If keeping things simple is a top priority, look no further. The Marmot Minimalist doesn't have many added features which holds true to its name. While it's a high scorer in the water resistance category, it lacks breathability, especially while performing at a high aerobic level. If breathability is something you want your rain jacket to retain while out on the move, check out our Editors' Choice Winner, the Outdoor Research Aspire.
The Minimalist will have you jumping for joy on light rain days when you won't be partaking in too big of an aerobic day.
The Minimalist comes equipped with a Gore-Tex Paclite material. As with any Gore-Tex textile, you expect complete water resistance and this jacket performed well, even during the heaviest of downpours. However, we were unimpressed with the pocket design, which led to many a wet wallet and even a fully soaked phone, all while fully stowed in the zippered pocket. The front zipper does come equipped with a storm flap to cover the virtually non-waterproof main zipper, but with high winds and rain, this had the potential to let you down and become a spot for leaks.
Fully equipped with 2.4 layers of super water-resistant Gore-Tex with Paclite Technology.
When it comes to a fully waterproof jacket that also can breathe and keep you dry and cool while performing your favorite high octane sport, we would recommend checking out the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic. The Minimalist always seems to acquire a lot of precipitation on the inside of the jacket when being used at a high aerobic level; even on some of the shorter hikes, our base layers ended up becoming saturated. The pit zips helped during the muggier times, but the pockets weren't even mesh lined to allow for a little extra airflow when things started to heat up.
Finding a rain jacket that is remarkably water resistant and comfortable can be a challenge. We were greatly impressed by the all-around comfort the Minimalist had to offer. Even with the material being comprised of Gore-Tex, which can sometimes be cumbersome and have a crunchy feeling, it was a softer fabric than its Gore-Tex counterpart the REI Co-op Drypoint GTX, earning it high marks in the comfort category. It also had a slim fit which was specifically designed for women; our testers agreed that it was very flattering. One problem that was encountered was the Velcro that closes the pockets was extra abrasive and would continuously snag the base layer under the jacket when using the pocket.
Although the Velcro is a nice addition to try and keep the rain out of the non-waterproof pockets, the Velcro closures were very abrasive and caused snags on our base layers while using them.
The Minimalist was designed with a simple structure to keep it lightweight yet functional. While it did keep us dry through storms, it was the second heaviest rain jacket in our lineup and lacked some main features we liked about the other lighter jackets. If you are looking for a lightweight companion that will also keep you dry, check out the Outdoor Research Helium II; it won our Top Pick award for its functionality minus the weight.
The Minimalist, although very simple in design, was one of the heaviest in the review, weighing over 12 ounces.
The Minimalist is fully loaded with Gore-Tex Paclite fabric; combined with a 100% recycled polyester, that includes a DWR coating, making it a high contender amidst the most durable rain jackets we tested.
We were surprised by the fact that there wasn't a stow pocket that the jacket could roll into, especially with such a high price tag. This is one aspect that, at least in our opinion, did not favor the minimal design.
The Minimalist lacked a stow pocket which held true to its minimal nature but didn't stand out when it came to packed size.
The Minimalist is best suited for an outdoor enthusiast who doesn't plan to be fully exerting themselves in their sport. The jacket does say it's best suited for hiking and backpacking, and as long as you are making use of the much-needed pit zips, this jacket will keep you dry through the storm.
Ringing in at $190, the Minimalist boasts a fairly high price tag and just doesn't have the functionality of our award winners.
The flexible Gore-Tex fabric will keep you dry and comfortable while out on shorter exploratory missions in the outdoors or simply running errands around town, but when it comes to full on aerobic exertion, the breathability lagged behind others in our fleet.