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Marmot PreCip Full Zip Review

Marmot PreCip Full Zip
Best Buy Award
Price:   $100 List | $74.12 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Most breathable propriety fabric in our review, most breathable under $100, easy to pull on and remove over boots, full-length zippers
Cons:  Velcro flaps on waist occasionally come undone, average weight
Bottom line:  A fully featured rain and storm worthy pant for hiking and backpacking; it's tough to beat for the price.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

Coming in as our review team's favorite rain paint for under $100, we found that the Marmot PreCip offers the best overall balance of performance versus cost. The NanoPro fabric proved to be the most breathable of any pant in its price range and this contender was among the most breathable of fabrics we tested. The PreCip offers the full gambit of features that most folks are looking for in rain pants for backpacking, hiking, mountaineering, or general outdoor use, yet keep a respectable weight and packed size, and are sold at a reasonable cost.

Looking to save some money without compromising functionality?
Marmot PreCip Pant
Marmot's Marmot PreCip Pant Version is nearly identical to the PreCip Full Zip we tested, but without the side zippers and for a significantly reduced $80. While full-length side zippers are great for ventilation, they're not a practical tool for hiking or exploring during active precipitation events. Because this version of the PreCip has fewer features, it will also save you 4.5 ounces, a nice bonus for the weight-conscious traveler. If you're planning on only using your rain pants as an emergency shell or for brief periods of especially wet weather, the PreCip Pant might meet all your needs at a nicer price tag.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's Rain Pants of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Thursday
March 16, 2017

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If you don't want to spend a lot of money but want a reliable and highly functional rain pant for trekking, backpacking, and mountaineering, we'd recommend the Marmot PreCip, as we believe it's the best option in its price range. The PreCip strikes a nice balance of storm worthiness, weight, and functional features - all while featuring a $100 price tag.

Performance Comparison


The Marmot PreCip Full Zip Pant offered very good weather resistance  especially considering its price. After extensive testing we actually found that the PreCip Pants offered better overall weather resistance than some more expensive models in both real world use and our shower and garden hose comparisons.
The Marmot PreCip Full Zip Pant offered very good weather resistance, especially considering its price. After extensive testing we actually found that the PreCip Pants offered better overall weather resistance than some more expensive models in both real world use and our shower and garden hose comparisons.

Weather Resistance


The PreCip offers excellent weather resistance, especially considering its $100 price tag and comparable weather resistance to several more expensive models. After extensive use in both real world and side-by-side tests, our entire testing team was impressed with the storm worthiness, securing an 8 out of 10 in this metric. Our testing revealed that the PreCip Pant trailed closely behind the award-winning Marmot Minimalist Pant, Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic, and Outdoor Research Foray Pant, which earned higher scores and had a much higher price tag ($100 versus $165, $150, and $175, respectively).


The DWR on the PreCip proved to be more long-lasting than many pants in its price range. It kept these pants from feeling damp or clammy  meaning they weren't as heavy (or wet) when the sky cleared. We were quickly ready to put them back in our packs.
The DWR on the PreCip proved to be more long-lasting than many pants in its price range. It kept these pants from feeling damp or clammy, meaning they weren't as heavy (or wet) when the sky cleared. We were quickly ready to put them back in our packs.

Comfort and Mobility


The PreCip offers a slightly looser than average fit, which increased mobility. The articulation was above average, especially compared to other pants in its price range, in which case the PreCip offered a superior range of motion. When it came to stepping over high logs or jumping over creeks, the PreCip Pant offered better mobility than the Columbia Rebel Roamer or The North Face Venture Half Zip, but didn't perform as well as the Outdoor Research Foray Pants, or the stretchy REI Talusphere Full Zip, or Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic.


Our testers did appreciate the very classically located hand-warmer style pockets on the PreCip. While most of our testers preferred to carry most small items in our jacket pockets  these pockets were comfortable enough to store items and were a convenient place to put your hands when it was cold.
Our testers did appreciate the very classically located hand-warmer style pockets on the PreCip. While most of our testers preferred to carry most small items in our jacket pockets, these pockets were comfortable enough to store items and were a convenient place to put your hands when it was cold.

Breathability & Ventilation


This competitor's breathability is above average among contenders in our fleet and features the best breathability of any pant we've tried in the $100 or less price range - including many pants not featured in this review.


While we think Marmot NanoPro fabric performed well, it wasn't quite as breathable as the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic, which uses its own Dry Q Active Stretch proprietary material. The Marmot Minimalist Pant and Outdoor Research Foray Pant which both feature Gore-Tex, also outperformed this Best Buy winner as far as breathability and ventilation go. We thought the PreCip Pant was comparable to the REI Talusphere Full Zip and was offered a higher level of breathability than the The North Face Venture Half-Zip.

The PreCip Full Zip feature two full-length side zippers that allow as much ventilation as you can ask for from a rain pant. If venting from the top  the only downside is that the Velcro flaps can occasionally come undone  particularly if wearing a pack with a more robust hip belt.
The PreCip Full Zip feature two full-length side zippers that allow as much ventilation as you can ask for from a rain pant. If venting from the top, the only downside is that the Velcro flaps can occasionally come undone, particularly if wearing a pack with a more robust hip belt.

