The Marmot Zion jacket is made for high output winter activities – like backcountry skiing, splitboarding and snowshoeing. What makes this jacket so great is that it incorporates Neoshell as the waterproof breathable membrane. We have been fans of Neoshell for the last few years and love that this jacket features it. The Zion is designed to be a functional jacket with just what you need, nothing you don’t.
Marmot M1 series soft shells are made to fit a bit more athletic than a “normal” jacket and we can attest to this. As you can see in the video, the size XL fits our tester very well – 6’1” 200lb 44” chest and 33” waist. Not baggy at all and sleeves long enough to cover up over gloves and keep snow from getting in. The hood fits well over a beanie or hat – not so much over a ski helmet (you could do it, but it would be restrictive).
Marmot was able to reduce the weight of the Zion jacket by 30% this year, bringing it down to 1lb 11oz for the XL. Not the lightest jacket, but it sure is burly. This is your “do it all” shell. Heading into some snow, got you covered, Rain in the forecast, no problem. Need a windbreaker that you can dump heat on the skin track, done.
Features are pretty typical for this style of jacket. The zippers are water resistant, napoleon pocket on left chest, small stash pocket on left arm, hand pockets saturated higher than street jackets to accommodate backpacks (very key feature). There are generous pit zips as well.
All in all, this has been one of our testers favorite backcountry touring jackets. If we could ask for one more thing, it would be some drop pockets on the inside. Other than that, well done Marmot!