The Marmot Eclipse EvoDry is one of the most sustainable jackets and not just because it’s easy on the environment, using less water, dyes and chemicals. It’s also built with an innovative water repellant treatment that’s baked in at the molecular level so it never needs to be reapplied and performs as well or better than just about every other jacket in its category. Yes, you can be green and get performance and durability, too.
The durable water repellent, aka DWR, finish on the Marmot Eclipse EvoDry, thanks to GTI’s Aquavent technology, is the most durable one out there and that makes this jacket one of the most waterproof available. DWR is what makes water bead on a jacket. When it wears off from use and abrasion, the jacket’s exterior fabric begins absorbing water. The membrane—the actual waterproof barrier—still works, but the jacket gets heavy and stops breathing properly. On most jackets the DWR is a coating applied to the exterior. On the Eclipse it’s molecularly bonded to the jacket fibers: it doesn’t wear off and never needs to be reapplied. In pounding rain and prolonged drenching our testers stayed dry. The hood is generous and easy to adjust and the velcro cuffs snugged tight for preventing trickles.
While the water repellant coating is usually the focus of weatherproofing, it also impacts breathability, at least when it’s not working properly. When a jacket wets out, because it’s DWR has failed, the jacket stops breathing in those areas. The DWR on the Marmot Eclipse EvoDry never wears out, so breathability won’t be impacted over time. As it is now, the jacket is quite breathable. The proprietary MemBrain Eco membrane does a good job of dumping heat and two good sized, and easy to work, pit zips help with the job. It’s not the most breathable jacket, but right near the front of the pack.
We’ve been impressed with Marmot’s jackets for a while and the Marmot Eclipse is right up there with their best. Careful tailoring means reaching up doesn’t expose wrists or belly; the jacket stays in place. The hood is easy to adjust and sits just right. Elastic drawstrings cinch up the waist. The pit zips were easy to open and close. And the two hand pockets sit just high enough to stay out of the way of a pack waist strap or climbing harness. The fit runs a little smaller than usual, so consider what layers will go under it.
As mentioned above in Weatherproofing and Breathability, the DWR treatment on the Marmot Eclipse is permanent, the first of its kind in the industry. It won’t wear out with use, meaning the jacket will maintain its beading longer. The jacket, like all waterproof-breathable, still requires regular washings. The fabric is fairly tough for the category. A bash through a Vancouver Island rainforest left it dirty but unharmed.
At 13 ounces the Marmot Eclipse is not the most packable jacket. In addition it comes well equipped with pit zips, two pockets and waterproof zippers, which all add to the bulk. There are lighter and more packable jackets in this category.
Ryan Stuart is freelance writer and jack of all sports—trail running, mountain biking, whitewater paddling, surfing, climbing, skiing and mountaineering—based on Vancouver Island. Follow his testing on Google+.