Marmot PreCip Eco Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Better breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable
Cons: No chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membrane
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Our Analysis and Test Results
A versatile 2.5 layer shell with well-designed features and an excellent price tag make the Marmot Precip Eco one of the best values on the market. Marmot's proprietary NanoPro technology breathes respectably well for the cost. Our testing team also appreciated several of its useful features, like 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 on the market, you have to spend more money to get more performance and few models can match this one for its performance to cost ratio. The Eco will do everything from backpacking to rainy walks in the park — without breaking the bank.
Whether out walking the dog or hanging out during 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 found 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. The Precip Eco will keep your waist covered when reaching 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.
Breathability & Ventilation
The PreCip Eco has a sweet combination of ventilation features, which help pass moisture, keeping the wearer cool. The fabric used in the PreCip breathes better than most models in its price range. Understandably so, this jacket does not breathe as well as the higher-end models, which offer non-coated membranes and non-proprietary fabrics. Is this worth the price difference? Depends on what you'll be using it for. While this is one of the more significant downsides of the PreCip, it's still constructed of a decently breathable fabric when it comes down to it.
The main ventilation features include two large pit zips, which are relatively easy to operate with one hand. The lower primary central 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.
In theory, folks are more likely to use rain jackets in warmer temperatures when ventilation is vital (because if it is super cold you will likely want everything to be zipped up and won't want to "dump" heat), and more likely to use hardshells in cold and snowy conditions, when waterproof pockets are ideal. Even the cuffs have enough room to ventilate adequately at the wrist. You can cinch them closed if it is raining; otherwise, leave them open and loose to promote airflow.
Comfort & Mobility
The PreCip Eco earns a reasonably high score in this metric, thanks to its easy-to-use features and decent mobility. 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 at the hood and the bottom hem and 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, as the big, metal pulls are easy to grab.
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, 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 right around 13.5 ounces, which is pretty average amongst our fleet. While not nearly as light as the Outdoor Research Helium Rain (6.5 oz), roughly half the weight and half the packed size of the PreCip, this model is hardly heavy and is still light enough for the majority of outdoor enthusiasts to be happy with.
Marmot upgraded the external fabric (commonly called face fabric) that they used in this jacket for 2019. It now uses recycled ripstop nylon for the face fabric, which is subtlely tougher than the previous model. Its zippers and Velcro closures are high quality and in line with other similarly priced models as far as longevity and tear resistance. For folks who feel they are hard on their gear but still don't want to break the bank, we found the Patagonia Torrentshell held up slightly better during more abrasive activities.
This model compresses fairly well and stuffs into its left-hand pocket for easy packing. It nearly disappears in the bottom of a daypack, should you want to be prepared for unexpected afternoon thunderstorms. When stuffed, a securely sewn-in webbing carabiner clip loop gives you carrying options.
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 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, and with one cord lock located on the right side, it is easy to adjust.
The Precip Eco packs in a lot of performance for the price and has won our Best Buy Award many times over the years. It remains a powerful contender and nearly took it home again. Compared to our Best Buy Award Winner, the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L, the Precip Eco is less expensive, but the Torrentshell proved more durable, offered better mobility, was more stormworthy, and offered longer lasting weather resistance.
This affordable and well-featured jacket is an easy choice if you want a do-it-all jacket at a great price. It will keep you dry around town or on a backpacking trip, and its NanoPro coating technology breathes quite well, especially when its wallet-friendly price tag is taken into account.
— Ian Nicholson