Review: Marmot Nano Jacket


Review: Marmot Nano Jacket w/ Text and VideosA review of the Marmot Nano Jacket

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Marmot NANO Jacket




  • Main Material:◦GORE-TEX®Paclite® 100% Nylon Ripstop 2.2 oz/yd
  • GORE-TEX® Paclite®: Guaranteed to Keep You Dry – Gore-Tex Pac-Lite: Guaranteed to Keep You Dry
  • 100% Seam Taped – For Full Waterproofness
  • Attached Adjustable Hood – Reduces Volume and is Secured with a Velcro Hood Tab
  • Water Resistant Front Zipper – WR Front Zipper
  • Pack Pockets™ with Water-resistant Zippers – Pack Pockets with Water-resistant Zippers
  • Integrated Laser-Drilled Pocket Backing for Enhanced Breathability
  • Reflective Logos
  • Asymmetric Cuffs
  • Elastic Draw Cord Hem – For Adjustability in Serious Weather
  • Angel-Wing Movement™ – Allows Full Range of Motion in Arms so Jacket Doesn’t Ride Up
  • Center Back Length: 28in / 71.1cm
  • Weight: 8 oz / 226 g





Gear review: Marmot Nano Jacket

I think I have found the ultimate backcountry shell. Seriously. The Marmot Nano, released this past spring, weighing in at just under 8 ounces (8!) on my scale, takes lightweight and low-bulk to a different level, while still providing tremendous Gore-protection – GORE-TEX Paclite. This shell uses a specific GORE-TEX membrane with a protective layer made of an oil-hating substance (per Gore) and carbon, so no separate lining is required. This feature makes GORE-TEX Paclite shells lighter and smaller to stash. You will be amazed when you hold this jacket in your fingertips and realize that the entire paradigm just shifted toward a world where lightweight foul weather protection really does exist. Seriously. In the past we relied upon lightweight nylon shells that offered decent wind cover but absolutely no rain or snow protection. Or bulky shells that were bomber but warm and heavy. Or not that waterproof. Now there’s both in a tiny package.

And while this jacket is somewhat minimalist, akin to a featherweight, two-pocket, basic mountaineering jacket, it is really all you need, especially on longer Alpine climbs, cragging, backpacking, hiking, running, ski touring, mt. biking – any sport where you want to be able to pack a shell deep down in the pack yet be ready for drizzle, downpours, snow, and winds. Nothing major mind you, but most of what we spend our time out in. The Nano disappears in your pack, stuffed into a bike shirt rear pocket, a fishing hip pouch, tied around your waist for a trail run … so readily that you REALLY don’t notice you have a full-protection shell with you. That is, until you need it. Now it’s a no brainer to always have such a shell with you.

The Nano excels on trips like the West Ridge of Mt. Conness, which requires a five-hour approach to the base of the climb, and often ripping winds and weather on the four to five hour simul-climb up the ridge. Every ounce does count, especially on the slog back.

The Nano has an attached, adjustable hood with moldable wire brim, high harness- and pack-friendly chest pockets, and water resistant zippers. The Paclite fabric/system works well, suitably shifting moisture from inside to out, especially well when humidity is low. The Paclite fabric and laser drilled pocket backing actually seem to help enhance breathability, as described. We’ll see how the Paclite works when tested in snowing, snaining, etc. in more humid conditions, going up the skintrack an down the deep in a warm area such as Tahoe.

The Nano has become my de facto shell, for now mainly forgotten until needed. And while I haven’t had the Nano out in snow or very cold temps, I am eager to see if I can substitute it for some of my other heavier, bulkier backcountry ski jackets to get the pack lither. While there’s no powder skirt and the fit is fairly tight (“athletic”), I believe in Tahoe, where we have fairly warm, all-around winter temps, the Nano is going to be the go-to touring shell, unless it’s simply nuking/blizzarding or super-deep and actually light. Looking forward to testing it out. If the Nano performs well during most winter conditions, than this could be the ultimate, year-round shell, useable in 90% of situations.

One area of concern – not really concern – but of caution. While the Nano is an amazing piece of gear, it is somewhat delicate. While I haven’t ripped it yet, I find myself being a little extra cautious when it comes to jamming fists and arms into granite cracks, messing about with tying and clipping flies, etc. I am sure the same will happen with ski edges, crampons, pine branches … this is not GoreTex Pro in terms of its ability to shake off abuse. I do anticipate some Gore patches sometime in the future.

Unlike most Marmot jackets, the Nano runs smaller, with a more athletic, tighter fit, so, if you can, be sure to try one on before you buy. I typically wear a medium, and the fit was perfect, but trending toward the tighter side. If you anticipate numerous layers underneath, maybe go a size up.

MSRP: $250. This isn’t exactly inexpensive, especially for the amount of fabric, but the weight- and bulk-savings makes up for the dent. – by ccrossen

About Stephane Marchiori

Owner of
Bike touring since 2003, including:
a 5-Year Bicycle Journey Around The World!

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