If Gandalf or Dumbledore were cold-weather runners, they would undoubtedly be wearing a Marmot jacket. Meagan received her Power Stretch Hoody for her birthday and I purchased my Variant Jacket during the after-Christmas sales at Fontana Sports. I don’t know what kind of wizardry Marmot uses on their coats, but apparently it has something to do with the Polartec Power Stretch fabric, which is the warmest, lightest, and most comfortable fabric I have ever encountered in a piece of clothing. To top it off Marmot manages to make their clothing very stylish. In fact, they are so stylish, that after purchasing it for running, I no longer wanted to run in it! It took about a week before I was finally ready to say good bye to the coat for casual use. I wore it out for my first run where I noticed one of the coolest features of the fabric (also mentioned after the break in the block quote). It not only wicks sweat, but it is engineered in a way that as the sweat or moisture reaches the outside of the coat, it spreads over a larger surface area in order to increase the speed of evaporation. When I came inside from my run, I was able to see this feature in action–yes, thats right, I actually caught my coat wicking sweat and drying itself!
Polartec® Power Stretch® fabrics feature body-hugging 4-way stretch and are very breathable. They keep you dry when you sweat and provide warmth without weight. These are the most versatile outdoor and fitness apparel fabrics available today.
Polartec® Power Stretch® fabrics feature a proprietary construction with two unique surfaces: the durable nylon outer layer is wind- and abrasion-resistant; the soft inner layer pulls moisture away from your skin keeping you dry, warm and comfortable. The fabric also features compression stretch which can improve performance and reduces the chance of certain types of stop-go injuries. Polartec® Power Stretch® excels at handling the demands of the next-to-skin environment.
How does it work? Moisture and high relative humidity next to the skin cause discomfort.
Polartec® Power Stretch® keeps the skin dry through three complementary mechanisms:
1) The fabric is highly breathable and does not restrict the movement of moisture vapor.
2) “Touch Points” on the fabric inner surface draw off the sweat. Sweat is wicked off the skin to the outside of the fabric, where it spreads rapidly for evaporation.
3) When the sweat reaches the outside of the fabric, it spreads out to many times its original surface area, enabling it to dry at least 2 times faster than cotton.