I explored a number of options including those from Patagonia, EMS, Cloudveil, Montbell, OR, REI, NorthFace, Mountain Hardwear, and some others that I can't recall. I decided on this one primarily for the price [$], then for the materials and its aesthetics. I've had it for about a month and have enjoyed owning it, although at times I feel I need to baby it. Its shell is very light and soft, thus I woudn't trim trees in it as another purchaser had decided to do, but there are times when I'm about to do something around the house or errand and hesitate and think that I better wear another beater jacket instead, which eliminates this jacket as my no-doubt-go-to jacket that I used to have in a no longer made REI lightweight jacket that had a synthetic insulation and more bombproof shell before I somehow got coolant on it when wrenching on my car and it dissolved the shell (chemists out there, any thoughts?). I wear this guy to work just about everyday and use it under a Mountain Hardwear when there is precip in the forecast. I work in central PA and it can be stinkin cold here with the winds blowing off of the Susquehanna and it seems to hold up down to the teens in dry conditions. Beyond that, I put on a fleece vest and I'm solid for even colder temps. I used to live in Colo and wished I had this jacket for before/after and to pack for long mtb rides. I should probably explain the "grease schmutz" category I added. I bought the green jacket, which is a great color, but is susceptible to getting grease on the collar from my oily mug. I try to stay on top of it and wash it, but I never can stay ahead of it. I try to buy jackets with the fleece neck area, but that can get torn up by my beard. I just think it is key in decision making. I might have purchased the black color to try and make the grease less noticeable, but my wife buggered me into the green one. The zipper probably could be more industrial for the price, but hasn't failed. The pockets aren't fleece lined, but they are warm enough under the down layer. And I have to agree with some other reviewers that having an internally zipped pocket could be helpful to those using the jacket for more casual purposes, but understand those others' views that it is not entirely necessary.
You Won't Want to Take It Off. Ever.
Bought this after returning a North Face Aconcagua. While the Aconcagua is a good value, the Zeus is much "downier." It feels like it's half the weight, and the fabric is softer as well. The heavier Aconcagua might stand up somewhat better to actual Carhartt-style abuse.
All in all, I thought the Zeus was well worth the extra $40.
With 800 fill down, the Zeus captures much of the light weight and lofty feel of ultralight jackets like the Mountain Hardware Nitrous, but without feeling flimsy or looking overly technical.This is very versatile piece that can go from the backcountry to the subway. The Cinder is a particularly nice gray that goes nicely with jeans, and black is always classic. The rest of Marmot's palette is a little "pre-school primary colors" so think before you order.
I looked briefly at the Marmot Down Sweater, and it's actually a heavier and more substantial jacket than the Zeus The Zeus seems like a more versatile, three-season piece, while the Down Sweater is more a cold-weather garment. Counter intuitive naming if you ask me.
I fully expect that my Zeus will be one of those classic layering pieces that's both remarkably practical--with a great mass-to-warmth ratio at a very fair price--while feeling so luxurious that you just don't want to take it off.
Which is why I'm wearing it, with just a t-shirt under it, as I type this.
Light yet warm
The garment fit a bit big (got XL for a 200lb, 6'2 guy), but we were between sizes and rounded up. My son has decided to stick with it. Sleeves are long, and the fit is pretty roomy. As long as it fits under a shell, it has plenty of loft.
The garment is very light, not at all the michelin man look on the photos! Its closer to other down sweaters, but at this price point, has very good construction, high quality down, and is light and compact. Excellent layered garment for cold dry conditions, or semi-active wear. In overly active wear in high moisture climates, it will need wicking layers and vents to draw moisture away. The nylon is very light weight, will need protection from an outer layer if heading into the back country.
My son loves the garment, helps with the transition from wet coastal winters to dry cold Ontario winters. Because of its lightness, t works well for walking between campuses, heading into classes, or staying warm in a concrete dorm while studying. Should be excellent as a compressed stow-away for any trips into the outback in marginal weather. Size right, this jacket is an excellent layering component under a shell.
