Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Great breathability and ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable
Cons: No chest pocket
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, general use
The Marmot Precip wins our Best Buy Award. This time-tested jacket, recently updated with NanoPro 2.5-layer coated fabric, delivers the most bang for your buck. Top notch hood and cuff closures, and superior breathability and ventilation set it apart from the similar Patagonia Torrentshell and The North Face Venture.
While the PreCip delivers the best value, the advanced, ultralight Marmot Essence, our Editors' Choice winner, is tuned to fast and light pursuits. The Columbia Watertight II, the least expensive model we tested, is great for around-town use, but just isn't as well suited to outdoor use as the slightly more expensive Marmot PreCip, which is why we awarded the latter our Best Buy award. Lastly, we want to give a shoutout to the Patagonia Torrentshell, which is very similar but better adapted for multi-pitch climbing.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Marmot PreCip is a very comfortable 2.5-layer shell with well-built features. Marmot's new NanoPro technology breathes exceptionally well and the pit zips, cuffs and hood function as well or better than any other. It also easily stuffs into a pocket with a ready-to-clip loop. Looking for one jacket to do everything and an affordable price to boot? This is it.
This jacket gets the job done blowing rain? No problem. The hood seals well around the face. The elastic cinches on each side of the face do not extend across the brow, but are sewn into the sides of the hood at temple height. We found this more comfortable across the brow and equally good at sealing out blowing rain. The wrist cuffs also seal nicely with quality Velcro tabs. This jacket will keep your waist covered with your arms overhead. Marmot is known for applying good, durable DWR treatment and the Precip beads water well. The DWR proved durable during our months of testing.
The Marmot Precip kills it with advanced fabric technology and the best combo of ventilation features of the models we tested. Marmot uses a more affordable 2.5-layer NanoPro coating on the rip stop fabric. Like the NanoPro laminate used in the award-winning Essence, this coating is dynamically air permeable and more breathable than other waterproof/breathable fabrics. The Marmot PreCip stands out further from its competitors with its ventilation features. The pit zips are large and easy to operate and the hand pockets are large and mesh-lined to promote air flow when open. Even the cuffs have enough room to ventilate a good bit at the wrist.
Comfort and Mobility
This product received a top score here with easy-to-use features and great ease of movement. The collar has a small micro fleece patch at the chin for comfort. The hood also rolls up and easily stows into the collar for rain hat wearers. The elastic cord locks situated at the hood and the bottom hem are simple and easy to use. Rather than have strings on tiny metal zipper pulls, the Marmot PreCip uses zippers with fairly large metal pulls that work great. This may be the easiest jacket to operate with light gloves on.
This jacket moves well for active use. Marmot calls its arm and shoulder design Angel-Wing movement. This jacket stays put at the waist and torso better than most even as you do your thing with your arms. The hood mobility is good, and it's another comfortable one to wear with a baseball cap.
This rain jacket weighed in at 11.2 ounces, making it the lightest of the four 2.5-layer featured jackets. The Essence, Outdoor Research Helium 2, and Montane Minimus are all much lighter minimalist jackets without ventilation features or hand pockets. The Torrentshell and The North Face Venture weighed only a fraction more.
Marmot uses a rip stop nylon for the face fabric of this jacket, and zippers and Velcro closures are quality. The Marmot Minimalist, the heaviest of the standard 2.5-layer models we tested, received the highest score for durability. It's five ounces heavier and more expensive, but if durability is what you seek, it's unmatched.
Our Top Pick award winner compresses well and stuffs into the left hand pocket for easy packing. While it doesn't come close to the compressed size of the three ultralight jackets, it's the smallest of the standard jackets when stuffed. When stuffed, a securely sewn-in webbing carabiner clip loop gives you carrying options.
The hood on this rain jacket has a two elastic cord adjustment around the face, with the cord locks located on the inside next to your face. This design is more difficult to adjust when the collar is zipped up completely, but is more waterproof. A Velcro tab on the back of the hood provides adjustment to raise or lower the hood's brim on your brow. This Velcro tab does the double duty of securing the hood so it can roll away into the collar. If you like to wear a rain hat, hiding away the hood is a nice feature.
The collar has a small micro fleece patch at the chin area and an easy-to-use hang loop at back of the collar. The Marmot PreCip has pit zips with traditional zippers protected by a exterior fabric rain flap. Two mesh-lined hand pockets with traditional zippers are protected by fabric storm flaps. The zipper pulls are at the top when closed, allowing some access to the pocket even when partially blocked by waist belt. The pockets are mesh pouches, and the jacket stuffs into one, which has a clip-in loop. The wrist cuffs have a Velcro tab adjustment and the elastic hem cinch, with one cord lock located on the right side, is easy to adjust.
This model is a great do-everything jacket. It's light enough to carry on long backpacking and climbing trips and it's ventilated well for high energy activities. The hood rolls away if you like to wear a rain hat or for around town. The large hand pockets can hold keys, phone and gloves with no problem.
The Marmot PreCip won our Best Buy Award. At this price point, there is not a more versatile high-performing jacket.
This affordable and well-featured jacket is an easy choice if you want a do-it-all jacket. It will keep you dry around town or on a backpacking trip, and the new NanoPro coating technology breathes quite well.
The Marmot Precip Jacket - Women's a very economical and practical rain shell; because of this, this model also won the Best Buy Award for women's rain shells.
— Brandon Lampley
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 13, 2014
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