Marmot Quasar and Spire Jacket Review // Ski Reviews
Are you an enlightened devotee of the Shell + Down Puffy combination? If you are, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, listen up while I lay down some techy knowledge for you! For skiers and riders, the combination Gore-tex shell and ultra light down puffy is like the ultimate power couple of outerwear. On their own, a shell and puffy each individually rock. But together... hellooo Brangelina! Okay, okay, maybe I need to back off the grocery store check out tabloids. This combo is highly versatile, marrying advanced wind and waterproof protection with super warm insulation, but without adding excess bulk and weight. Let me introduce you to two of Marmot's top rated and technologically advanced products that achieve this: the women's Spire Gore-tex Shell, and the women's Quasar down jacket.
Before I saw the light, I was wearing jackets and pants that would slowly but consistently absorb water. Whether it was a powder or drizzly spring day, eventually I was cold, damp, uncomfortable, and sporting both soaked shoulders and the super attractive "wet butt." Until I found the Marmot Spire Gore-tex jacket. Cue the angelic chorus! Zipping up the Spire and stepping out of Mansfield lodge into an epic Stowe powder storm, I was immediately transformed into a superhero on skis! Throughout a full day surfing waist deep powder, The Spire performed miraculously on the hill thanks to it's 28k rated three layer Gore-tex fabric! I was totally impermeable to the snow, even nonplussed by the PBR that Joey accidentally spilled on me at the Den; I remember my first beer, too. My old, underperforming outerwear quickly dissolved into an old dream...
Designed for skiers and riders alike, The Spire is packed with a myriad of functional features. Cut with a roomy fit, I comfortably layer my Quasar down puffy underneath, for superior warmth and insulation. Among the list of functional features that the Spire comes equipped with is a zippered powder skirt, pit zips for ventilation, a Velcro flap to cover the zipper from getting jammed with snow and ice, a high chin protecting collar, and a helmet compatible hood with a moldable wire brim (perfect for windy days, to keep my hood from blowing off!) My favorite feature is the elevated, chest height pockets with waterproof zippers that allow easy access to my camera without fumbling around my pack waist strap.
An important factor to remember is that the Spire Gore-tex Jacket, and most shells of this type, are non-insulated. Here is where the Quasar jacket shines. Before putting on the Spire, first I zip on the ultra light Quasar puffy; this insulation is my secret weapon to stay warm during frigid days on Mt. Mansfield. I feel instantly cozy when I slip on the Quasar, thanks to the high performance 900 fill down insulation and soft, lightweight, but durable Pertex Quantum Fabric. Forgive the pun, but the Quasar truly feels "light as a feather!" I love the chest pocket, as it is the ideal spot for my iPod; I can easily and conveniently access this pocket under my Spire shell.
Like I said, the Gore-tex shell and ultra light puffy combination is like the power couple of outerwear; superior warmth, advanced waterproofness, ultra lightweight, and both highly functional and versatile. If you haven't seen the light yet, I highly encourage you to check out the Spire and Quasar jackets, and let your old outerwear dissipate into a memory!