Nice jacket, but it tore easily
I like the jacket. It fits well (it is longer than the comparable Patagonia jacket) and it is comfortable and warm. However, after having it for about a week, it tore when I caught it on a door latch. I realize that there is a trade off between weight and durability in this type of jacket (I have seen people wearing other brands with tears), but I will look for a jacket with a more durable outer material when I replace this one.
I would still recommend it, but with the caveat that you must be very cautious when you wear it.
Also, it would be nice if Marmot sold repair tape that matched the colors of its jackets on its website. I ended up using a transparent repair glue that I thought would lose its gloss once it dried--it did not. This was the recommended solution from the rep. at the local outdoor sports store, so I didn't think I was being as stupid as it turned out I was.
Great Puffy, but Wish it had a Chest Pocket
This is an amazing jacket! I have had it for two years now and have had no problems with it. It is totally down proof. I have never had any down poke through, like some of the jackets I have had do. It is also light and durable. I know those words cannot often be associated with the same product, but I think they both apply for the Zeus. I wear this jacket all the time, almost everyday during the winter and it still looks almost brand new. I have hiked through thorn patches with it and they do not penetrate the tight weave of the outer fabric. My only gripe is that is does not have a chest pocket, but I knew that when I bought it.
Black down jacket
I ordered an XL for my hubby after reading the reviews on this site based on the sizes ordered by other people who were similar height/weight. It's actually very, very large. The arms were exceptionally long compared to most XL's I've ordered for him in the past. However, we kept the jacket and plan on layering a LOT. I would probably recommend a Large for a man that's 6' 1/2" & 215.
I'm sure it would still have plenty of room to layer underneath. We are planning a trip to Alaska late August/early September. In addition, we travel to Iowa during the winter months, so I think it will come in handy. Not sure how it will hold up if there's very wet snow or rain. We'll see...
Love this Jacket
I recently won this jacket in Moosejaws 20 days of giveaways. This is the lightest and warmest winter coat I have ever had. It's not really a coat but I'll be wearing it as one. I used it sledding with my kids and no snow got in. I love that it zips up to my jaw line to keep the weather out. I put it on New Years morning for my first hike of the year and again, it was only 15 degrees outside and I didn't feel any cold at all. This is a great coat and I would highly recoommend it to anyone who is a Hiker out on the trails on those cold blustery mornings
Comfortable, Light-weight, and Overall Amazing Down Jacket
This is my first down jacket as I've avoided colder temperatures for most of my adult life. However, winter in Afghanistan and a scheduled trip to Kilimanjaro in March convinced me to spend the money on this particular jacket. This thing keeps me very warm, weighs practically nothing, and, best of all, packs tightly into one of its own pockets. Since I travel a lot, the ability to compact this warm jacket into a small square and stuff it into my pack is absolutely fantastic. At 6' and 170lbs, the medium fits me quite comfortably across the chest and core, but the upper sleeves are a bit too puffy/wide--there's a lot of room in those sleeves.
It works as advertised!
Sweet jacket. Just got it a month ago, but I wear it regularly around town so far. I've worn it alone in mild temps, without feeling sweaty. Also during a recent cold snap in the teens, I layered it with a lightweight shell. Perfect. Good freedom of movement. Definitely lightweight and not bulky, so its more of a sweater. L sizing was spot on, with length several inches past my waist (29" torso, 16" sleeve, 42" chest). No chance to use it in the wet or in the backcountry, so no comment there. Its a Marmot, so I expect it will be durable (no down leaks so far). Highly recommended!
Lightweight, comfortable and warm
My new "go to" jacket. Wear it daily, and it has kept me warm in temps below zero, with the addition of a wool sweater underneath. Lightweight, comfortable, and warm. I have had some feather shedding, and the shell has a tiny pinhole in one of the ripstop squares. So far, quality / durability is good. It would be nice to see a nylon hood for those windy days in Chicago, and out on the trail. The inner collar could be a cloth material for easy cleaning. All in all, I would recommend it - I bought my older son one, and it is the only jacket he wears !