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Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot PreCip - Women's Review

Best Buy Award
Price:   $100 List | $59.97 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Affordable, breathable, highly functional, packable, simple
Cons:  A little less durable, not as stylish
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

The Marmot PreCip is an economical, practical rain shell that has been an industry standard for years--and for good reason. The PreCip is well constructed and fine-tuned with features such as pit-zips, venting mesh pockets, and a stowable pocket complete with a carabiner clip loop. It is not the sexiest jacket for around town use, and it is spare in its technical components (compare with the Outdoor Research Aspire - Women's TorsoFlo technology that we really dig), but the PreCip will keep you dry and happy in a very broad range of activities--and for an extremely attractive price. The PreCip inched ahead of the Patagonia Torrentshell - Women's because it costs a little less and fits a little better; however, if you're looking for a shell that is more optimized for climbing and mountaineering, consider the Torrentshell.

Update - May 2017
For spring 2017, the Marmot PreCip - Women's is offered in seven new colors. Keep reading to learn more.

If you need a functional rain jacket that will keep you dry but not clean you out, this is it. For a more compact and lightweight rain shell, check out our Top Pick winner, the Outdoor Research Helium II - Women's. And if you want those higher end technical features and a super slick all-around rain shell, read up on our Editors' Choice winner, the Outdoor Research Aspire.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Rain Jacket for Women Review

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Score Product Price Measured Weight (oz) # of fabric layers waterproof rating
81
$215
Editors' Choice Award
13.7 oz 2.5 30,000mm
78
$159
Top Pick Award
5.5 oz 2.5 20,000mm
75
$160
6.2 oz 2.5 20,000mm
75
$129
11.3 oz 2.5 20,000 MM before, and 10,000 MM after our Killer Wash test (per JIS L 1092 B)
75
$100
Best Buy Award
11.4 oz 2.5 10,000 mm minimum JIS-L 1092
72
$200
8.4 oz 2.5 20,000mm
68
$100
11.0 oz 2.5 20,000mm
66
$90
16.6 oz 2 25 PSI minimum after 20 launderings
64
$65
14.4 oz 2
63
$99
11.9 oz 2 25 PSI minimum after 20 launderings
52
$199
15 oz n/a 11,400 mm

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Lyra Pierotti
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday
November 21, 2016

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The latest version of the PreCip versus the Original Model


In 2016, We spotted a few changes to the front zipper and wrist cuffs and contacted Marmot for confirmation. For 2017, The PreCip is being offered in 24 colors, seven of which are brand new. Classic colors like Black and Platinum are carried through from last season and while supplies last, some shades from 2016 are still available.

Check out the side-by-side comparison below, with one of the 2017 color options (Slate Blue) on the left, and the Celtic/Deep Teal jacket from last season on the right.
Marmot PreCip
 


Hands-On Review of the Original Women's PreCip


A versatile, functional jacket, The Marmot PreCip is a dependable piece for inclement weather. It is relatively lightweight, with the added benefit of packing into a pocket you can then clip onto a harness or backpack. This jacket holds its own in the backcountry and around town.

Performance Comparison


Testing the latest Marmot PreCip jacket on the soggy  mossy trails of the Pacific Northwest.
Testing the latest Marmot PreCip jacket on the soggy, mossy trails of the Pacific Northwest.

Water Resistance


This year, Marmot has introduced their new NanoPro™ waterproof/breathable coating. While this material does not reach the highest industry standard waterproofness rating when compared to our other category winners, our testers found that the PreCip was a solid performer in the typical set of outdoor activities. The PreCip has carved out a corner of the market because it delivers dependable, practical, and relatively durable waterproofness whether running, biking, hiking, fishing, traveling, etc. With the NanoPro, however, it seriously stepped up the game in the breathability department…

The latest Marmot PreCip.
The latest Marmot PreCip.

Breathability


Marmot's PreCip now features what they claim to be their most comfortable waterproof/breathable coating technology ever. The NanoPro™ material has a microporous structure that is dynamically air permeable. This means that instead of only blocking water and pumping sweat out, it also allows air exchange, which accentuates the material's ability to breathe and shed excess moisture vapor. In our tests, this jacket did not provide quite the same wind protection as the Outdoor Research Aspire - Women's, but the breathability was admirable. Critics of this technology, however, say that it tends to allow for more contamination (read: dirt and sweat) in the fabric's pores, and as such will benefit from more attentive care to remain waterproof and breathable.

The PreCip is one of the thinner jackets we tested, and that seems to be another important factor in breathability for our reviewers. Less material between you and the wet world outside makes it easier for body heat to push out excess moisture when you're racking up the miles. Also, the thinner material dries faster than jackets with thicker material, such as the hefty Sierra Designs Stretch - Women's. The PreCip's pit-zips are not generous, and feel less effective than some of the other jackets we tested, but they do help. The mesh pockets, however, provide another good source of ventilation, which we prefer over the non-venting pockets of the Patagonia Torrentshell - Women's.

Putting the PreCip's hood to good use on a run during a wet El Niño winter in the Pacific Northwest.
Putting the PreCip's hood to good use on a run during a wet El Niño winter in the Pacific Northwest.

