The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Marmot Phoenix Review

A solid all-arounder, it's impressively durable for the price while still offering a respectable weight.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $175 List | $84.99 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable, long lasting DWR, hood offers very good peripheral vision, interior fabric feels less clammy than most, respectable weight and compressibility, stuffs into pocket
Cons:  No ventilation options, pockets zippers aren't the best with backpacking waist-belts
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 21, 2018
  • Share this article:
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 16
  • Water Resistance - 30% 7
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 5
  • Comfort & Mobility - 20% 7
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Durability - 5% 7
  • Packed Size - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Marmot Phoenix is an all-purpose mid-priced rain jacket, with a level of performance that sets itself above less-costly options. Compared to a majority of more price pointed models, the Phoenix offers superior durability, long-lasting DWR, a pleasant feeling interior, and fantastic weather resistance - all while maintaining a respectable weight. We like that it is made from recycled nylon and is PFC-free for far less environmental impact during production. Our testing team found the Phoenix was extremely versatile and is light and compact enough to work as a just-in-case layer that is taken out on day hikes but is also robust enough for more rugged activities. While it offers excellent versatility, no one thing sets this solid all-arounder apart from the pack, and a few key features kept it from winning an award. With that said, it remains a sound and functional rain jacket that will keep its wearer dry in a wide range of activities.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Marmot Phoenix
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $84.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$221.26 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$249.00 at REI$229.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
64
100
0
82
100
0
81
100
0
77
100
0
77
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Durable, long lasting DWR, hood offers very good peripheral vision, interior fabric feels less clammy than most, respectable weight and compressibility, stuffs into pocketTop-tier storm-worthiness, mobility and range of motion, hood design, long-lasting DWR, exceptional breathability, harness and hip-belt friendly pocketsThe most breathable material in our review, lightweight and compressible, stretchy fabric, top-tier hood design, extremely stormworthyStretchiest fabric in our review, cozy interior feel, breathability, robust, pleasant low-profile wrist closures, hood design is comfortable and maintains good peripheral visionAwesome hood, fantastic fit, very durable, exceptionally versatile, good breathability and ventilation, waterproof pockets
Cons No ventilation options, pockets zippers aren't the best with backpacking waist-beltsNo ventilation options, expensive, no easy way to clip to a harnessCut is slightly on the boxy side, not as durable as other modelsNo chest pocket, hood doesn't fit over a helmet, size up this model to accommodate layeringHeavy for a "minimalist" design, slightly more expensive than non Gore-Tex jackets
Bottom Line A solid all-arounder, it's impressively durable for the price while still offering a respectable weight.This storm-worthy and function-focused model is exceptionally versatile, offering some of the best across-the-board performance in our review.One of the best jackets for backpacking and hiking, it's and packable, yet still provides top-tier storm worthiness.A solid alpine performer for mixed weather conditions, this mega stretchy model moves with you - without holding you back.While this jacket didn't win an award, it remains one of our favorites and is an awesome do-anything jacket offering excellent stormworthiness, functionality, & durability.
Rating Categories Marmot Phoenix Arc'teryx Zeta SL REI Co-op Drypoint GTX Rab Kinetic Plus Marmot Minimalist
Water Resistance (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Breathability & Venting (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Comfort & Mobility (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
Weight (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
4
Durability (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
Packed Size (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Specs Marmot Phoenix Arc'teryx Zeta SL REI Co-op Drypoint... Rab Kinetic Plus Marmot Minimalist
Measured Weight (Medium) 11.5 oz 11 oz 10.5 oz 10 oz 15 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material Membrain Eco 2.5 Lamination 2-layer GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus waterproof breathable laminate 3-layer Gore-Tex Active Proflex™ 3-layer GORE-TEX with PacLite technology
Face Fabric and Layer Construction 100% Recycled Nylon Solution Dyed Plainweave 40-denier ripstop (N40r) GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus 20D ripstop nylon Propriety Proflex waterproof membrane 2.5L 100% recycled polyester
Pockets 2 zip hand 2 hand 2 zip hand 2 hand 2 zip hand, 1 chest
Are lower pockets hipbelt friendly Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pit Zips No Yes No No Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood (not only fits but not too tight) No No No No Yes
Stows Into Pocket? No No No No (but included stuff sack) No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Marmot Phoenix is a solid all-around rain jacket. It's undoubtedly light and compressible enough for hiking and backpacking and is tough enough for more rugged adventures or even occasional downhill skiing. Our review team was impressed by how well it kept us dry. While it didn't exactly jump out in any single category, it remains a versatile rain shell that will hold its own, even if it isn't the best at anything.

