While I’ve used Marmot packs, sleeping bags, and rain gear for years now, the ski apparel was never something I had ever considered. Whether it was their mountaineering vibe, or popularity among middle-aged men, Marmot ski gear didn’t meet the “cool” factor that I (ironically) demanded from my outerwear.
In a way, it’s exactly that bias that made me a reliable reviewer of the Marmot Origins X ski jacket. More than just uninformed about Marmot’s ski gear, I had actively avoided it. If not a requisite of my job, there was no way I would be wearing Marmot on the hill – at least not at my age. In short, the Origins X was on thin ice before I even pulled it out of the box.
But that’s enough dramatic buildup to the heartwarming story of how I fell in love with Marmot ski apparel.
The Origins X utilizes a number of Marmot’s unique homegrown technologies designed for snow sports. For weather protection, Marmot’s waterproof and breathable MemBrain fabric provides the reliable 20,000 mm / 20,000 G rating that easily handles all but the wettest of east coast conditions. Thermal R polyester insulation offers one of the top warmth-to-weight ratios on the market, while excelling in the moisture management department. Even the fit features proprietary technology – Marmot’s Angel-Wing Movement which has revolutionized the fit of outerwear designed for dynamic action sports.
Fully seam taped to keep you dry, with PitZips providing ventilation, this jacket even features a roomy helmet-compatible hood. And though low in importance, and in no way unique to Marmot, my personal favorite feature (on any ski jacket) is the scanner-friendly wrist pocket for lift tickets or a season’s pass.
While not boasting the technical features needed for backcountry touring or mountaineering, the Origins X is a highly qualified candidate for everyday resort skiing.
While the pictures throughout this blog give no credibility to my claims of putting this jacket through the wringer, I promise it’s seen some undocumented days of nasty weather as well. The MemBrain technology has performed well to date, keeping me dry and comfortable through a relatively wide range of temperatures and weather conditions (for the West, anyway). Even on a couple of ski days when the snow line crept toward the upper mountain, making for a funky top-to-bottom transition from powder to rain, the MemBrain kept my under layers dry.
The outer polyester stretch fabric, on the other hand, inspires less confidence. While definitely highly flexible and comfortable, the roughed texture of the fabric lets snow and water linger long enough to start to soak in, especially during lengthy lift rides. But since I haven’t noticed water getting any further than the outermost layer, this critique is more of a warning for fellow head cases. If you’re like me, and seeing water penetrate any layer of fabric quickly turns into phantom feelings of dampness on the inside, than get ready for some serious mind games.
A new convert to insulated ski jackets, I must admit that the Origins X has alleviated all my previous fears surrounding bulky apparel designed for cold weather wimps. On an especially windy day with temperatures in the low teens, I wore the Origins X over a lightweight baselayer/midlayer combo and only ever felt a hint of chill near the end of stalled lift rides. And on temperate sun-filled days like the one pictured in this blog, I’ve worn only a t-shirt underneath without experiencing the trapped-in-a-sauna feeling I once associated with insulated jackets. In short, the Thermal R insulation provides a balance of warmth and breathability more versatile than I expected.
The PitZips, however, are one aspect of the Origin X’s performance I need to do some therapeutic venting about. These undersized armpit holes feature some of the more uncooperative zippers I’ve ever battled. Quick and easy to open with a smooth downward pull, these zippers do some serious resisting on the way back up. Don’t be ashamed if you lose the fight – I don’t even try anymore. Just like with my helmet, a friend is required for any ventilation adjustments.
Here’s where the Origins X sets itself apart. This is, hands down, the best fitting ski jacket I’ve ever worn. At a scrawny 6’2” I bounce back and forth between large and x-large jackets – my gangly arms turning most larges into ¾ length and my Skeletor frame making XL’s look hand-me-down baggy.
But the Origins X in a large is absolutely perfect. Roomy and free without turning into a parachute at speed, this jacket provides coverage that was clearly designed with the full range of skiing-related movements in mind. Whether you’re hunched over on the lift, or say, working on your Spread extension in the park, this jacket never rides up or stresses its seams.
The attached helmet-compatible hood slides easily into place with minimal unzipping, and stays securely put while providing huge coverage. The integrated collar construction, with hood on the outside, eliminates the locked-in-place feeling that most hoods have when worn over your helmet. Perfect for battening down the hatches on the lift, and more than capable of being skied in its up position, this is the most functional and useful hood I’ve encountered on a ski jacket.
If I have to find one small grievance with the fit of the Origins X, it would be in the placement of the integrated powder skirt. Slightly higher than what I would consider standard, it has a tendency to slide above the waist of my pants over time – an inconvenience that could quickly become an annoyance during the first powder-day tomahawk of the season.
Fit and warmth-to-weight ratio is where this jacket excels. Not the best option for diehard east coast skiers who catch first chair in the rain, the Origins X is a perfect dry climate ski jacket for the Rockies.
Given my initial resistance to Marmot ski gear, the fact that I now wear this jacket on a daily basis has to count for something. It’s classic, yet freeride-acceptable style and insanely comfortable fit make the Origins X a highly versatile jacket for skiers of all ages.
Nate Tomlinson, Senior Content Writer
Though crazy to say, at $285 the Origins X is a price point jacket. Albeit one that brings enough performance and comfort to the table that it earns its distinction of over-achiever.
Technical Features: Not your jacket for serious mountaineering, the Origins X still gets high marks for providing solid Marmot technology at a very reasonable price. Other jackets are more advanced, but you’ll pay double for the technology.
Performance: This rating may be misleading given how much I like the jacket. But ultimately it’s best used by strictly in-bounds skiers and in dry-snow conditions – bringing it down a tier from the top performing jackets on the market.
Fit: The definite selling point of this jacket, fit is where the Origins X earns its keep. Highly mobile and incredibly comfortable, you’ll catch yourself wearing it both on and off the hill.