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1/18/2019 6:38 am  #1


Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

I picked up both jackets today; Mountain Hardwear Exponent for $56 CAD and the Marmot Adonis for $120 CAD. Trying to decide which to keep.
 I can't seem to find much info on the VaporDry on the MHW, and the NanoPro on the Marmot seems to be better than some Gore-Tex (but not all Gore-Tex) based on this and this... unless I'm misinterpreting.

It also looks like both of these are 2.5 layer, and I've been reading 3 layer is the way to go if you can afford it... but does that really make a huge difference?  I'll be using it for mostly canoe tripping in Algonquin, but also for day hiking on vacations (going to Madeira in March) Does anyone have experience with either of these jackets? Is the NanoPro worth the $120 compared to the $56 for the MHW?


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1/18/2019 9:40 am  #2


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

Based on the colours, I'd go with the Mountain Hardwear one. ;-)

The waterproof breathable coatings are all pretty much the same now, just different branding by each manufacturer. Both jackets have pit zips which are an important feature for me. Both have cuffs you can close snuggly which is good. Neither has a flap over the zipper. Given that the zippers are supposed to be water resistant they may be more wind resistant than normal but I find that a wind flap over the zipper makes a big difference in warmth. 

So, I think what I would choose on would be which one had the heavier fabric because for me that would be the more durable coat. While a lighter fabric packs smaller, I find that they also puncture and rip a whole lot easier. 
 

 

1/18/2019 10:43 am  #3


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

RobW wrote:

Based on the colours, I'd go with the Mountain Hardwear one. ;-)

The waterproof breathable coatings are all pretty much the same now, just different branding by each manufacturer. Both jackets have pit zips which are an important feature for me. Both have cuffs you can close snuggly which is good. Neither has a flap over the zipper. Given that the zippers are supposed to be water resistant they may be more wind resistant than normal but I find that a wind flap over the zipper makes a big difference in warmth. 

So, I think what I would choose on would be which one had the heavier fabric because for me that would be the more durable coat. While a lighter fabric packs smaller, I find that they also puncture and rip a whole lot easier. 
 

Thanks for the response and info Rob!

Haha, I’m usually not a “colorful” clothes wearer but the red actually looked alright on me.

You’re right that they seem very similar, although I did notice that the pockets on the Marmot are much deeper and the zippers seem much better.

The thing I’m wondering, is how come the MSRP of the Marmot is $340 and the MHW is $150 (at least those were regular prices from Atmosphere before the discounts I got). It’s a pretty steep difference and I’m wondering if it’s because the Marmot is more breathable and made from better materials and worth the price increase.

Decisions decisions...


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1/18/2019 1:38 pm  #4


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

Both Mountain Hardwear and Marmot are respected brands. Bigger pockets would be a plus to me. If you can see or feel a difference in the zippers then that could be a good thing too, just make sure you aren't being misled by a stiffer zipper that might have a longer life, especially since both jackets are relying on the water resistance of the zipper to keep you dry. 

For comparison, North Face and Marmot both have jackets in the same price ranges as the Mountain Hardwear one. A couple folks in our family have North Face rain jackets that are holding up well, and the North Face jackets have a flap over the zipper. I have a North Face Summit Series 3-in-1 that I use year round and it has well outlasted it's expected life. 

Personally, that $340 list for the Marmot jacket sounds pretty high to me, especially when North Face has a Goretex rainshell at $260.00. 
 

 

1/18/2019 4:55 pm  #5


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

​I have an older 2.5 layer MH jacket. It is OK. I like it because it is very light weight. I bushwhack in it all the time. It has never ripped or been punctured. It does need a regular coating of DWR every year to keep the water beading off. I have a newer Columbia OutDry Ex jacket. The ones that have the taped seams on the outside and look all plasticy. It is much better at not wetting out over time. Actually it doesn't wet out at all. It still seems just as breathable as any waterproof breathable jacket (which is not saying much). Has big pit zips and pocket vents. I think those are important. I also have a 3 layer DryQ Elite soft shell that is too heavy, too warm and too expensive to take on canoe trips. I just use it in the winter. I use the lightweight MH one most often because it is more comfortable, it's lighter and I don't care if it gets wrecked.

I once wrote a big diatribe on how waterproof breathable jackets don't really matter on canoe trips. I copied and pasted this from the old forum:

MartinG wrote:

..I also think that different manufacturer's offerings in each category are so similar to each other that it doesn't matter much. If you want to stay really dry, stop your exertion, get a truly water proof impermeable material (think fishing and sailing jackets) and hang out under a tarp or umbrella.

