Over the years, I’ve had several windshell jackets with lightweight fleece liners. I’ve mainly used them as casual jackets, but sometimes I’ve taken them backpacking instead of using a fleece and windproof shell. This saves a bit of weight, but at some expense of flexibility.
A few years back, I bought a Marmot Catalyst jacket, which I’ve used mainly for dog walking. It’s starting to get a bit tatty so I thought I’d buy its replacement model, the Stride. It’s a very similar design, but with some improvements.
It’s slightly lighter at 271g for a medium (not the 249g advertised) versus 309g for the Catalyst. The outer material seems slightly thinner and more silky. The inner “Driclime” fleece is thin but fluffier than the old version. It’s very comfortable against the skin.
The Stride has two zipped waist pockets with a fleece lining, unlike the Catalyst, which had no lining. It has a small chest pocket with a headphone port. The cuffs are Lycra bound and just the right size for me. There are underarm mesh vents. These are backed by the fleece liner, so they shouldn’t be too draughty, but do provide good ventilation.
The Stride has a hem and a neck draw cord. The overall fit is relaxed rather than “athletic”. My ME Ultratherm is a lot trimmer. I think I prefer the fit of the Stride. It’s marginally heavier than the Ultratherm (264g) and because it’s mainly solid, more wind resistant. It’s lighter than my Rab Vapor Rise Light (400g) and a better fit.
I’ve only used it on a few dog walks do far. It has good wind resistance and somewhat shower proof, but not as water-resistant as Paramo. It’s definitely got the potential to be a good summer jacket. It weighs the same as a lightweight fleece and has a similar warmth. It can double up as a fleece and a wind jacket.
I bought the Dark Azure/Cinder colour combination, which is rather attractive with the zip accents. The Dark Azure is not quite as dark as my pictures suggest. Overall I think it’s quite a good jacket for walking/backpacking if it’s not too cold. I bought mine for £72 against a normal price of £80, which is pretty reasonable.
Disclosure: I bought this jacket with my own money and have no relationship with Marmot.