Marmot Speedri Jacket ReviewJuly 18, 2013
- Excellent waterproofing
- Good breathability
- Packs small
- Deep hand pockets
- Some complained about fabric noise
- Disappointing wrist closure performance
- Sleeves fell short
Testers heaped high praise on this versatile shell for its overall light weight without sacrificing key features (pockets, big hood) and performance. With great breathability and all-day-long watershedding protection we think the Speed Dri would make an excellent shell for backpacking and day hiking.
The Speedri Jacket seems pricey for a non-name brand membrane jacket, but the performance is on par with Gore, eVent and Polartec NeoShell in many ways. It’s a fully featured shell with a reasonable weight, so it’s hard to complain. Definitely not a steal, but not a ripoff either.
In several all day drenchings on Vancouver Island and Washington State’s Cascades we never noticed a leak or wet out and when the clouds parted it almost instantly felt dry.
With an open, but sheltered vent on the back and under the arms, this jacket’s breathability seemed excellent. The Membrane FusionDri fabric combines the waterproof-breathable performance of other three layer shells and adds a very fine DriClime mesh to the interior. Marmot has used DriClime for a while as a mechanical wicking layer on aerobic jackets. The soft fabric physically absorbs sweat vapor maintaining next to skin comfort. A mesh built into the interior side of the FusionDri the DriClime layer kept the interior feeling drier than we expected. This made it hard to tell just how breathable this jacket was. Bottom line: it dumps sweat alongside the best of the other membranes and even when we knew we were overwhelming the breathability it took longer to feel clammy.
A big hood kept us well covered hiking in a downpour and the hand pockets were roomy enough for stuffing our paws in and keeping whatever we had stored safe as well. We find Marmot gear fits a little smaller than other companies and long armed testers definitely noticed the sleeves came a little short leaving wrists exposed. Some testers complained about the noise of the fabric, (sort of a crinkle), when we moved. It was not the softest, most supple feeling hard shell that we tested.
We never had any issues but the fabric felt like a lightweight. Testers were concerned about plunging into heavy bush or bashing through blackberry brambles when exploring a new route. Noteworthy: Marmot brags about the weight of the laminated fabric—15 denier exterior, 12 to 15 micron barrier, 30 denier interior—not the durability of it.
Compacting to the size of a grapefruit and weighing 14 ounces, it was not the lightest, but was close to the smallest shell in the test.