Performance Comparison


The Phoenix is a solid all-around rain jacket. It's light and compressible enough for most hiking and backpacking adventures and is durable and packed with the right features. It also makes a good around-town jacket.
The Phoenix is a solid all-around rain jacket. It's light and compressible enough for most hiking and backpacking adventures and is durable and packed with the right features. It also makes a good around-town jacket.

Water Resistance


Marmot uses their proprietary 2.5-layer MemBrain EVODry laminate for weather resistance in the Phoenix. This membrane is laminated to the inside of a strong exterior fabric that impressed our review team, particularly with how its DWR worked and how well it held up over time. In fact, this fabric is a step up from the Marmot PreCip's Nano Pro, and did a notably better job of keeping us dry after 4+ hours in the rain (compared to the Patagonia Torrentshell or The North Face Venture 2).

The proprietary 2.5-layer MemBrain EVODry had some of the better DWR in its price range.
The proprietary 2.5-layer MemBrain EVODry had some of the better DWR in its price range.

The Phoenix features Velcro closures on the cuffs, which help to seal out the elements, as well as a stout rain flap that covers the outside of its zipper.

The hood on the Phoenix doesn't work very well with most climbing or bike helmets but does offer above average range of motion and peripheral vision. The hood cinch is effective and adapts comfortably and securely to a wide range of headwear.
The hood on the Phoenix doesn't work very well with most climbing or bike helmets but does offer above average range of motion and peripheral vision. The hood cinch is effective and adapts comfortably and securely to a wide range of headwear.

Its hood, while not helmet compatible, did offer above average peripheral vision. We could turn our heads nearly 90 degrees in either direction before our face would turn into the hood. The cinch on the back of the hood effectively locked it into place, regardless of our headwear; most importantly, it performed above average when it came to keeping our heads dry (and the water out).

The Phoenix features basic but very effective Velcro wrist closures; they are comfortable and performed well at minimizing water seepage when executing tasks that required our arms at shoulder level or higher.
The Phoenix features basic but very effective Velcro wrist closures; they are comfortable and performed well at minimizing water seepage when executing tasks that required our arms at shoulder level or higher.

Breathability & Venting


The Phoenix provides fairly average breathability among our fleet. While it doesn't offer any ventilation options, its MemBrain EvoDry Laminate was better at passing moisture than some of the models we tested. Our review team felt this model's internal texture felt less clammy than others. It breathed better than the Patagonia Torrentshell, Marmot PreCip, and The North Face Venture 2 but did not pass moisture as well as the Black Diamond Fineline and Outdoor Research Helium II.

The Phoenix provides fairly average breathability among the models we tested; however  our review team did feel this model's internal texture felt less clammy than others in its price range.
The Phoenix provides fairly average breathability among the models we tested; however, our review team did feel this model's internal texture felt less clammy than others in its price range.

Comfort and Mobility


The Phoenix's fabric has a tiny amount of stretch, but not nearly as much as the Black Diamond Fineline or REI Drypoint GTX. Its cut is loose fitting enough that it still allows for an average amount of freedom of movement; however, when our arms are raised forward or upward, the sleeves certainly pull back 1-2 inches. This model fell in the middle of the pack for its overall comfort and mobility; it's decent for hiking or backpacking, but if you desire a jacket for activities that require a little more range-of-motion, some options perform a touch better.

