Take the key elements of a few classic winter top layers, and combine them into a single multi-purpose design; chances are you’ll come up with something like Merrell’s Quentin Jacket.
Merrell Quentin Jacket Features:
- Fabric: 100% Polyester
- 80g Primaloft Synergy insulation in body and sleeves
- 30 Denier wind resistance
- Stretch fleece on side panels and underside of sleeves
- Water and stain-resistant finish
- Two snap closure chest pockets
- Reverse coil zippers
- Lycra-bound cuffs
- Drawcord adjustable hem
- 30” center back length
- Three color options
- MSRP $149
Quentin Jacket in the Wild
Depending on how you look at it, Merrell’s Quentin jacket is either an evolution or a curious amalgam. It combines the styling and performance features of a few active cold-weather classics to create a distinctive look and feel in the sometimes hard to distinguish category of midweight performance tops.
Style element #1: the heavy duty work shirt. The Quentin’s dual chest pockets and slim profile give it the same versatility as either a stand-alone top or a toasty middle layer on super-cold outings.
Style element #2: the puffy jacket. The insulative components of the Quentin – basically the entire jacket apart from the side torso and undersurface of the sleeves – are very similar to the wide variety of micro/nano-puff garments available. Merrell’s Primaloft Synergy insulation is very thin, but creates reflective microspaces against your skin to trap body heat. The Quentin can be compressed down significantly for easy storage in a backpack, although its compressibility isn’t quite on par with similar synthetic insulation garments (Patagonia’s Nano Puff pullover, for example). Its cuffs at the torso and sleeves stay comfortably in place close to your body to prevent heat from escaping inadvertently.
Style element #3: wicking jacket for high-demand active use. Of course, the down side of most synthetic down jackets is that they don’t wick sweat or ventilate nearly as effectively as true moisture-managing shells. The Quentin addresses this by placing a wide strip of soft, stretchy, moisture-wicking fleece on the sides of the torso and underneath the sleeves.
The net result of this amalgamation is a jacket that keeps a trim profile but easily moves with you during activity. It breathes well and removes moisture when you’re working hard, but retains enough heat to keep you comfortable when you slow down. It’s not as effective as a full-scale wicking shell for dedicated high-aerobic use, but for mixed use, it serves a number of purposes quite effectively. I primarily tested the Quentin on some mountain hike outings this fall: it breathed well when I was working hard uphill, kept me warm when the temperature dropped or the winds gusted above timberline, and stayed comfortable under a backpack all day long.
- Versatility of use
- Good insulation to bulk ratio
- Overall comfort of insulation and fleece
- Not as compressible as comparable down layers
- Insufficient moisture management and ventilation for high-aerobic activity
The Bottom Line
With nice versatility for multiple activity and a low profile for winter layering, Merrell’s Quentin jacket is well-suited for a variety of cold-weather adventures.
Buy it now: Available at Amazon.com