Goretex, H2no, eVENT, Dry.Q Evap. They are all brand names of waterproof breathable laminates that are trying to do the same thing. Some shells like Outdoor Research Helium products put an emphasis on weight and pack-ability. Others like Arcteryx Theta put an emphasis on durability and coverage. Some have 2.5 layers some have 3 layers. They all claim to keep the rain out while letting your body breathe. 

It's late May, you are paddling hard for 4 hours in a true down pour, raising your hand above you shoulder ten thousand times or more, while sitting on a wet seat, and kneeling in bilge water. You are wearing your camping rain shell jacket and pants. They will fail, regardless of whether you spend $50 or $500.

They will fail because of high water pressure at high wear areas like your knees and butt which are in constant contact with water. They will fail because the DWR has worn off from one too many trips into the bush collecting firewood. They will fail because it is a particularly humid rainstorm that has blocked the transfer of moisture vapor. They will fail because water drips down your arm and into your sleeve with each paddle stroke. They will fail because you sat too close to the fire last night and an ember melted a hole in your Nylon jacket. They will fail because the open pit zips are exposed to a bit of rain every time your torso twists with each paddle stroke. They will fail because you are pushing hard into a 30 kmph wind and your sweat has overwhelmed the breath-ability of the laminate. 

Yes, they are better today than they have ever been, which is great! For the most part we are not going to be paddling hard for 4 hours in a torrential down pour. We will be in the occasional rain. In which case just about any laminate with good venting will do, with a +1 going to the higher quality (more expensive) ones. If the DWR is in fairly good shape, we are not doing any bushwhacking and we are not doing any crazy gyrations we will stay mostly dry. 

My problem with the whole concept of the waterproof breathable industry is they are trying to convince you to spend more money on that wiz-bang new shell so that you will magically stay dry and comfortable. For all the eventualities I mention above you won’t stay dry. Eventually, rain is going to find a way in and eventually you are going to sweat. I think more emphasis should be placed on what you do once you get wet.

Am I just wet, so what! I’m not going to drown. Am I wet and cold? That is a much more important question! What types of clothes are under my shell? How long before this shell wets out? Do I have any high energy snacks to eat? What am I going to do to stay warm once I’m wet? When am I going to throw in the towel and head for shore? These are much more important questions than should I buy eVENT or Goretex. The laminates are just too similar to matter much. 

Beyond this, I agree with Marcus and others. Factors like length, fit, comfort, packability, venting, belt loops, pockets, zippers will probably matter more to your enjoyment of the product than the brand name of laminate.

 

 

1/18/2019 5:06 pm  #6


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

I love that rant. ;-) 

While I do find waterproof breathable gear worthwhile, and still recall my Gortex MEC parka as being better than anything I've had since, I also think the most important feature on a waterproof coat is the pit zips. That venting is what has made my North Face coat a 4 season coat. 
 

 

1/19/2019 8:17 am  #7


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

RobW wrote:

Both Mountain Hardwear and Marmot are respected brands. Bigger pockets would be a plus to me. If you can see or feel a difference in the zippers then that could be a good thing too, just make sure you aren't being misled by a stiffer zipper that might have a longer life, especially since both jackets are relying on the water resistance of the zipper to keep you dry. 

For comparison, North Face and Marmot both have jackets in the same price ranges as the Mountain Hardwear one. A couple folks in our family have North Face rain jackets that are holding up well, and the North Face jackets have a flap over the zipper. I have a North Face Summit Series 3-in-1 that I use year round and it has well outlasted it's expected life. 

Personally, that $340 list for the Marmot jacket sounds pretty high to me, especially when North Face has a Goretex rainshell at $260.00. 
 

Thanks again for the info. The $340 does seem pricey, and not just North Face but Marmot itself has a Gore-Tex shell at $280 (I tried it on, but it wasn't on sale). What's confusing is the different types of Gore-Tex available, and how the companies usually just say "Gore-Tex" without specifying more detail... which is why I'm wondering if the $340 NanoPro is actually better than the $280 Gore-Tex, but maybe not as good as the more expensive Gore-Tex options.




MartinG wrote:

​I have an older 2.5 layer MH jacket. It is OK. I like it because it is very light weight. I bushwhack in it all the time. It has never ripped or been punctured. It does need a regular coating of DWR every year to keep the water beading off. I have a newer Columbia OutDry Ex jacket. The ones that have the taped seams on the outside and look all plasticy. It is much better at not wetting out over time. Actually it doesn't wet out at all. It still seems just as breathable as any waterproof breathable jacket (which is not saying much). Has big pit zips and pocket vents. I think those are important. I also have a 3 layer DryQ Elite soft shell that is too heavy, too warm and too expensive to take on canoe trips. I just use it in the winter. I use the lightweight MH one most often because it is more comfortable, it's lighter and I don't care if it gets wrecked.

