Monday, December 3, 2012

Marmot Nabu Jacket-NeoShell

The Nabu Jacket. Used twice for reals and once out to a bar. The below links are to industry PR/Kool-aid ;) type releases and the below is from me. Starting with each climb and then a recap. As of note, if I did the climbs below in my GORE paclite jacket, I would have overheated for sure and been very uncomfortable.     

Stoked at the base of The Beehive, Montana.  Nov 23.  Warm in the sun, below freezing temps in the shade/cloud cover.  Variable wind on route, strong on the summit.  Just racked up to lead the first pitch of this;
Wore a I/O BIO (at the time) Merino wool Pilot suit for my only layer below the jacket and a belay parka above for the belays. 

Leading the third pitch.  In the sun, but windy.

 Leading a wet WI 4 in Hyalite called Champagne Sherbert. Nov 24th.  Warm! Above freezing temps and wet. The route was spitting water down the middle and made my pants damp, but not my jacket.  My pants were made of Polartec Powershield O2 fabric. I wore just the Pilot suit below the jacket.

Approaching Alexander's Chimney, RMNP via Lamb's Slide.  Dec 2ed. 38 in the parking lot and breezy at 7am.  Colder up high and breezy with occasional strong gusts.  I wore the same Pilot suit as in Montana, but this time I layered a thin Marmot fleece that is hooded and very comparable to a slightly thinner Patagonia R1.

 Leading pitch 2 of AC.  Belay parka in the "JacPack"

Following above the chockstone on AC. Without a puffy at the belay, It would have been quite cold!  As the day wore on, the winds picked up, as my shoes were blown 10 meters across the parking lot in one gust when we got back to the car.  This was part the same wind event responsible for the Fern lake fire growing 3 miles in three hours during the overnight on Nov 30th. Not cool and threatens Estes Park...Also, climbed in just a thin pair of windstopper gloves with leather palms for reinforcement the whole day, including the approach and descent.  Brought belay gloves, but didn't use them... weird as my feet and legs were a bit cold, but my hands were fine most of the day.  I went through that initial "wood hands" feeling in the beginning of the day then they were good to go.

The Nabu Jacket, available Spring 2013 from Marmot is the newest NeoShell Jacket from them.  I am wearing the Fall 2013 sample. (Full disclosure, I am a Marmot rep from Wisconsin and I have never worn the Zion jacket outside.  I think the hood sucks and I have always thought the fabric to be to thick for me).  So, in the temps and conditions used above, I am falling in love with this jacket.  They made improvements in my mind over the Zion for an excellent alpine/water ice climbing jacket.  First off the fabric is much thinner and I believe more breathable then the Zion.  Second, the Nabu also has stretch which is noticeable when you put it on, but not noticeable while climbing in it which is the way you want it to be.  Marmot also corrected the small hood on the Zion as the hood on the Nabu fits comfortably over my helmet (even though it still could have just a slightly larger brim).

The arms are a perfect length for me, even using an under-cuff thin glove like I used to climb with on AC. For reference, I am a bit over 5' 10'' and 182lbs and no idea of my wingspan/ape index. The cuffs have a simple Velcro strap closure that works well for me. The center back length was also good, as the jacket stayed below my harness at all times with only having to pull it down once on the two routes above, for a total of 6 pitches climbed.  

Overall there are four bungee cord closures for the jacket.  One on the hem that has both a right and left pull tab for tightening.  The other three are on the hood to make an optimal fit.  One for center height for front to back adjustment, and the two others are on the each side for up and down adjustment. Each of the side  bungees are on the front of the hood from the center height bungee down to where the main zippers meet.  The jacket also has four pockets.  Two hand warmers and  two chest pockets. One chest pocket is on the outside and one is on the inside of the jacket, but opposite of the outside side.  The outside pocket also has a headphone port to boot. Just hope the batteries don't run out on the Walkman Marc Twight style, cuz that would be poor style. 

My first negative comment is the zipper.  I think that the front zipper is a bit tough to close and it really bogs down when the angle of the zipper changes from flat to curved at the neck.  I have to use two hands to pull it up which is kinda annoying while climbing,  But, it is a waterproof zip and they are always just a bit "thicker".  The other thing that I never truly love with Marmot is the size of the seam taping.  The tape on this jacket is 3/4 of an inch.  I know that there is smaller tape available used by other brands, and without knowing much about tape and fabric/tape/glue combinations, I will leave this one alone until I ask a professional. 

Overall very stoked about this jacket.  Waterproof. Breathable. Relatively light weight. (love the green color with white zips!).  So far very good, and only the rest of the winter will tell me more.


  1. what size are you wearing?

  2. I wear a Medium. still loving this jacket and taking it up to Alaska in two weeks.

  3. Hey Can you write any more about how it did in Alaska? Your blog is one of the few serious reviews of this jacket (and neoshell in general).

    One thing I read is that this fabric is too light/breathable for when things really get nasty out.

  4. It worked great in AK! Did a route in the shade, it wasn't too warm out and it there was a clear sky. SO, the shit didn't hit the fan to really test it out up there (and kinda happy for that)

    I do not think the fabric is to light for me. I overheat very easily and want as thin a jacket as I can get. I did a XC ski pub crawl last winter when it was puking snow at 29 degrees out. That evening I soaked the inside of the jacket.
    Dripping wet, so it wasn't thin enough then!

  5. Hi.. I need your advice..
    I want to buy MARMOT NABU JACKET
    and I am 185cm and 97kgs.. 117 cm chest.. which size fits to me better? L or XL?
    Whats are your measurments?

  6. Sorry, I don't know. I wear a Medium and I am 5'10 or 11" and 180 lbs. Did you look on their website on their size chart?