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August 2023 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Insulated jackets

Marmot WarmCube Active Alt HB



Our Rating:

Best for fast-paced activities

Plusses: Durable, lightweight, water-resistant hybrid jacket 
Minuses: No adjustment options, no down in hood, expensive

375g (m), 365g (w)

Features: Marmot’s 3D WarmCube technology – apparently inspired by ice cube trays – traps water-resistant 700FP down in vertical strips on the jacket’s front and back. The sleeves, sides and hood contain thinly layered synthetic insulation. There are zippered hand and chest pockets, and a gusseted underarm allows for unrestricted arm movement. The down is responsibly sourced and the fabric is 100% recycled. 

Fit: It’s roomy and light, with ample space for base- and mid-layers. The sleeves are long and loose-fitting with elastic cuffs. The hood is thin and snug, and allows comfortable head movement even when the front zipper is fastened beneath the chin. There are no drawstrings so the waist can’t be tightened to contain warmth. 

Comfort: This is a comfortable jacket. It’s light, roomy and temperature-regulating. The recycled ripstop fabric is soft and doesn’t feel clammy during exercise. The 3D WarmCube placement is comforting around the body. 

In use: The ‘warmth where it counts’ philosophy is this jacket’s best selling point. The cubed down keeps a wearer’s core warm, while the light layer of synthetic insulation allows flanks, armpits and arms to breathe, without sacrificing warmth. Marmot claims its WarmCube technology traps body heat when static and dumps heat during movement, which likely explains this jacket’s wearability and the absence of a hem drawcord.

The ripstop nylon is durable, repels light showers well, and doesn’t shed down.  Thoughtful insulation placement and a lack of drawstrings contribute to a light product, though a lack of down in the hood and arms reduces its effectiveness in extreme cold. 

Value: For those who need warmth on the move, the impressive warmth-to-weight ratio may mitigate the price. 

Verdict: Hard-to-beat comfort paired with thoughtful insulation placement makes this a good choice for trampers, skiers or mountaineers, in moderate temperatures.