Ventilation
The PreCip Pant offers top-notch ventilation, which performs as well as you could hope for. As the name PreCip Full Zip Pant would elude, this contender features two full-length zippers which allow for plenty of ventilation from the top and bottom. As we mentioned more in-depth in our buying advice article, side zips are nice for venting; however, if it's pouring, or you're hiking on a wet overgrown trail, using the side zips for ventilation isn't truly an option, as they will likely funnel water down the insides of your pants and your boots (trust us). It's worth noting that the PreCip's mesh-lined pockets can pull double duty by offering some (though obviously limited) ventilation.

Features


This contender is packed full of features that most backpackers and hikers commonly look for. It uses a higher gauge YKK zipper than most models, making the side zippers more durable and less prone to getting jammed when dirt or mud works its way into the zipper.


Velcro closures at tops of the zippers (on the waist of the pant) help keep the pants from sliding down, though these would occasionally come undone when wearing a heavier pack; the waist belt would also slowly open the zippers, causing the pants to start to slip down. This was a minor annoyance but certainly wasn't a dealbreaker. Several day-hikers on our review team liked the two hand pockets featured on the front of the pant and thought it was nice to have an additional zippered pocket on the back. The PreCip features an elastic shock cord with a toggle that helps cinch pant cuffs, keeping debris out of the wearer's shoes. We felt this design worked okay; however, when used on snow, we'd recommend bringing gaiters, though these pants were highly functional when used for some off-trail travel.

Packed Size


The Precip Pants are average as far as their packed volume goes, scoring a 7 out of 10. They are almost twice the size as the Outdoor Research Helium, and a quarter larger than the Outdoor Research Foray Pants or the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pants. They are roughly the same size as the Columbia Rebel Roamer ($50) and are smaller than the REI Talusphere Full Zip ($109) or The North Face Venture Half-Zip ($80).


Weight


Just under 14 ounces (OutdoorGearLab weight), the PreCip Pants are lighter than many rain pants on the market, especially ones with full-length zippers; they are somewhat heavier than average among options we tested. They are five ounces lighter than the REI Talusphere Full Zip (which feature full side zips) and weigh slightly less than the The North Face Venture Half-Zip. They aren't nearly as light as the Outdoor Research Foray Pants (12 ounces) or the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic (10 ounces) - though both of these pants are at least $50 more expensive. If you are truly prioritizing weight, make sure to consider the less featured Outdoor Research Helium which weigh in at 6.5 ounces.


Durability


The PreCip Pants are tougher than we first expected; we found them to be average among other contenders in our fleet. The DWR held up longer than most of the other options in a similar price range and we found that the PreCip did not need to be re-treated as frequently. As far as puncture and abrasion resistance go, the PreCip Pants feature a 100% nylon rip-stop exterior that was more durable than some, though not quite as tough as The North Face Venture Pants, which were similar to the Columbia Rebel Roamer and more durable than the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic.


Ease of Use


With their full-length zippers and slick internal fabric, the PreCip Pants were among the easiest to quickly don and remove. This feature allowed for quick deployment or removal over any type of boots; it also enabled the user to completely unzip the pant into two pieces, which helped with pulling over crampons, snowshoes, or skis (though the boot cuffs are a little on the narrow side for skis).

The PreCip pant's full-length zippers made donning these pants over any footwear (or skis  snowshoes  Nodric skis  crampons  etc.) a breeze. This was something our testing team appreciated  particularly when surprise thunder storms arrived  instantly soaking the ground.
The PreCip pant's full-length zippers made donning these pants over any footwear (or skis, snowshoes, Nodric skis, crampons, etc.) a breeze. This was something our testing team appreciated, particularly when surprise thunder storms arrived, instantly soaking the ground.

Best Applications


The PreCip Pant is a great all-around option for those who want a fully featured rain pant, but don't want to throw down $150-$200 on something that lives in their pack 95% of the time. The PreCip's weight, weather resistance, and packed size make it a perfect choice for backpacking or day hiking, as well as at home mountaineering, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing. It is durable enough for occasional downhill skiing, but its slimmer pant cuffs (an advantage for most hikers and backpackers) don't fit that well over most ski boots.

Value


At $100, this contender isn't the cheapest pair of rain pants, though our review team found it to be the best rain pant you can buy for $100 or less. We think it offers the best balance of functionality, packability, weight, and weather resistance for the price. Our testing revealed that the PreCip is lighter, more packable, and offers a slightly better fit than The North Face Venture Half-Zip ($80). It is more fully featured and breathable than the Columbia Rebel Roamer ($50), though the Rebel Roamer is marginally lighter and more packable - and equally stormproof. If you're in search of a competitor that offers the Best Buy on a Budget, consider the Rebel Roamer.

Overall  the PreCip Pant was our Best Buy for the Best Value. For $100  it's hard to find a rain pant with a better combination of features  weather resistance  breathability  and weight.
Overall, the PreCip Pant was our Best Buy for the Best Value. For $100, it's hard to find a rain pant with a better combination of features, weather resistance, breathability, and weight.

Conclusion and the Bottom Line


The Marmot PreCip Full Zip is our OutdoorGearLab Best Buy winner. We found it offered the best blend of features, functionally, and storm worthiness - for the price. While it wasn't as breathable as Gore-Tex models in the review, it likely presented the best breathability in its price range. It also comes loaded with features and offers comparable (or better) rain protection (the most important attribute of a rain pant) to several more expensive models. If money isn't an issue, we'd recommend the Outdoor Research Foray Pant, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic, or the Marmot Minimalist; if it's hard for you to justify the money because your rain pants might just live in your pack 95% or more of the time, the PreCip gives up very little in regards to performance and offers a lower price point.
Ian Nicholson

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Most recent review: March 16, 2017
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