Marmot Super Mica Jacket

Marmot Super Mica Jacket

Overview:
Marmot makes 3 jackets with their NanoPro Membrain fabric: The Essence at $200, the Super Mica $225, and the Artemis Jacket for Men or the Adroit Jacket for Women $250. The Essence is the lightest and most minimalist of the three jackets using 12 denier face fabric, one chest pocket and no pit zips. The Artemis Jacket uses the heaviest face-fabric of the three at 2.9 oz/yrd but has some stretch and has all the features like pit-zips and hand pockets. The Super Mica splits the difference of these two jackets with 2.5 oz/yd while retaining all the features of the Artemis. I chose the Super Mica over the other two jackets because I liked how it offered a little of both worlds: features and minimal weight.

For those inquiring more about Marmot's new NanoPro Membrain fabric, please check my earlier post which goes into full detail about how it compares to other fabrics.

How it Fits :
The Super Mica Jacket is an athletic cut with the Medium size fitting me (5'10" 165lb) pretty much spot on. The one area in which it could improved is under the arms.There is enough room for a baselayer but gets a little snug with a light weight puffy,like a down sweater. In my case, I was layering it with a Marmot Isotherm hoody. While not a deal breaker for my figure, someone who has broad back may want to size up accordingly. 

The Super Mica comes with two deep front chest pocket ranging from mid-chest to near the hip. The pockets are meshed line which allows for extra cross flow ventilation if it was windy or if you're skiing with the pockets unzipped. Another feature on the jacket are pit-zips for extra ventilation which also worked quite well when open allowing extra room under the arms for layering.

The Super Mica has enough room in the hood for hooded insulated mid-layer buy not enough room for a climbing or ski helmet. The hood quickly cinches down from the back for little to no movement when hiking. Due to how well the hood and high collar protects from the wind and rain, I never felt the need to do use the front hood cinches.

Performance:
One of my favorite features of the Super Mica Jacket are the hip and shoulder reinforcements. If any location on the jacket is going to get wear and tear, it is going to be at those two locations caused by a pack. I noticed absolutely no wear or tear in those locations after hours of hiking in the jacket with a pack. 

Most importantly, the jacket performed flawlessly on a long rainy spring hike to Lake Serene in the Washington Cascades. To compare the breath-ability among fabrics, I would switch every hour or so between the Super Mica which uses NanoPro Membrain and my Marmot Hyper Lite jacket using Gore-Tex Active. I made sure to use each jacket on extended steep parts of the trail to make sure they were tested in similar conditions.Overall, I felt that the NanoPro membrain breathed just as well as my Active shell and kept me just as dry.

I've used the Super Mica Jacket while carrying an overnight backpack and I did feel like the fabric wets out much more than my  Marmot Hyper Lite jacket. With this in mine, I would prefer to take an active shell when carrying an overnight pack while the super mica jacket works best with a day pack.
Typical spring hike in the Cascades, a little sun,  clouds, and a lot of rain
After my hike I looked into the breath-ability rating of Gore-Tex Active shell which Marmot lists on their website with a Hohenstein RET value between 3 and 4. The RET value that Marmot lists for the NanoPro Membrain is between 2.9 and 4.  This suggest that my field report does match the lab results, which we certainly hope that it does! Anyone not familiar with a Hohenstein RET value, it is one test to measure the breathaiblity of a fabric, the lower the number, the more breathable the fabric.

Due to how thin the jacket is, I noticed that when the face fabric eventually wets out, I could see the color of the face fabric from inside the jacket. At first this worried me because I never saw this with my Gore-Tex products but I saw it again on the Super Mica when I washed it, so it's something to expect and not be startled. 

Summary:
The Marmot Super Mica Jacket delivers exceptional performance due to NanoPro Membrain which allows it to rival jackets nearly twice the price. Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a lightweight but fully functional and featured, waterproof-breathable, jacket should definitely consider the Super Mica jacket.
Pros:
  • NanoPro Membrane is Highly Breathable 
  • Waterproof 
  • Lightweight
  • Fantastic performance / price ratio
  • Durable
  • Aesthetically pleasing designs and color options
Cons:
  • Needs a little more room under the arms
  • Doesn't stuff into its own pocket.
**Audio had to be recorded over due to the waterproof casing on the GoPro**

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