The Montane Marathon Jacket is designed to be the ultimate runner’s windproof jacket. It weighs almost nothing, OK – 130g, and packs down to a tiny size. It has just enough water resistance for showers. Once you’re running, it’s a snug jacket that doesn’t get in the way, you can just forget about it.
Made of highly breathable PERTEX® Microlight Mini Rip-stop, the jacket has a sturdy full length zip and plenty of ventilation on the rear. I primarily tested this during the winter, and the vents seem to manage to keep the biting wind out while still doing their job. The whole thing fits into a stuff sac with a Velcro strap that allows you to strap it to your arm when you’re not quite sure if you’ll need it or not.
Beware though – the Montane sizing is rather small. I’m an L in most kit, and I had to lose 8 kilos before I could fit into the Montane size L – which was one excuse to shed that gut. It’s a very skinny slim athletic fit, for lack of a better term. On the plus side, the snug fit is comfortable and much better than baggier windproofs whilst running.
Unfortunately the jacket lacks any sort of pocket. This means that I can’t use it when I want to carry a key, or stash a pair of gloves or my head torch until I need it on twilight runs. This has been a pain during the winter, when I’m running in windproof trousers half the time, but at least I can carry a key in my running shorts the rest of the time. This is ultimately a price that has to be paid for the lightweight nature of the jacket, and for me that’s one step too far as it limits the runs on which I can use it.
It’ll be perfect for longer trail runs with a waist pack, but less useful for shorter runs where I need to carry keys. money or a mobile in order to sort my lift home or phone a taxi.
As a backpacking windproof, just in case, It’s even better. You’ll have plenty of storage room on your back, so that’s no longer an issue. However, mine’s in a fetching hi-viz yellow that might not be the most suitable colour for the mountains. Yet it’s best practice to carry at least one colourful bit of kit in case of emergency, so that’ll be my excuse!
If you want a running windproof with full zip, and don’t need pockets, then the Marathon Jacket is a good choice providing you get the sizing right. It’s certainly an athletic cut and won’t suit (or even fit) if you’re carrying extra weight as I initially found to my cost. The snug fit is spot on for running, and the full length zip means you can cool down quite effectively with the front open without masses of fabric billowing behind you like some sort of hi-viz Batman.