Marmot – Women’s Nabu Neo Shell Jacket

I would consider myself to be actively technically averse when it comes to outdoor kit. i.e, I honestly don’t care about breathability to waterproof-ability ratios (does such a ratio even exist?) I can’t tell you the difference between Polartec and Gore-Tex. I wouldn’t be able to find a micro fleece in a haystack full of polar fleeces…because all that stuff just bores me.

Why am I making this confession?

Because (sadly for me) in order to explain just how wonderful the Marmot women’s Nabu jacket is, I had to get all technical with it and learn about its fabric, its manufacture and its features. You see, at face value this is such a basic looking, feeling and wearing jacket that you could be mistaken for thinking it’s really not very special… when in actual fact it is so clever it’s bordering on genius!

But, if like me you’re really not normally bothered about the technicality or otherwise of a piece of clothing, here’s why in very basic terms I just love this Nabu jacket from Marmot (technical shizzle follows below if you want to read it…)

  • It is unbelievably lightweight which means if you’re carrying it in a backpack you won’t know it, and when you’re wearing it you don’t feel weighed down.
  • It comes in nice colours with attractive but very stylishly basic detailing (I have a black one with purple details, the latest colours available are a stunning red or blue).marmot neoshell
  • It is the most waterproof jacket you will ever own (I can’t actually prove this lofty declaration – but it has been absolutely no-fail waterproof whilst on test)
  • It is so simple in terms of its design that it doesn’t have any stupid flaps, drawstrings, additional and useless panels or seams, and so it simply fits and remains waterproof even in lashing rain.
  • It is incredibly wind proof considering it is so light – this means that you don’t need to layer on loads of jackets to remain warm, dry and protected from the wind – this is a one stop jacket except in extremely cold or hurricane like conditions.
  • Because it keeps you protected from the rain and the wind it is remarkably warming – despite the fact it is mega light and seemingly thin.
  • The hood fits me!
  • It has 4 pockets – no one needs any more than that. One spacious one for each hand, one for the ipod complete with a little hole for poking your headphones through (at least I think that’s what it’s for), and an internal one for keys/phone/emergency snacks.

Now just before I get all technical with it there are only 2 things I don’t like about this jacket.

1. It is very short…

I’ve tried to find information about why this jacket is so short, but I can’t find any, so the following conclusions are my own:

Because it has something clever going on with the sleeves (‘angel wing’ movement apparently) it doesn’t ride up when you stretch. I assume this made the manufacturer think that they didn’t need to make the jacket any longer than it is?

Also, as this is a winter mountain jacket it could be worn by those all harnessed up and/or wearing waterproof trousers or perhaps even bibbed ski type attire. The shortness of the jacket might be to aid in the wearing of a harness/waterproof trousers?

Anyway, luckily for the jacket I’m not that tall (5 foot 6) so it fits. But if you’re a tall lady and/or you have a long back you will need to try this on for size, don’t just assume it will fit you well.

2. The other thing I don’t like is really a feature I suppose. The zips are v e r y stiff. No analogy necessary.

I think the reason for their stiffness comes down to the fact that they have tiny teeth for maximum waterproofness/security/windproof-ness. They are excellent zips – really clever – but they are stiff.

And now for the technical element of my review.

Sadly I’ve often discovered that average/rubbish kit hides its lack of wow behind creatively written spin by a marketing team. The Marmot women’s Nabu jacket needs absolutely no spin, no BS and no marketing huff and puff. It is an extremely brilliant jacket. However, it does need technical explanation – because as stated above, it looks so basic you’d never believe what this jacket can do.

Here goes..

  • Polartec Neoshell – this means it is made out of an extremely innovative fabric which is waterproof, wind resistant and exceptionally breathable
  • Polartec PowerDry High Efficiency Backer – this means that there’s an internal layer which pulls moisture away from your body in all weather conditions. As most people know from bitter experience, standard waterproofs don’t do this unless an additional coating is applied to the inside of the jacket. So, not only does this jacket keep you dry on the outside, it stops you getting wet from sweat and condensation on the inside. Magic really.
  • 100% seam taped – every single seam, detail and element of this jacket that could potentially be compromised by water has been seamed on the back to totally double protect it. This is a really fantastic attention to detail – and so even if someone were looking at your jacket and thinking it looked basic, they’d see this attention to detail and know your jacket was the business and probably cost a lot more than theirs.
  • Laminated hood brim – I think this stops water that trickles off the end of the hood or is driven into your face from seeping up and getting the inside of the hood/your hair wet.
  • Helmet compatible – and ponytail compatible.
  • Angel-wing movement – this doesn’t mean you can fly, it means that the jacket doesn’t ride up when you stretch – honestly, a cool feature.

In conclusion, no amount of love nor money could part me from this jacket. It is totally amazing and brilliant and I’m sorry Marmot but you can’t have it back. The Nabu is the best waterproof I have ever owned in my life!

If you’ve read this far,then here are some other techie details you may want to know – taken from the manufacturer’s website;

  • Main Materials: Polartec® Neo Shell® 88% Nylon, 12% Elastane 6.5 oz/yd
  • Length: (Base of neck to bottom of hem) 26in
  • Weight: 1lbs 3oz (538.6g)

5-hammersPrice: £260 (RRP)

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