacket

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  • jjruhle@ymail.com
    MARMOT META SOFTSHELL BY JEFF RUHLE OR March 19, 2009 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Jeff Ruhle EMAIL: jjruhle@madski.com AGE: 21 LOCATION: Waterville, ME GENDER: m
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 20, 2009
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      MARMOT META SOFTSHELL
      BY JEFF RUHLE
      OR
      March 19, 2009

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Jeff Ruhle
      EMAIL: jjruhle@...
      AGE: 21
      LOCATION: Waterville, ME
      GENDER: m
      HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)
      PREFERRED TERRAIN Steep and Rugged
      FOOT SIZE 11.5
      WAIST 34
      INSEAM 34

      I developed a love for backpacking while spending the semester abroad in New Zealand. I like to play games with myself and see how little I can pack to keep my pack as light as possible, however, I always pack a lot of food. My favorite terrain is steep, rugged, alpine terrain with more vertical and less horizontal. I also am highly involved with a large number of other outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking, climbing, and biking. Generally, I like to push my comfort zone.

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: Marmot Mountain, LLC
      Model: Meta Softshell Jacket
      Year of Manufacture: 2008
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.marmot.com" LINK TEXT = "www.marmot.com">>
      MSRP: US$199.95
      Listed Weight: Unknown
      Material: [Shell] WindStopper Soft Shell; [Lining] polyester fleece
      Core Venting: No
      Pockets: 2 Front, 1 chest
      Seam Taped: Yes, fully
      Powder Skirt: No
      Hood: Yes
      Zip-in Compatibility: No
      Recommended Use: Hiking, backcountry touring, skiing, ice climbing
      Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime

      Description of Features

      The Marmot Meta Softshell Jacket (from now on will be referred to as "the jacket") is meant to be a windproof, water resistant outer layer for hiking, backcountry touring, skiing, and ice climbing. It's WindStopper (r) outer material stretches with your movements, resists water, and blocks all wind, but remains highly breathable. On the inside, it is a nice plush fleece, that provides a little bit of insulation. In all, I really like the fabric of this jacket.

      The hood is not helmet compatible, although I did find that it fit over my climbing helmet. However, this causes the shoulders to pull up a little bit, which is not very comfortable (or stylish). For when you are not wearing a helmet, it does have a Velcro tab on the back, and two drawcords which allows for a large variety in adjustment. One of the cords runs along the front edge, like usual, but one runs from the temples to the back of the head, which is surprisingly useful. It allows you to cinch down the front cord, but still keep the opening wide enough to see out of. The only problem I had is that the collar in the front does not come up very high when zipped. With a long neck like mine, this allows for a lot of wind to sneak in.

      The pockets on the jacket are one of my favorite features. The two front pockets are very large with long, double-zippered openings. Opening them from the bottom allows them to function like the typical front pockets on any other jacket. However, when you have the hip strap of the pack buckled in, you can unzip them from the top and have enough room to get you hand inside. I find this to be one of the best front pocket designs that I have run across. The chest pocket is is just you typical chest pocket, not to small, not to large, and great for quick access.

      The cuffs are the typical Velcro/strap mechanism, allowing for very quick and easy adjustments. Unlike a lot of cuffs, however, they contain no elastic. I personally prefer this, as it does not rub against my skin all day, which can sometimes get very uncomfortable towards the end of a hike. The bottom of the jacket has an adjustment system as well, allowing you to tighten or loosen it with an elastic cord. The cord is accessed from the inside of the pockets. I actually prefer this access to be on the outside of the jacket, leaving my pockets free, but it makes no big difference and is just a matter of preference.

      One of the two things that I do not like about the jacket are the pit zips. They are not very well incorporated into the jacket. To begin, they are very small, and provide little ventilation. Secondly, they are wildly uncomfortable. Without long sleeves on an under layer, they rub against your arm nonstop. This jacket would probably be better off without the pit zips at all.

      The second thing I do not like about the jacket is the overall fit. It is very loose and baggy. It fits somewhat like a large sweatshirt. In addition, it is very short, particularly in the back. When I sit down, it leaves a nice gap on my back between the pants and the bottom of the jacket, which is quite annoying. It was clearly not cut for someone of a slender, athletic build (which is strange as I would think that describes a large portion of their client base).

      Summary

      The Meta Soft Shell Jacket has some very well thought out features, along with some features that don't seem to be thought out at all. The hood, zippers and materials are all wonderful. The cut of the jacket needs to be redone, and the pit zips should also be redesigned or left out out completely.

      Pros

      -WindStopper (r) exterior
      -Comfortable fuzzy interior
      -Large, double-zippered pockets
      -Flexible adjustment in the hood
      -Lack of elastic in the wrist cuffs
      -Adjustable bottom

      Cons

      -Collar too short
      -Pit zips very small and uncomfortable
      -Cut of the jacket is way too short, and a little wide
      -Elastic drawcord for the bottom adjustment is accessed from the inside of the pockets



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
    • Jamie D.
      Welcome to BackpackGearTest Jeff. Thank you for your Owner Review, and your interest in becoming a tester. Unfortunately, as it stands now your review is
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 4, 2009
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        Welcome to BackpackGearTest Jeff.

        Thank you for your Owner Review, and your interest in becoming a tester. Unfortunately, as it stands now your review is lacking in some areas and cannot be accepted for editing at this time. One main section you have left out is a discription of your field use locations and a clear statement of how often this jacket has been used in the field.
        It is not uncommon for new writers to need a bit more help before their first OR is ready for the editing process. At this point you have two options:

        1) Mentoring Program – This program teams new reviewers with experienced veterans to help get them through their first review(s). If you'd like more assistance or guidance with the process you can request a mentor by sending an email to Mentor (at) backpackgeartest.org - Please use MENTOR REQUEST in the subject line.

        2) Take a second look at our Owner Review requirements spelled out in the How to Become a Tester section of our webpage (link below). In addition to this material we suggest reading some recently approved owner reviews to get a feel for what the BGT standards are.
        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/lesson.php?lesson=BecomeTester&page=1

        Regardless of which option you take, we certainly hope you will give it another go. Our standards are high but that benefits us all. We look forward to seeing your review again in the near future.

        Regards
        Jamie DeBenedetto
        Edit Administration Manager


        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "jjruhle@..." <jjruhle@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > MARMOT META SOFTSHELL
        > BY JEFF RUHLE
        > OR
        > March 19, 2009
        >
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