I once wrote a big diatribe on how waterproof breathable jackets don't really matter on canoe trips. I copied and pasted this from the old forum:
 

Thanks Martin. The Marmot option has 100% fully taped seams, so it seems similar to the Columbia one you're mentioning. Ideally I'd like to avoid needing to add my own coatings to the jacket. Currently I have a cheap pack-in-its-own-pocket rain jacket from the 90's that hasn't been treated once.... so no matter what, I'm getting an upgrade lol.

And great info in the other post of yours that you quoted; I agree it's a lot of marketing-speak and they only work to a certain extent. I'm really just looking for the best option that will last me a long time with minimal effort (ie. not needing to re-coat). I try and avoid camping/hiking in rainy weather, and if I do, I stay in the tent or under a tarp when possible... I'd only be hiking or on open water when it's necessary. And I've never worn a rain jacket while collecting wood or sitting by a fire etc.

Basically, I'm willing to buy what's best, but I'm hoping it doesn't get too much use!
 


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1/19/2019 8:19 am  #8


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

RobW wrote:

I love that rant. ;-) 

While I do find waterproof breathable gear worthwhile, and still recall my Gortex MEC parka as being better than anything I've had since, I also think the most important feature on a waterproof coat is the pit zips. That venting is what has made my North Face coat a 4 season coat. 
 

I never knew that pit zips where a thing on jackets, but the staff member helping me at Atmosphere said she swore by them, and she was overall pretty knowledgable and helpful. Luckily, both options I'm considering have the pit zips, but the MHW zippers on the pits were difficult to open/close with one hand.


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1/19/2019 8:42 am  #9


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

The only waterproof fabric I'm aware of that won't need to have the DWR replenished from time to time is Columbia Outdry Extreme. It puts the waterproof breathable membrane on the outside with no DWR coating at all.

DWR is what makes the water bead up and roll off your jacket. If your jacket no longer beads up It's called wetting out. When this happens the jacket no longer breathes and you can feel clammy or get wet from the inside. DWR will always wear out eventually. It is just a coating on the face of the fabric.

Last edited by MartinG (1/19/2019 8:47 am)

 

1/19/2019 10:58 am  #10


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

MartinG wrote:

The only waterproof fabric I'm aware of that won't need to have the DWR replenished from time to time is Columbia Outdry Extreme. It puts the waterproof breathable membrane on the outside with no DWR coating at all.

DWR is what makes the water bead up and roll off your jacket. If your jacket no longer beads up It's called wetting out. When this happens the jacket no longer breathes and you can feel clammy or get wet from the inside. DWR will always wear out eventually. It is just a coating on the face of the fabric.

Good to know, thanks


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1/19/2019 6:28 pm  #11


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

I use the Nikwax Tech Wash and Tx.Direct to clean and refresh the DWR coating about once a year for my gear. Nikwax Hardshell Clean/Waterproof DUO-Pack

 

1/20/2019 9:00 pm  #12


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

MartinG wrote:

​I once wrote a big diatribe on how waterproof breathable jackets don't really matter on canoe trips. I copied and pasted this from the old forum:

I 100% agree with your rant. I’ve done the several hours of paddling in pouring rain and had the water run down my sleeves. Waterproof breathables are excellent wind barriers but they can’t handle exertion, even if it’s cold and dry. I only use them for neighbourhood dog walks in medium-heavy rain or if I’m a tourist in Ireland. For my canoe trips or several-hour-long dog walks in the local “bush”, I prefer a soft shell or light DWR layer with additional warm layers if needed. If it’s wet outside then inevitably I’ll get wet from head toe and skin deep so I want to stay WARM. Synthetics all the way. Perhaps I should start my own rant on the near impossibility of buying polyester socks in a world obsessed with Merino Wool.

 

1/20/2019 10:41 pm  #13


Re: Mountain Hardwear Exponent vs. Marmot Adonis

solos wrote:

MartinG wrote:

​I once wrote a big diatribe on how waterproof breathable jackets don't really matter on canoe trips. I copied and pasted this from the old forum:

I 100% agree with your rant. I’ve done the several hours of paddling in pouring rain and had the water run down my sleeves. Waterproof breathables are excellent wind barriers but they can’t handle exertion, even if it’s cold and dry. I only use them for neighbourhood dog walks in medium-heavy rain or if I’m a tourist in Ireland. For my canoe trips or several-hour-long dog walks in the local “bush”, I prefer a soft shell or light DWR layer with additional warm layers if needed. If it’s wet outside then inevitably I’ll get wet from head toe and skin deep so I want to stay WARM. Synthetics all the way. Perhaps I should start my own rant on the near impossibility of buying polyester socks in a world obsessed with Merino Wool.

Rant away. I'm coming from 100% cotton and told myself I'd start investing in some proper clothing this year, so it never hurts to hear peoples opinions.


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