As part of of The Great Outdoors’ November 2020 review of women’s waterproof jackets, Judy Armstrong reviews the Marmot Women’s Keele Peak Jacket. 

The lightest waterproof jacket in our comparative test by a whisker (6g lighter than Outdoor Research’s jacket despite feeling slightly denser), the Marmot Women’s Keele Peak Jacket uses 3L Pertex Shield Pro, a lightweight, supple, soft fabric. It is highly breathable, with a microporous membrane that allows water vapour to pass through more freely than with regular Pertex Shield. To boost airflow further, two zipped vents at the chest gape effectively past a rucksack chest strap; unlike Páramo’s arm vents they’re easy to open and close one-handed. Because of those vents the side pockets are placed low and are completely blocked by a hipbelt or harness, which is disappointing.

It’s one of the shorter jackets in the test, yet the laminated front zip is two-way, with a wide rear stormflap. The hood has single pull-cord adjustment that snugs the volume well, with an unusual amount of space allowed in front of the mouth and chin. I didn’t manage to adjust it close enough to keep driving rain at bay although it did allow extra airflow if I kept my head down so the peak gave shelter. In honesty, it’s a bonus to not have a zipped collar pressing on my mouth when I’m puffing! I prefer to use lightweight, flexible garments like this in less severe conditions because cold rain hammering on fine fabric always feels a bit too close to the skin, but for three-season use it’s ideal. It’s just a shame about the (seemingly unavoidable) pocket placement.

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