The down side to the NanoPro™ technology is that it does not provide the same wind protection as the other jackets. Testers felt chilled more quickly in blustery, cold, and damp conditions in the PreCip than in the other jackets we tested.

Comfort


The cut  style  and features of the Marmot PreCip make it a jacket that is easy to wear and live in. It is minimal yet functional  and very affordable.
The cut, style, and features of the Marmot PreCip make it a jacket that is easy to wear and live in. It is minimal yet functional, and very affordable.
The fitted cut of the Marmot PreCip is very comfortable, and the Angle-Wing Movement design delivers on its promise of uninhibited movement. Our testers found the more slender fit to be more restrictive in the arms when wearing thicker layers underneath. The Patagonia Torrentshell, by contrast, is designed to comfortably accommodate multiple insulating layers. The arms on the PreCip are a touch short compared to the other jackets we tested, and may not be ideal if you're blessed with a positive ape index.

A strip of micro fleece on the PreCip's collar is a nice touch to prevent abrasion on your face. The hood has a simple velcro tab fit adjuster on the back which is simple and effective, however, in some tests the velcro would come undone, so it is not the most rugged hood adjustment style. When fully expanded, the hood accommodates a helmet comfortably, and retains good visibility and head mobility.
The PreCip's hood felt comfortable  secure  and well sealed from the rain--both with and without a helmet underneath.
The PreCip's hood felt comfortable, secure, and well sealed from the rain--both with and without a helmet underneath.

Weight


At 11.4 ounces, the PreCip ranks on the lighter side of the jackets we tested. The jacket does not have anything superfluous, boasting a very efficient, thoughtful, and spartan design.

Durability


As we mentioned above, the NanoPro microporous structure technology is a new and exciting addition for this year's PreCip. While this structure is more prone to getting clogged with dirt and sweat (because it allows for more air flow), just a little more care on the part of the consumer will go a long way. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's care guidelines.

Packed Size


The PreCip packs snugly into its own pocket and has a carabiner clip loop to clip to the back of your harness or backpack as an afterthought when you set off on your adventure under temperamental skies. It is among the more compact rain shells we reviewed.
The rain jackets packed up into their stowable pockets. From left to right  top to bottom: Sierra Designs Stretch (didn't pack into a pocket)  Columbia Arcadia II  OR Helium II  Marmot PreCip  The North Face Resolve  OR Aspire  Patagonia Torrentshell.
The rain jackets packed up into their stowable pockets. From left to right, top to bottom: Sierra Designs Stretch (didn't pack into a pocket), Columbia Arcadia II, OR Helium II, Marmot PreCip, The North Face Resolve, OR Aspire, Patagonia Torrentshell.

Best Application


The PreCip is a versatile rain shell. It is a good fit for camping, hiking, biking, etc. and it won't disappoint as an urban-errand-running, car-to-office-sprinting workhorse. The PreCip's light weight and packability give it more of a backcountry bias, but it is still well suited for everyday use around town. This is a great shell layer for anyone starting out in a new outdoor activity, as it will work for almost anything. And with the improved breathability, this is a shell that will keep up with you on your more aerobic pursuits. All of this, and the price is still just under $100.

Value


The Marmot PreCip has always been a great value, and this year it is even more so with the added breathability of the NanoPro material. At $99.99, this is a high performing jacket at a fraction of the expected cost. The versatility of the PreCip, for the price, cannot be matched.

Conclusion


This inexpensive and high performing jacket is an excellent piece for a lady looking for a rain shell to do it all--with the added bonus of a new, more breathable material at no added cost to the consumer.

Other Versions


Marmot Precip Pant
PreCip Pant - Women's and PreCip Pant
  • Great value for an excellent rain pant
  • Stuffs up small
  • New NanoPro waterproof fabric
  • $80 - a great value for rain paints

Marmot PreCip
  • Outdoor Gear Lab Best Buy Award!
  • Men's version of the classic PreCip rain jacket
  • Cost - $100
Lyra Pierotti

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 21, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (2.0)

0% of 1 reviewers recommend it
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2 Total Ratings
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2 star: 50%  (1)
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   Dec 19, 2014 - 01:31pm
Claire Bear · Hiker · Long Beach, CA
I bought my Marmot Precip in 2011, so it's possible that the fabric has been improved since then, but I am very disappointed in the durability of my 2011 Precip. If I pay $100 for a jacket, I expect it to have an effective life of decades, not a measly two years. I grant that it did have excellent water-repelling qualities for the first two years. Since then, with only occasional use in drought-plagued Southern California, the inside coating has disintegrated, and the water-repelling qualities of the outside surface has diminished to zero. I had owned a North Face Venture jacket for two years before purchasing the Precip, and the Venture had shown zero signs of wear when I lost it. The only reason I didn't buy a Venture again when I bought the Precip was that in 2011 the Venture didn't come in a flattering shape. Now I might buy another Venture--or perhaps the lighter (but possibly more fragile?) Helium II. I feel pretty burned by the Precip.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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