The PreCip is a versatile 2.5 layer shell with well-built features; it also offers one of better values on the market. Marmot's proprietary NanoPro technology breathes well, especially when its price tag is taken into consideration. It provides several refined features, such as its stow pocket with a ready-to-clip loop, pit zips, cuffs, and hood that outperforms several more expensive jackets. While there are certainly better performing models that will cost you more, this model will do everything from backpacking to rainy walks in the park - without breaking the bank.
It is hard to buy a better jacket for a lower price. While you can certainly spend three times the price we found this to be the best performing model for under $100. Photo: Catching a cool-weather lake sunset in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Whether out walking the dog or on a damp camping trip to the coast, this jacket gets the job done - even in the pouring rain. Using Marmot's proprietary NanoPro waterproof coating, the hood seals well around the face, as do the elastic cinches on each side of the wearer's face.
This design is more comfortable across the brow and equally stable 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. It beads water well, and the DWR proved durable during our months of testing. A quick wash and dry restored it nicely after a few months of testing.
The PreCip uses Marmot's proprietary NanoPro waterproof breathable fabric. It did a fantastic job at keeping our testing team dry both in real-world testing and in our side-by-side shower comparisons. We were impressed with its DWR and we thought it held up better than the comparably priced The North Face Venture or Columbia Watertight II.
Breathability & Ventilation
The PreCip has a pretty rad combination of ventilation features which help to pass moisture, keeping the wearer cool. The fabric used in the PreCip breathes better than most models in its price range, such as the Torrentshell, Watertight II or Venture 2. Understandably so, this jacket does not breathe as well as those costing $200+, which offered non-coated membranes and non-proprietary fabrics. Is this worth the price difference? Depends on what you'll be using it for; this is one of the more significant downsides of the PreCip, though it is still constructed of a decently breathable fabric when it comes down to it.
The primary ventilation features include two large pit zips which are relatively easy to operate with one hand. Additionally, the lower primary hand pockets are large and mesh-lined to promote airflow when left open. Mesh-lined pockets, in contrast to the waterproof pockets common to hardshell jackets, provide additional ventilation for rain jackets.
This model didn't offer anything exceptional in regards to breathability but it did perform better than nearly all the other models in its price range. Larger than average pit zips also help this model dump heat and moisture. The only thing we didn't love about it (which was also true with most $100-and-under jackets) was it felt a little clammier than most.
In theory, folks are more likely to use rain jackets in warmer temperatures when ventilation is vital, and more likely to use hardshells in cold and snowy condition when waterproof pockets are nice. Even the cuffs have enough room to ventilate adequately at the wrist. Cinch them closed if it is raining; otherwise, leave them open and loose to promote airflow.
The PreCip was slightly above average in overall mobility and range of motion. It was better than the Columbia Watertight II or The North Face Venture, but not as good as the Patagonia Torrentshell, Arc'teryx Zeta SL, or OR Helium II.
Comfort & Mobility
The PreCip received a reasonably high score among our testing team, thanks to its easy-to-use features and slightly above-average mobility and range-of-motion. Even with the added bulk of pit zips and pockets, this jacket is surprisingly mobile and comfortable while on the move.
The hood rolls up and easily stows into the collar (AKA underneath, not just rolled up) for rain hat wearers or folks who want to tuck it out of the way. 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 reasonably large metal pulls. This may be the most natural jacket to operate with light gloves on; the big metal pulls are easy to grab.
The primary reason this model didn't score better in our mobility tests is it tended to pull back from our wrists while reaching further than other products we tested. This is hardly a deal breaker, but should certainly be a consideration for folks with longer arms.
The PreCip moves well during active use. Marmot calls its arm and shoulder design "Angel-Wing movement." This jacket stays put at the waist and torso better than many jackets in our review, even as you do your thing overhead with your arms. The hood mobility is good, and it's another comfortable rain jacket that can be worn with a baseball cap.
This rain jacket weighed in at 13 ounces, which is average amongst our fleet.
The Outdoor Research Helium II, Black Diamond Fineline, and Patagonia Storm Racer are all half the weight and half the packed size of the PreCip, but none of these models offer any of the ventilation features or hand pockets found on the PreCip.
The PreCip offered pretty average durability but is plenty tough enough for backpacking, hiking, or even occasional downhill skiing use.
Marmot upgraded the external fabric (commonly called face fabric) that they used in this jacket for 2019. It now a uses recycled ripstop nylon for the face fabric which is subtlely tougher than the previous model. Its zippers and Velcro closures are high quality.
The Outdoor Research Foray and Marmot Minimalist, the two most substantial 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; however, if longevity 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.
The PreCip stows away into one of its handwarmer pockets. It compresses down smaller than many similarly priced jackets like the Torrentshell, TNF Venture, or Columbia Watertight II.
Our Best Buy Award winner compresses fairly well and stuffs into its left-hand pocket for easy packing, nearly disappearing into the bottom of a day pack for day hikes, were you to experience unexpected afternoon thunderstorms. When stuffed, a securely sewn-in webbing carabiner clip loop gives you carrying options.
This models hood cinched down relatively well to help keep the water out, but it wasn't the best at allowing the most peripheral vision.
The hood on this rain jacket has 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 performs double duty and secures the hood so it can roll away into the collar. If you like to wear a rain hat, tucking the hood away is a nice feature, and it's helpful that the hood doesn't just roll away - it tucks into a sleeve in the collar.
This model uses two Velcro closers on its wrists to help minimize bulk and the amount of water that might drift into your jacket.
This jacket has pit zips with traditional zippers, which are protected by an exterior fabric rain flap; fabric storm flaps protect two mesh-lined hand pockets with traditional zippers. The zipper pulls are at the top when closed, allowing some access to the pocket, even when partially blocked by the waist belt of your backpack. 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, it is easy to adjust.
This model didn't cinch around our heads as well as others. Instead of a drawcord to pull the sides of the hood together from the back, it uses a small piece of Velcro. It does offer two drawcords in the front, but we didn't find this design to work quite as well as others.
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, especially if you are looking for a more price-pointed model. The hood tucks away in the event you'd like to wear a hat or if you're using your jacket around town, and the large hand pockets can hold keys, phone, and gloves with no problem.
The PreCip's pockets are a pleasant place to put your hands when it's cold, but they get pinched under a backpack's waist belt or a climbing harness. The low-profile zippers are much more comfortable than several other options which featured larger zippers.
This contender wins our Best Buy Award. At its low $100 price point, there is not a more versatile high-performing jacket in our review for less money.
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, especially considering its wallet-friendly price tag.
This jacket breathes well, has excellent ventilation features, and is the most versatile model we tested.