2007 Marmot Ion/Driclime Windshirt/Jacket — still not breathable?

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Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) 2007 Marmot Ion/Driclime Windshirt/Jacket — still not breathable?

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    P S


    I've been looking to either buy a windshirt or driclime windshirt. In order to test the fabric/sizing, I ordered a L and XL Marmot Driclime Jacket.

    In the past, I've read horrible things about Marmot putting essentially a vapor barrier fabric on these kits. Some thought it was silicon-coated nylon last year. Needless to say, at least one past model of these jackets did not breathe well or at all.

    I called and inquired about the fabric on this year's models: Banshee P-170. After explaining that last year's model did not breathe, I was told "it did breathe, but this updated fabric should breathe a little better." It's a polyester face, and I confirmed no coating of any sort other than a DWR.

    The jackets were just delivered. When doing the informal blow and suck test on the fabric, I couldn't really blow any air through, but did barely feel the warmth on the other side of my breath. I could not suck through the fabric.

    [EDIT: There are small side panels near the pockets. When I blow hard through these, I can–very slightly–feel the moving air. I took a can of compressed Co2 and shot it at the fabric: the small side panel does allow you to feel the air, but again, just barely. I could not feel any Co2 coming through the front. In comparison, I have an Arcteryx Gamma SV with Powershield rated at around 6 CFM. I can breathe/suck/shoot Co2 through it and feel it. I'd guess this Windshirt has a CFM of less than 3, probably 1 or 2. My best guess it that the fabric is coated with something that will greatly inhibit breathability]

    Are the driclime jacket/windshirt, as well as the Ion still off-limits for a breathable windshirt? I understand the test is unscientific and really only tests air permeability, but in the past it has been a good indicator of breathability.

    An interesting note: I have found some websites to list last year's model as "Banshee Nylon." This year's is Banshee Polyester. Perhaps Banshee is coating/laminating/sealing their fabrics?

    Robert C
    BPL Member


    Locale: Midwest

    I don't know about your breathability tests as I have never been able to conclusively suck air through any windshirt fabric. I guess my lungs aren't strong enough or something. From reading how you reviewed the breathability, I'm guessing that the inner layer of microfleece fabric skewed your results. The fabric in the armpits is an open-weave mesh and would in no way inhibit breathability. That you found it to be slightly unbreathable leads me to believe that you aren't considering the microfleece inner fabric.

    Anyway, I have a 2007 Driclime shirt and have found no problems with breathability. I've worn it in a wide range of conditions, and have never felt wet in it from internal condensation. The integrated microfleece lining does make it a little warmer than a standard windshirt, but the full zip allows me to vent when temperatures rise.

    Previous to the 2006 version (which is the one with the bad reputation), Marmot used Pertex Quantum. The fabric they use now (the Banshee 170) is perhaps not as light as Quantum, but it performs equally well, from what I've seen comparing the two in the field, at blocking wind and breathing. It also has a much better DWR. I honestly don't understand why so many people get hung up about windshirts and breathability, though. It's not a rainshell. There's rarely any "need" to wear a windshirt like there is a rain jacket. If you get hot, just take the thing off. That's their function–to add warmth. Why are all these people wearing windshirts on hot days and then complaining about their poor breathability? Windshirts are for cold days.

    Adam Garmon


    I think it would be very hard to determine breathability of a garment solely based on air permeability. The driclime jacket is a bicompent piece made up of a windproof polyester face and marmots driclime, a proprietary polyester wicking design. The windproof face can be by itself bought in their Ion piece. You would feel no more air coming through the Ion than you would a WPB fabric. Where the breathability comes in and performs better than the wpb is mostly in how much moisture vapor is allowed to move through the piece in comparison to the WPB. Your gamma sv, although warmer because of the backing, has an outer face that is very breathable due to the 2-3% of wind that is allowed through. Where the driclime jacket and windshirt truly shine is in the wicking properties. If you were to remove the backing and soak it you would feel the next to skin side feel vastly drier than the side normally facing the outer shell. This transports actual sweat liquid very well. I would agree with the last fella that windshirts like the driclime are definitely warm layers opposed to something like the Ion. I know tons of people who have a driclime piece and marvel at seeing how soaked the piece is around the pack area but how dry the inside of that area feels. Ryan Jordan et al do an amazing job with their very scientific explanation of breathability somewhere on this site.

    BPL Member


    The 2007 Marmot Ion is actually quite breathable — not as highly breathable as the Patagonia Houdini, but not bad either.

    Thomas Baker
    BPL Member


    Locale: WY

    I have the 2007 version of the Ion as well and agree with Ben's assessment.

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