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Marmot PreCip Pant Review

Budget, lightweight pants totally suitable for occasional use
Marmot PreCip Pant
Photo: Marmot
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Price:  $80 List | $49.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Compact, light, affordable
Cons:  Thin fabric prone to tearing, limited breathability
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 30, 2019
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82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 13
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9
  • Comfort and Mobility - 18% 8
  • Breathability & Venting - 18% 7
  • Features - 5% 9
  • Packed Size - 12% 8
  • Weight - 17% 9
  • Durability - 5% 7

Our Verdict

When we glance at our scoring matrix, these pants could be called the most "average" pants in our review. None of their scores suffer greatly, while none stand out at the top of the heap either. When you get this well-balanced performance at a reasonable price, you jump on it. These are a good value. Others are a little less expensive but suffer in one way or another, performance-wise.

New Eco Fabric

Since our test period, Marmot released an updated version of this pant called the PreCip Eco Pant. The new pant, shown above, is very similar in fit and features but is now comprised of a new eco-friendly, PFC-free NanoPro recycled fabric. We're linking to the updated pant now, but the review below still pertains to the previous PreCip pant.

September 2019

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Pros Compact, light, affordableInexpensive, lightweight, excellent packed size, reasonably weather-resistant, baggy cut makes it easy to wear over other layers, low profile waistband doesn't pinch under a backpackMost breathable propriety fabric in our review, most breathable under $100, easy to pull on and remove over boots, full-length zippersSuper stretchy fabric allows for fantastic freedom of movement, mobility, features, good value, durableBest pant among $50 and under options, above average durability, excellent storm worthiness
Cons Thin fabric prone to tearing, limited breathabilityNot especially breathable, clammy with moderate aerobic activity, no front hand pockets, below average articulationVelcro flaps on waist occasionally come undone, average weightHeavy, boot cinches are so-so, velcro waist flapsNo pockets, breathability, ventilation, not easy to put on without removing footwear
Bottom Line Budget, lightweight pants totally suitable for occasional usePerfect for those who want to bring a pair of rain pants but aren't likely to use them very oftenA fully featured rain and storm worthy pant for hiking and backpacking; it's tough to beat for the priceA super versatile, durable, and storm-worthy pant at a great price; the downsides being it's not as compressible or light weight as other models in the fleetA killer pant for the price, offering better than expected feel and weather resistance, but does not offer much in the way of features
Rating Categories Marmot PreCip Pant Co-op Essential Marmot PreCip Full Zip REI Talusphere Full... Columbia Rebel Roamer
Water Resistance (25%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort And Mobility (18%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
10.0
8.0
Breathability & Venting (18%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Features (5%)
9.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
Packed Size (12%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Weight (17%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
8.0
Durability (5%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Marmot PreCip Pant Co-op Essential Marmot PreCip Full Zip REI Talusphere Full... Columbia Rebel Roamer
Measured Weight 8 oz / 225g 9.5 oz / 271g 14 oz / 396g 19.5 oz / 552g 12.5 oz / 354g
Waterproof Fabric Material Nano Pro 2.5-layer REI Proprietary waterproof breathable fabric 2.5 Layer PreCip NanoPro 2.5 Layer REI Elements Waterproof Breathable Laminate Omni-Tech Waterproof/Breathable
Face Fabric and Layer Construction NanoPro100% Nylon Ripstop 2.2 oz/ yd 40-denier nylon ripstop 50D 100% Recycled Nylon w/ Proprietary NanoPro Waterproof Breathable Coated Insert 50D Polyester 70D 100% Nylon
Pockets 3 pockets 1 pocket 3 pockets 2 pockets 0 pockets
Side Zips Length? 1/4 Length 1/4 Length Ankle Zips Full Length Zippers Full Length Side Zips None
Put on Over Hiking or Mountaineering Boots Yes No Yes Yes No
Inseam Length, Size Medium 32 in 31.5 inches 30 or 32 in 30 or 32 in 30 or 32 in
Stows Into Pocket? No Yes No Yes No
Waist band Style Elastic + shock cord Elastic + Shock Cord Elastic + Shock Cord Elastic + Shock Cord Elastic + Shock Cord

Our Analysis and Test Results

Marmot's venerable Precip line of shell gear offers lightweight, budget-minded performance in a variety of forms. In this review, we test both this traditional format (1/4 cuff zips) and the fully separating Marmot PreCip Full Zip. In most ways, and definitely the important ways, these pants are identical to one another. The fabric and fit are the same. The durability and weather protection, therefore, are basically the same. The full zip version vents better and is easier to get on and off. This version is lighter, more compact, and less expensive.

Performance Comparison


These are great waterproof pants for anyone on a budget. Especially for those for whom weight and bulk are a concern, the Marmot PreCip should be on your short list. Durability and breathability suffer as compared to the more expensive products, but for short exposures to wet weather, these things matter a lot less.

