This is the 5th and last review in the Midweight Softshell Review Series
The Marmot Pro Tour Jacket uses both laminated and unlaminated softshell fabrics. It is the only jacket to use the Powershield O˛ fabric, which is even more breathable than the standard or lite variants of Powershield. The Pro Tour is very breathable and cool to wear and as such is definitely for the very active and not for winter use. The front of the jacket, shoulders and top of arms are made from the Powershield O˛ fabric (dark black in image below), whilst the sides and lower back are made from a proprietary marmot softshell fabric (light black in image). This gives the jacket increased weather protection from the front but better moisture transfer and stretch at the back. Marmot also reasoned that you will often be wearing a pack which gives you protection as well as making you sweaty in this area so an unlaminated fabric would be best.
There is no doubt that Marmot have created a very breathable jacket for something that is more than 60% membraned. For ski touring, biking and winter running the Pro Tour is a great piece, but the flip side is that the jacket has very low insulation. A couple of times I got too cold before I put the Pro Tour and found that I wasn’t really warming up very quickly. Every garment has a climate window in which it is best suited and the window for the Pro Tour is warmer than for your average softshell. Great for not over heating for 3 seasons but not a winter piece.
The Pro Tour is nominally a ski touring piece and has a couple of nice ski features. First there is a large net pocket on the inside, where you would put your skins on the descent. A nice touch but the first time I used it, I tried to put my second skin on the other side and realised there was only one pocket. OK if you have skinny traditional skins but not enough room for some modern fat skins. The hem drawcord is more than enough to hold your skins in, if you just shove them in without using the pocket and the netting makes a good pocket anyway. There is also a ski pass pocket on the upper left arm, just the right size and totally unobtrusive when empty.
The Pro Tour jacket has an athletic cut which lends itself well to cycling and running. There is no flapping of the sleeves at speed plus they have velcro adjusting cuffs for those wearing gloves or with thick wrists. 2 large chest pockets are very practical and well clear of any waistbelts or harness when in use. The main zip undoes both ways so the jacket can be used easily for belaying. One distinctive feature that I quite liked was the collar and hood arrangement. The hood is separate to the collar so you can do the zip up to the top without tightening the hood. It seals the jacket more effectively in bad weather and gives you more clear space around the head when the hood is not wanted.
I really liked the features and the cut of the Pro Tour jacket, my only reservation is that it is not quite warm enough. Ironically it could be the fantastic breathability of the Powershield O˛ fabric which limits the use of the Pro Tour. Conversely if you have found previous softshells to be stiff, spongey or clammy then the Pro Tour could be what you are looking for.
This last shot of the Pro Tour shows we do actually use the products for a while before reviewing them, but is mainly a good photo of me skiing that I have squeezed onto the blog.