As if I haven’t got enough jackets! Last week I took delivery of a Marmot Catalyst jacket (in grey). Phillip has made a couple of very positive comments on this blog about the Catalyst and Raw Outdoors were offering a 20% discount.
The Catalyst is a classic Marmot DriClime garment, with a light wind and water-repellent outer and thin wicking fleece liner. I already have two very similar jackets: the Macpac Matrix (long discontinued) and the TNF Bilayer (also discontinued). Neither jacket quite hits the mark. The Matrix is let down by the underarm mesh vents, which negate its wind shedding abilities. The Bilayer is let down by the shell material, which is not very water resistant. Weights are 383g for the Matrix and 390g for the Bilayer.
The Catalyst is lighter than both at 309g (M) and is showing a lot of promise. What follows is in the context of a few dog walks and walks around town, so I’ve not tested the jacket properly yet. It’s certainly very water-resistant. Rain beads up on the outer and doesn’t seem to penetrate. It also seems to be quite wind proof. Even the stretch panels seem to cope well, although judgement will have to be reserved after some serious hill use.
The fleece liner adds enough warmth without a feeling of over heating. It’s more like the Bilayer than the Matrix, in which case it should be quite versatile. The chest pocket is big enough for an iPhone, but not much more. There are two good-sized hand pockets with zips closures. The hem cord is adjustable from inside the pockets. The collar is the right size for me, snug but not too tight.
If I were being picky, I would like an unlined roll away hood (like the Matrix) and I would prefer chest venting pockets (Bilayer) and velcro adjustable cuffs (Bilayer). However the overall design and weight lead me to prefer the Catalyst over the other two jackets. I will probably take it on my next trip (instead of Paramo) and combine it with my super light TNF DIAD shell jacket (202g). I’m hoping that it will be an ideal jacket for cool windy and showery summer days, where Paramo would be overkill.
In the next few days, I’ll give you a heads up on a couple of other things that I have bought recently. One will surprise you.