This model didn't offering anything special when it comes to...
This model didn't offering anything special when it comes to mobility by it offered enough freedom-of-movement to keep most backcountry users happy. Here it keeps Jed Porter dry with driving rain in South America.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Water Resistance


The membrane is fully waterproof, and Marmot's "DWR" lasts better than average. What more can you ask for? The lack of long zippers leaves even less room for breach. This model scores slightly better than the cousin Marmot PreCip Full Zip because the full zippers are a little more vulnerable to leakage. We had no actual problems with our tested full zip pants, but we know from past experience and logic that the mechanical zippers are potentially leaky.

Comfort and Mobility


A relatively loose fit and softly draping fabric are the Precip pants' positive comfort attributes. The thin fabric is a little clingy while the bare membrane lining is cold against bare legs. These things are minor, especially when wearing long pants beneath, but they need to be noted.

The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic is the comfort king in our review. The fabric really is quite stretchy and this is noticeable when you wear them. Both PreCip pants (these, and the full zip version) score similarly in terms of comfort. The Top Pick ultralight Outdoor Research Helium is also very comfortable, especially considering just how light they are.

Breathability and Venting


Marmot's NanoPro fabric and coating are quite breathable, considering the price. For moderate efforts in all but the most thoroughly soaked environments, your body heat will push some of your perspiration, in the form of water vapor, through the fabric of the Precip pants. Zipped venting, like that on the Marmot PreCip Full Zip sheds hot air and moisture even better. Gore-Tex fabric, as featured on the Marmot Minimalist really does breathe better than the less expensive options.

Marmot PreCip on the left, Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Alpha SL on the...
Marmot PreCip on the left, Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Alpha SL on the right. Both have recently been in the rain, but the Alpha was out longer. As a result, their DWR treatment was overwhelmed. The water you see on the Alpha pants did not get through to the inside.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Features


Given how light the PreCip pants are, they have an excellent set of pockets. There are a total of three mesh-lined pockets. Two in the front and one in the rear. The 1/4 length lower leg zip allows the user to slip all but the bulkiest of mountaineering boots through.

The set of three pockets on the PreCip Pants is welcome and useful...
The set of three pockets on the PreCip Pants is welcome and useful. Here, the one rear pocket. This is complemented by two hand warmer pockets on the front.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Packed Size


These pants are compact enough to bring on all but the most ultralight of missions. They take up about as much space as a 12 ounce LaCroix can. The Top Pick Outdoor Research Helium is the undisputed packability leader. These are tiny. The PreCip pants are almost twice the size. The Marmot PreCip is about 75% the bulk of the Marmot PreCip Full Zip.

Compact and lightweight. This is what we look for in rain pants and...
Compact and lightweight. This is what we look for in rain pants and this small package is our well-scoring PreCip Pants.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Weight


At an even 8 ounces, the PreCip pants are lighter than the rainwater that will collect in your boots on a wet hike. Use that 8 ounces on your legs, and your boots should absorb less water. The weight of the PreCip pants can "pay for itself" that way. Now, our logic isn't bulletproof, but the point is that these aren't very heavy pants.

The Top Pick Outdoor Research Helium pants are even lighter than the PreCip pants, while the REI Talusphere Full Zip is more than twice the mass. The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic is only two ounces heavier than the PreCip. Notably, the PreCip Full Zip is almost twice as heavy as the 1/4 zipped version. This points to the actual weight of convenience.

To test breathability we swapped pants back and forth in the same...
To test breathability we swapped pants back and forth in the same wet, active conditions. The PreCip Eco did fine for day hikes and mellow backpacking trips but isn't our first choice for truly areboic activies.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Durability


The thin fabric and mostly exposed internal coating of the PreCip pants are vulnerable to degradation. Our test period wasn't long enough to elicit failure, but we know from experience that fabric of this thickness will tear when snagged on thorns or rocks. This is the primary "cost" of lightweight and inexpensive equipment. On all pants, note that the DWR coating will be the first thing to fail. This is not a failure of the waterproofing. Marmot's lasts pretty well, but will eventually fail, as all DWR treatments do.

With Marmot's proprietary Nano Pro 2.5 layer fabric this model...
With Marmot's proprietary Nano Pro 2.5 layer fabric this model offered above-average weather protection in its price range and all of our testers were impressed by the longevity of its DWR and ability to bead water.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Best Applications


These are ultralight rain pants to keep at the bottom of your pack for hikes in any climate prone to rain.

The 1/4 length zips of this classic configuration of the Precip...
The 1/4 length zips of this classic configuration of the Precip Pants work to get on overall but the bulkiest of ski boots and mountaineering boots.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Value


Some products are less expensive and some perform better, but we have long found that Marmot PreCip shell gear strikes a great value. When the products are also pretty light, your calculus gets even easier. These pants are a good value.

Conclusion


You can't go wrong with these pants. Others are more protective, more breathable, more durable, more comfortable or lighter, but none strike the balance of these attributes that the Marmot PreCip does.

Ian Nicholson