With winter well and truly upon us it is time to dust off the winter woollies, grow some balls and get out to the crag for those perfect sending conditions.
For those of us who don’t have balls, prefer to be warm and look pretty at the same time the Marmot Variant women’s jacket may be the answer. Marmot describe this jacket as ‘insulated outerwear for action heroes’, whilst Wonder Woman is rarely sighted with much more than a golden breastplate on her torso, the Variant displays many of the same characteristics, only warmer. And as the description suggests it makes you feel like an action hero(in).
First of all it’s sexy. Whilst many of us would like to boast that we prefer practicality above aesthetics, this is usually not the case. Everyone wants to look good. The Variant jacket comes in a range of bright, pretty colours to warm up those cold wintery days. Mine is astral blue, which brings out my eyes. It also fits nicely. For those of us who are small of stature it can sometimes be difficult to find clothing that doesn’t make you look like a small child in adult’s clothing. This jacket makes me look like a full-sized adult, or at least I like to think it does.
Not only is it pretty, it also has multiple practical elements. Rather than a golden breastplate, which probably provides very little protection, the front torso is insulated with Thermal R to keep your vital organs warm and your heart pumping. The sleeves and back are made out of Polartec Powerstretch, allowing a significant amount of movement to defeat your enemies. Whether you be holding a sword, spear or lasso of truth. The material is also breathable, so it doesn’t leave you cold and wet in the aftermath of battle.
These features make it ideal for pre-climbing, climbing and post-climbing activities. Your back doesn’t overheat walking to the crag with a backpack on. It keeps you warm in between burns without leaving you damp. It allows you to re-enact climbing moves to your buddies around the fire. And it is also practical to climb in, should the need arise and the sun not shine. The jacket is also much lighter and more versatile than Wonder Woman’s armour, or so I would imagine, making it easy to stuff into your climbing pack.
The jacket is definitely one of action, sitting around camp or even at a shady wintery belay the full down jacket is still required. The upside being that with the comfy fit, the gold standard of warmth – the double downie combo – is a winner. The thumbholes allow ease in adding layers, and even without this practical element are one of my favourite features. The front zip pockets are great for putting stuff in, but even better is putting your cold hands into their warm and fluffy entrails.
Unlike Wonder Woman I do feel the cold, and with no super stamina power I do need to rest in between climbing. The Variant jacket is ideal for mere mortals and allows us to adapt to trying winter conditions and carry on climbing. Come summer, however, I will be bringing back the breastplate and leotard.
The Variant retails for $249.95, for more info or to find yourself a stockist follow this link.