The Phoenix's fabric has a tiny amount of stretch but overall falls a little short for its range of motion and freedom of movement. During many of our mobility tests  the Phoenix's sleeves pulled back when our arms moved above our shoulders.
The Phoenix's fabric has a tiny amount of stretch but overall falls a little short for its range of motion and freedom of movement. During many of our mobility tests, the Phoenix's sleeves pulled back when our arms moved above our shoulders.

Weight


At 11.5 ounces, this model is in the middle of the road for weight. It's still plenty light enough to throw in the bottom of your back on day hikes or multi-day adventures as a just in case layer but it is quite durable and tougher than most other options of similar weight. If light is right, we recommend taking a look at the Black Diamond Fineline (8 ounces) or the Outdoor Research Helium II (6.5 ounces), which are the lightest in the review.

Durability


Thus far, our review staff has been impressed by this model's overall durability, as its slightly thicker material is more tear resistant than many. Even after a season of use in the rainy Pacific Northwest, several members of our testing team noted that its DWR has held up better than many in our fleet.

The Phoenix stuffs into a pocket that reverses into a stuff sack. It was slightly more packable than average but this stuff sack  while easy to pack  wasn't super tight. It's seen here with a 1-liter Nalgene as a size reference.
The Phoenix stuffs into a pocket that reverses into a stuff sack. It was slightly more packable than average but this stuff sack, while easy to pack, wasn't super tight. It's seen here with a 1-liter Nalgene as a size reference.

Packed Size


This jacket compresses nicely into its left front pocket which, which similar to many other models, turns into a stuff sack when reversed. Unlike other options, our review staff appreciated this model's tight fit, which helps the Phoenix take up less overall space in our pack. It packs down slightly smaller than average and compresses enough to make it a great option for backpacking or as a "just-in-case" layer while day-hiking. While it doesn't pack down as small as the REI Drypoint GTX or the Black Diamond Fineline, it was comparable to Patagonia Torrentshell and our Best Buy Winner the Marmot PreCip.

While we found the Phoenix to be pretty versatile overall  the hood only BARELY fits over a climbing or bike helmet.
While we found the Phoenix to be pretty versatile overall, the hood only BARELY fits over a climbing or bike helmet.

Best Applications


The Phoenix is a decently versatile jacket. It's light and compressible enough for hiking and backpacking, but tough enough for continuous use around town, snowshoeing, or even occasional downhill skiing. Its hood isn't helmet-compatible, making it less ideal for mountaineering or cycling. The only thing that kept us from loving it more for backpacking are its low pockets which can get pinched under a backpack's waist belt; fortunately, this design makes it more desirable for around-town use.

Value


At $175, this jacket provides an okay value for its versatility and toughness. You can undoubtedly buy higher performing models for less money, like the Black Diamond Fineline, The North Face Dryzzle, or the Outdoor Research Helium II. However, if Marmot and methods that contribute to caring for the environment are high on your list of priorities, this might be a decent choice.

The Phoenix is the type of jacket that most people are after. It's light and packable enough for occasional backpacking trips or day hikes. It features a low-profile hood  and the hand-warmer pockets are more geared towards in-town use (but will still work for outdoor applications).
The Phoenix is the type of jacket that most people are after. It's light and packable enough for occasional backpacking trips or day hikes. It features a low-profile hood, and the hand-warmer pockets are more geared towards in-town use (but will still work for outdoor applications).

Conclusion


The Marmot Phoenix is a solid all-arounder; it's impressively durable for the price and still offers a respectable weight. It's a versatile jacket that will perform well for a wide range of activities and could prove to last longer than other models at a similar price point. While it didn't blow the competition away in any one category, it offers solid across the board performance.


Ian Nicholson