Marmot DriClime is It

Post by blogger | April 3, 2007      

DriClime side zip pant.
DriClime pants.

We recently acquired a few more DriClime clothing articles from Marmot. I know many of you loyal blog readers are privy to the secret of the DriClime windshirt, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat for those out of the loop. DriClime is a wicking fabric that’s sold as single layer garments such as long underwear, and is also combined with a thin nylon shell to make the two-ply clothing I write about below.

Marmot DriClime has been around for a while, but I’m constantly amazed at how well it works for layering while doing athletic backcountry activities in moderate climate. Our closets are full of medium weight mid-layers such as fleece jackets, but the advent of soft shells obsoleted much of this, as the soft-shell alone provides so much insulation that only the lightest mid-layers and base layers produce a combo that’s cool enough for exercising. The perfect solution is Marmot’s DriClime Windshirt, which can be worn as a shell in of itself, or under a softshell jacket for moderate warmth that belies its low bulk.

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The system works like this: Next to the skin, a super thin base for moderate conditions, or something heavier such as Patagonia Capilene 4 if temperatures will hover in the freezer zone. Next, your soft shell if you’re exercising hard and still need a shell because of wind or precip. The DriClime windshirt goes on under the softshell if you need more warmth, or is used as a shell if you’re regular softshell is too warm. Lastly, compressed in your backpack you carry some kind of puffy for rest breaks and emergencies. Down is okay of you’re certain about good weather, otherwise a synthetic filled puffer might be a better choice. (On short roadside routes during warm weather, I sometimes leave out the mid layer but carry the puffy for emergencies or breezy summits.)

We also like the DriClime side zip pant. Though a bit more bulky and technical than the Windshirt (due to the side zippers), Louie figured this would be the perfect emergency underlayer for his shell pant and minimalist long-john combo. It’s not something he’ll always carry, but for long days with questionable weather he’ll have the DriClime pants in his pack and his dad will have peace of mind. He even figured out how to zip the DriClime pants on under the shell pants, without removing the shell pants (which have side zips as well). I wanted to video that but such was not allowed.

I’m thinking the DriClime pants will be perfect for my summer backpacking system as well. It’ll work like this: A pair of lightweight shorts along with Cloudveil Switchback soft shell pants for the alpine, as well as Cloudveil Zorro if it gets truly wet. When it gets cold I’ll zip the DriClime pants over the shorts or over the thin Switchback pants, and pull on the Zorros if it gets truly epic.

DriClime has an excellent anti-microbial coating that works well to prevent the foul stench often produced by modern synthetic wicking fabrics. Capilene also has such a treatment which in our experience does work, but is not quite as effective as that of the DriClime (to be fair,this difference could caused by the thickness of the layers we’re comparing).

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5 Responses to “Marmot DriClime is It”

  1. Mark April 3rd, 2007 9:10 pm

    We sell a Dry Clime pant that has nylon front and and soft fabric back. Very nice.

  2. brian harder April 4th, 2007 10:20 am

    Being an Exum Guide I have had numerous DC Windshirts over the years. Marmot continues to outfit us in a generous fashion. That, of course, may indicate some bias. However, I feel that the wind shirt is the single most versatile outdoor garmet made, bar none. During long expeditions to Alaska and the Himalaya, the thing is practically part of my skin by the end, well loved and quite stinky. I have three of them in rotation currently. Everyone should have one.

  3. Joel April 4th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Layering is a personal thing. I’ve found that a good goretex shell with pit zips, a good windstopper fleece with pit zips and a good wool base layer works best for me. I can do temps in that set up ranging from about 10 below to 30 above….although I may need to shed the windstopper fleece if the sun is shining and I’m hiking. I tend to air on the side of it being colder than expected.

  4. Tom Taylor October 8th, 2008 6:37 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

  5. Brice October 1st, 2010 10:42 am

    Amazing piece of equipment!
    I primarily use the wind shirt for Alpine climbing and Back country skiing and it is my go to layer. I paired it up with the OR Radiant Hybrid Hoody. I can wear either alone or layer up to have the hoody against my skin and the Driclime on top if it gets too cold and windy. I did alter the Driclime and attached a removable nylon hood. This combo is absolutely the most versatile for the alpine environment, bar none. These are usually my core items I might also bring a puffy and lightweight rain jacket like OR’s Helium depending on activity, length and weather. I also bring the Driclime when I rock climb instead of a wind breaker because I normally wear a light weight hot weather shirt this adds a lot of warmth for little weight. Although I know it wasn’t meant for it I stuff the entire shirt in the chest pocket for storage. Great product!

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