Marmot Review with Sean Swarner

  • Date:Thu, May 05, 16

Photo courtesy of Sean Swarner

It’s clear why Marmot recruited Sean Swarner as a Brand Ambassador. ESPN, Duke University, Climbing Magazine, and other organizations have given Swarner awards for his adventure achievements. The honors rolled in when Sean became the first cancer survivor to crest the peak of the highest point in the world (Mount Everest) with only partial use of his lungs. Since then, Sean has become a keynote speaker and topped seven other summits from Antarctica to Europe. LifeView Outdoors asked Sean about his endurance, message of hope and experience with Marmot.

Tell us a story about when Marmot proved itself worthy as your first choice for equipment.

You can't hear a thing I'm talking about, but I was running up Loveland Pass while training for the annual Kilimanjaro adventure (I take a group up every year as a fundraiser for a local cancer charity. My awesome Marmot jacket kept me warm and the wind off my body.

What do you like about Marmot's gear?

There's so much to really like about their gear to be honest, but what I think I like most about it is how it's always updated and with the times. They are always on the cutting edge of creating new products!

How did your career start?

Long story short... I had two cancers and I was given three months to live, was in remission and then given 14 DAYS to live from the second cancer.

I was read my last rites, in a coma for roughly a year, and lost the function of my right lung. Most people would have given up hope (and I did many times), but that's what I wanted to help others with. I wanted to be the first cancer survivor to summit the highest mountain on earth... Mt. Everest. I wanted to use that as a 29,000-foot platform to scream hope. To show people they too can do anything they put their mind to.

What drew you to the brand?

The cute little, furry animal of course! Initially I believe it was their stellar function and performance to keep my body warm on mountains like Vinson in Antarctica and Denali in Alaska. Their wide variety of products suited every need I had. That and they're not just a huge corporation. They actually have awesome people behind the scenes giving the company a heart.

Do you think Marmot is more style or function? How have you influenced their products?

I'm pretty sure they're both style and function. Every time I take a group up Kilimanjaro, I always tell them that in the mountains it's not about fashion, it's about function. Marmot seems to incorporate both into their products quite well. I'm constantly offering suggestions, talking to their R&D, and giving input, so I'd probably say I have influenced their products to some point.

What advice do you have for someone who is looking for new Marmot gear?

It all depends on what you're looking for, but reach out to them and talk to the experts. Give them a call and ask to speak to someone about your concerns/questions. They know their stuff inside and out. Literally.

What's your biggest gear challenge and how does Marmot solve it?

I'm constantly on the go... keynote presentations, slide shows, fundraisers, media, etc. and I’m constantly in need of something that will work for many different events. They have so many things to choose from, I can literally hop off the plane after a 20-hour travel day and show up looking like I just woke up... clothing-wise that is, not me personally! Also, weather is constantly changing in Colorado while I'm training, and they have something for everything. There's no such thing as bad weather... just bad gear.

Photo courtesy of Sean Swarner

What kind of gear are you looking to add next to your collection?

One that inflates around me and instantly becomes a tent and sleeping bag all in one? ... maybe we should work on that.

With all of your years of experience, what still brings you a sense of newness or awe when in the wilderness?

In all honesty? It's when I introduce someone to something they've never experienced before. When I can take someone up a mountain on an adventure, and see the look of awe and magic in their eyes, it fills my soul with complete satisfaction. I love sharing that moment with people. For example, when I get people to the top of Kilimanjaro, everyone is so overwhelmed with emotion, we are all overcome with tears. Being a part of something that brings people together, and something we can all share keeps things genuine and new.

Can anyone join you on your Kilimanjaro trip?

Yes, we are looking for people to join our annual Kilimanjaro trip. Find out more here on Sean Warner's website.


LifeView Outdoors prepares people for their adventures with the right gear and tech. Since 2005, the retail operation in Nashville, Tennessee has delivered award-winning educational content to outdoor enthusiasts like you and schools across the United States.