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Braving the Elements with Marmot's Knife Edge

By: Clare Healy + Save to a List

I’m not going to lie...I’m a rain jacket rookie. California-raised, rain was rarely on my radar. And after moving to multiple other spots around the country, I opted into a soggy-is-okay attitude rather than investing in the right gear. 

But once I moved to Oregon, some lessons were quickly learned. 

First and foremost of those being - Non-waterproof jackets don’t have a home here. And the second rule? Don’t leave the house without a jacket

Within weeks of setting into the Oregon way of life, I found myself boxing up jackets that just weren’t going to cut it and hunting for a “real" one. 

One that could keep me dry whether I was biking my way to work through the Pearl, hiking through Forest Park, or spending multiple days adventuring out at the Gorge. One that would keep my pack light and keep my temperature regulated no matter the activity. 

And there was no shortage of options - from heavy-duty to lightweight, from bright pink to all black, from hard shell to insulated shell,  I could go on. In fact, the amount of features offered across the rain jacket market were so perplexing, the simplicity of staying dry seemed lost in the shuffle. 

Enter Marmot’s Women’s Knife Edge Waterproof Jacket Shell. As the first piece of Marmot gear I’ve owned, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after a bit of research, I knew that words like GORE-TEX® Paclite® Technology and 100% seam-taped fabric were characteristics that wouldn't disappoint. 

At first glance, the Knife Edge is just about as simple as it gets. Attached hood with peripheral drawstrings. Velcro adjustments at the cuffs. Three pockets. Pit zips. Drawstring hem. I was smitten already. 

But it's when you zip up the jacket and get out into the rain when you really experience it's functionality. And with expected and unexpected downpours gracing Portland on a regular basis, the Knife Edge got put to the test the day it arrived in the mail. I zipped up and headed right over to my neighborhood trailhead at Forest Park to start the 3 mile hike up to Pittock Mansion, one of Portland’s prized lookouts. 

And after just a few miles of trudging through the rain and mud, the Knife Edge won it’s spot as my go-to jacket. Even when hiking at a hasty pace and get torrentially downpoured on, I was kept nothing short of dry and comfortable. The ventilation zips were key in keeping cool while hiking and the jacket’s drawstring and hood structure kept almost all signs of moisture away.

And the best part? This jacket was built for packing. At 11.5 ounces and the ability to pack down smaller than a coffee mug, this jacket should be every adventurer’s top pick. Whether backpacking, day hiking, biking, or just romping around town, you won’t be burdened by carrying this jacket for all the just-in-case moments and you won’t ever have to worry about over-packing. Because after all, no one actually likes being soggy when they’re trying to get after it. 

So go on, grab the Knife Edge, zip up, and don’t ever worry about being unprepared again.  

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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