Marmot Women’s Alpha 60 Vest Review

From the mountains to the coast, the Marmot Alpha 60 vest is the perfect piece of gear to have for your adventures.

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest I’ve realized my clothes need to be versatile above everything else. You never know when the temperatures are going to drop, rain is going to start falling (well, there’s a good chance for that) or when the day is just going to be simply beautiful. Since getting the new Women’s Alpha 60 Vest, it’s quickly become my go-to due to its ability to layer and wear in all types of situations.


Explore Multnomah Falls

My first time testing this vest, I hiked in the Columbia River Gorge, at Multnomah Falls, with temperatures hovering around 45 degrees and rain was falling intermittently. When I initially tried the jacket on my first thought was, “This is so thin and light, how is it going to keep me warm??” So, just to be safe I threw on a down jacket but ten minutes later I was sweating and had to take the down jacket off; the vest kept me toasty warm all by itself. The vest has Polartec® Alpha® which is a breathable insulating dynamic fabric structure that keeps you warm without weight. It’s also extremely breathable for how warm it kept me. About halfway through the hike, it started raining and I noticed that water was rolling right off the vest. I only had the vest exposed to the elements for a few minutes before putting on a down jacket over it, but I loved that it didn’t soak up the water and instead repelled it!

The second time wear testing this vest I spent an entire day, from sun up to sun down, hiking and exploring along the Oregon coast. Temperatures were around 55 degrees and it was beautiful and sunny. It felt almost like the perfect spring day with the warm sun and cool ocean breezes. We began our morning at Cannon Beach exploring the tide pools around Haystack Rock. Being near the ocean, I loved that the vest let water roll right off of it and dried quickly in the few spots the water lingered.


Explore Cannon Beach & Haystack Rock

After exploring the tide pools, we spent most of our day at various spots on the coast exploring the beaches, watching surfers and searching for waterfalls. The vest kept me comfortably warm for hours without making me feel overheated. At one point in the day I took the vest off to lay in the sand and was surprised to find the vest packs down into an extremely small space. Folded up, it also made a very comfortable pillow for an afternoon snooze.

We ended our day at Ecola State Park where we watched a soft, cotton candy sunset and the mountains fade in darkness. At this point I had thrown the vest back on and it kept me quite warm in the cooling evening temperatures. Also, regarding sizing, it does run a little large, but the draw string around the back can be tightened to give the vest a more tailored fit. While normally I like a looser fit to layer clothes underneath, with vests I tend to only wear a thinner base layer under, so I like for them to be a little more snug. If you are like me, I suggest sizing down.


Explore Ecola State Park

I already know this vest is going to come with me on a lot more adventures. For me, layering is key, and I love how lightweight and small this vest is while still having the ability to keep me warm. If you’re looking for a versatile, warm, lightweight vest, look no further and order yourself the Alpha 60 Vest!

Published: February 26, 2019

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Jess FischerExplorer

Portland

An east coast transplant exploring the wild and wonderful PNW ⇞