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Hands-on Gear Review
Cons: No chest pocket
The Marmot Precip Jacket wins our Best Buy Award again this year. 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, Columbia Evapouration, and The North Face Venture. The PreCip is an excellent choice for a wide range of outdoor activities and will keep you protected from the elements!
While the PreCip delivers the best value, the advanced, ultralight Marmot Essence, our Editors' Choice winner, is tuned to fast and light pursuits. The Outdoor Research Foray, with its unique pit zips won a Top Pick Award for Ventilation and Features. Lastly, we want to give a shout-out to the Patagonia Torrentshell, which is very similar to the PreCip, but better adapted for multi-pitch rock climbing.
RELATED: Our complete review of rain jackets - men's
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Marmot PreCip Jacket is a very comfortable 2.5-layer shell with well-built features. Marmot's 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 even in blowing rain. The hood seals well around the face and the elastic cinches on each side of the face do not extend across the brow. Instead, they are sewn into the sides of the hood at temple height. We found this design to be more comfortable across the brow and equally good at sealing out blowing rain. The wrist cuffs also seal nicely with adjustable Velcro tabs, a feature some folks consider mandatory in their rain jacket. Additionally, this jacket will keep your waist covered with your arms overhead. Finally, the PreCip beads water well and the DWR proved durable during our months of testing. A quick wash and dry restored it nicely a few months in.
Breathability & Ventilation
Our Best Buy winner kills it with advanced fabric technology and a perfect combination of ventilation features. Marmot uses a more affordable 2.5-layer NanoPro coating on the nylon ripstop face 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 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 airflow when open. Mesh-lined pockets, in contrast to the waterproof pockets common to hardshell jackets, provide additional ventilation for rain jackets. In theory, folks are more likely to use rain jackets in warmer temperatures when ventilation is key, and more likely to use hardshells in cold and snowy condition when waterproof pockets are nice. Even the PreCip's cuffs have enough room to ventilate a good bit at the wrist. Cinch them closed if it is raining, but leave them open and loose to promote airflow otherwise.
Comfort & Mobility
This product received a top score here with easy-to-use features and great ease of movement. Even with the added bulk of pit zips and pockets, we found this jacket exceptionally mobile and comfortable on the move. The collar has a small micro-fleece patch at the chin for comfort. Additionally, the hood 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, this jacket uses zippers with fairly large metal pulls that work great. This may be the easiest jacket to operate with light gloves on; the big metal pulls are easy to grab.
Finally, 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 overhead 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 six 2.5-layer featured jackets. The Essence, Outdoor Research Helium II, and Montane Minimus are all much lighter minimalist jackets without ventilation features or hand pockets. The Torrentshell and Columbia Evapouration weighed only a fraction more. If you seek a rain jacket specifically for climbing and weight is of primary concern, we recommend either the ultralight Helium II or fully-featured Torrentshell. But for most users, if weight is a major deciding factor, the ultralight Essence and PreCip (which is fully-featured but still light) are our top recommendations.
Marmot uses a ripstop nylon for the face fabric of this jacket, and its zippers and Velcro closures are high quality. The Outdoor Research Foray and Marmot Minimalist, the two heaviest of the standard 2.5-layer models we tested, received the highest scores for durability. They are both five ounces heavier and significantly more expensive, but if durability is what you seek, we believe these two jackets with polyester face fabric and Gore-Tex Paclite waterproofing will be more durable than the rest of the models we tested.
Our Best Buy Award winner compresses well and stuffs into its 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 into its pocket. 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 adjustments 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. This jacket has pit zips with traditional zippers protected by an 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 the 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 if you're using your jacket around town. The large hand pockets can hold keys, phone, and gloves with no problem.
The Marmot PreCip won our Best Buy Award. At its low $100 price point, there is not a more versatile high-performing jacket in our review.
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 its NanoPro coating technology breathes quite well.
Marmot PreCip Jacket - Women's
— Brandon Lampley
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 5, 2015
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