#Marmot #West #Rib #Parka #Assessment #Days #Alaska
In the course of the spring climbing season within the Alaska Vary, I had the chance to check out Marmot’s West Rib Parka, one of many greatest, thickest parkas I’d ever seen.
My journey encompassed a private climbing journey out to Mt. Huntington, adopted by a 25-day patrol with Denali Climbing Rangers. I patrolled the West Buttress route on Denali as a volunteer for the Denali Rescue Volunteers program.
This was the right journey to place the West Rib Parka via the wringer: over 35 days on a glacier through the spring climbing season in Alaska.
In brief: The Marmot West Rib Parka ($600 MSRP) proved heat for my prolonged keep in Alaska’s excessive ranges, and I solely had a couple of grievances.
For the primary a part of our journey, two associates and I flew into the East Fork of the Tokositna Glacier. We arrange a base camp for 10 days on the base of the west face of Mt. Huntington. Much less-than-ideal climate allowed us solely two climbing outings and plenty of extra days at our base camp.
For the second a part of the journey, I equipped with the Denali Climbing Rangers to accompany them on a 25-day West Buttress search-and-rescue patrol. This was a part of the Denali Rescue Volunteers program.
Our itinerary was to spend a few week going up from base camp to the 14,000-foot camp earlier than spending 10 days acclimatizing there. We’d then push to a 17,000-foot camp, adopted by a profitable summit day because of the implausible climate throughout this spring Denali season.
I had the prospect to make use of the West Rib Parka for all 25 days of the patrol. I used to be pleasantly stunned with the West Rib‘s consolation and heat however discovered a couple of shortcomings. Beneath are my ideas after spending 35 nights within the West Rib Parka.
Marmot West Rib Parka Assessment
Specs and Options
The Marmot West Rib Parka has a Pertex Quantum ripstop nylon outer shell guarding overlapping 3M Thermal R 40g artificial insulation. It has an inside panel of 3D WarmCube 800-fill goose down. The sq. WarmCube baffles forestall down from shifting. This mixture of a down inside and an artificial outer layer protects the down from wetting out in damp situations. Marmot designed this technique to supply a stability of water resistance and packability.
A beneficiant minimize is designed to be the outer layer for winter outings, and Marmot sizes the hood to go over a helmet. But it surely has a cinch wire to excellent the match with or with out a helmet. An included stuff sack helps make the West Rib compact in a climbing bag and means that you can clip it to a harness throughout technical climbs.
The West Rib Parka has two sizeable zippered handwarmer pockets and two extraordinarily spacious zippered chest pockets accessed from the outside. Two inside mesh drop-pockets match a pair of gloves, a Nalgene, or the rest to be saved heat.
I discovered the spacious handwarmer pockets and the large-volume chest pockets extraordinarily helpful. I saved odd requirements within the chest pockets, resembling an additional pair of sun shades, a headlamp, a battery pack, or a small digital camera. They disappeared into the lofty construction of the jacket and stayed heat and guarded whereas remaining straightforward to entry.
The double-pull heart zipper allowed me to zip up from the underside to entry my belay loop — a favourite characteristic. Nonetheless, I discovered the selection of zipper disappointing on the West Rib Parka. The small zipper pull would all the time snag on the draft tube and was finicky. This was worse with chilly fingers or gloves.
I discovered the hybrid insulation felt like a artificial jacket however barely lighter and extra packable. This was because of the internal down 3D WarmCube panels. We had been in predominantly below-freezing temperatures, so I didn’t expertise any really moist situations to check the water resistance of the outer artificial layers.
Nonetheless, I predict this parka would match nicely in a Pacific Northwest climbing atmosphere. The commonly damp situations and technical ice routes with dripping water might totally moist out a down jacket.
Consolation and Heat
The West Rib Parka is designed as a belay parka for winter alpine/mountain climbing and mountaineering. It’s meant to be layered over climbing attire.
The beneficiant minimize of the West Rib achieved this match nicely and nonetheless supplied an inexpensive vary of motion. I discovered this parka exceptionally heat for the situations on technical ice routes on Mt. Huntington and the 20,310-foot Denali West Buttress route summit.
Whereas mountain climbing within the shade in low double-digit temperatures on Mt. Huntington, it was all the time a reprieve throwing on the Marmot West Rib. I used to be engulfed in heat whereas ready on the belay. On the West Buttress of Denali, we had an unseasonably heat and clear season. I didn’t get the prospect to check the parka in full-storm situations. Nonetheless, I used to be by no means chilly at a 17,000-foot camp in single-digit temperatures through the coldest elements of our journey.
I discovered the outer Pertex Quantum shell glorious at shedding wind on the few days we had windy situations. Other than the small foremost zipper, my solely different want for the parka was a barely longer minimize within the again (I’m 6 ft tall, 150 kilos) to cowl extra of my hips.
Weight, Sturdiness, and Packability
Coming in at a verified 1 pound 14.3 ounces in unisex medium, the West Rib Parka isn’t one of many lighter belay parkas. It’s heavier than full-down parkas however extra packable than full-synthetic parkas. The West Rib strikes a pleasant stability of packability and weight whereas providing elevated efficiency in moist environments.
The inside and exterior materials are a lot thicker than on ultralight parkas, including to the general weight. Nonetheless, this delivered peace of thoughts that the jacket wouldn’t snag, tear, or in any other case rip simply throughout climbing outings involving sharp rock or ice instruments.
All through all my testing of the Marmot West Rib Parka, I by no means observed any snags or tears within the material on both aspect. That is regardless of shouldering ice instruments or climbing combined pitches within the parka.
Marmot West Rib Parka: Conclusion
Designed to come across any moist or chilly situations within the excessive alpine, the Marmot West Rib Parka is a wonderful selection as a quiver-of-one jacket. It was gentle and packable sufficient for single-day outings and versatile and roomy sufficient for true expedition-style climbing or moist environments.
The generously sized pockets present ample area to maintain any belongings simply accessible. And the helmet-compatible hood and double-zippered foremost zipper fared nicely for technical climbing aims.
The West Rib Parka could possibly be improved with a bigger, much less finicky entrance zipper. It was irritating when making an attempt to zip up the jacket with gloves or chilly fingers, and it detracted from the general high quality and usefulness. And for me, an extended tail would have been appreciated.
Regardless of these drawbacks, I used to be usually impressed with the West Rib Parka’s heat, consolation, and options. And its sturdiness by no means left me questioning its potential to endure harsh situations.
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