The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Marmot Minimalist - Women's Review

Comfortable and cute but heavy and not waterproof
Marmot Minimalist - Women's
Photo: Marmot
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $189 List | $130.90 at Amazon
Pros:  Attractive cut, soft and comfortable feel, great pockets
Cons:  Not waterproof, heavy and thick, doesn't pack into its pocket
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 8, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 13
  • Water Resistance - 30% 4
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Breathability - 20% 6
  • Durability - 15% 6
  • Weight and Packability - 10% 3

Our Verdict

The Marmot Minimalist is minimalist in all the ways we don't want it to be, and none of the ways we do. It's comfortable and fits well. It has great pockets that are large and prevent things from falling out easily. However, the Minimalist is also heavy, not packable (into its own pocket), and most importantly, not waterproof. It easily soaks up water and quickly transfers that through to your skin. It's enough to get you in and out of the grocery store but not meant for prolonged exposure to rain.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $130.90 at Amazon$214.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$209.30 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.96 at Amazon$119.25 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
54
83
77
74
73
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Attractive cut, soft and comfortable feel, great pocketsWater resistant, wind resistant and breathable, dual direction whole side/pit vents, dual direction main zipperExceedingly water resistant, great fit, comfortable fabric, good zipper design, very durableIncredibly stretchy, comfortable, breathable, long arms, not crinklyExceptionally packable, lightweight, impressively waterproof, easy to move in
Cons Not waterproof, heavy and thick, doesn't pack into its pocketVery difficult to pack into its pocket, sleeves a bit short, main zipper difficult to match upNo pit zips for dumping excess heat in a pinch, doesn't pack into a pocket, expensiveThin, hood not great coverage, not windproofNo vents or hand pockets, lack of everyday features
Bottom Line Cute and comfortable but not packable or waterproofIn spite of its relatively large packed size and weight, this jacket will meet every other expectation you have for a rain shellOffering impressive protection from the elements in a very comfortable and well-fitting jacketYou'll pay more for the stretchy fabric of this model, but it just might be worth it if you partake in a lot of aerobic activitiesA solid packable rain layer that will keep you dry but doesn't have a lot of everyday comfort features
Rating Categories Marmot Minimalist - Women's Aspire Arc'teryx Zeta SL - Women's Stretch Ozonic Helium Rain Jacket
Water Resistance (30%)
4
9
9
7
8
Comfort (25%)
7
8
9
8
6
Breathability (20%)
6
8
5
8
8
Durability (15%)
6
9
9
7
6
Weight And Packability (10%)
3
6
4
6
9
Specs Marmot Minimalist... Aspire Arc'teryx Zeta SL... Stretch Ozonic Helium Rain Jacket
Measured Weight 12.2 oz 11.4 oz 9.4 oz 9.4 oz 5.6 oz
Number of Fabric Layers 3 2 2 2.5 2.5
Material Gore-Tex Paclite, 100% recycled polyester Gore-Tex with Paclite technology 2L, 100% polyester 50D plain weave 40D ripstop (N40r) Gore-Tex New Paclite Plus, DWR treatment Dry.Q Active Stretch 40D 2.5L (100% nylon) Pertex Shield, Diamond Fuse 30D ripstop nylon
Pockets 2 hand 2 hand, 1 chest 2 hand 2 hand, 1 chest 1 chest
Pit Zips Yes Yes - dual direction No Yes - dual direction No
Pit Zip Length (in) 11" 21" N/a 13" n/a
Helmet Compatible Hood No Yes No Yes No
Stows into Pocket No Yes No Yes Yes
Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket No Yes No No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Marmot Minimalist is a 3 layer polyester Gore-Tex Paclite jacket with DWR coating and fully taped seams. It has dual storm flaps over a non-waterproof main zipper and features two hand pockets with storm flaps, an inner left chest pocket, velcro wrist cuffs, and single direction pit zips.

Performance Comparison


We like this coat best when it's barely raining.
We like this coat best when it's barely raining.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Water Resistance


You expect a rain jacket to keep you dry in the rain. The Minimalist tags some serious asterisks onto that expectation with the actual performance of this jacket. After several minutes in light rain, the teal fabric was already visibly starting to soak up some water. After about an hour, that light rain was inside the jacket, making the parts of our bodies with the most exposure to vertical rain (namely forearms and tops of shoulders), wet. This is a disappointing performance from an otherwise fairly good-coverage jacket.

We're not impressed by how quickly this jacket soaks up water.
We're not impressed by how quickly this jacket soaks up water.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Aside from the lack of truly waterproof fabric, the Minimalist offers some decent coverage. Inner and outer storm flaps cover the main zipper, which is not waterproof. Storm flaps also cover the pocket zippers - also not waterproof. The hood has a good coverage hood with a wide brim and a single adjustment point on the back that does an excellent job shielding your face from vertical precipitation. While we like the coverage of this jacket, we're disappointed with its actual waterproofness.

Inner and outer storm flaps help to cover this non-waterproof zipper.
Inner and outer storm flaps help to cover this non-waterproof zipper.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


This coat is comfortable to wear. The inside is silky smooth, and overall, it's less stiff and crinkly than many others we tested. Its sleeve and torso lengths are fairly comfortable to wear, though the sleeves could stand to be a touch longer to provide more protection while you move. A drop hem helps to keep you covered while you're out and about as well.

The adjustability of this hood provides great coverage.
The adjustability of this hood provides great coverage.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

The non-waterproof zippers are easy to use and surprisingly manage not to get caught on either of the two storm flaps. The Minimalist's hand pockets are some of our favorites for casual use. The pocket itself extends behind the zipper, making the larger pockets that easily handle your favorite giant smartphone and help stop things from dropping out of your pockets while they're open.

The exceptionally large pockets are one of our favorite things about...
The exceptionally large pockets are one of our favorite things about this jacket.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Breathability


Though Marmot advertises this jacket as "extremely breathable", compared to the others we tested, we find it to be about average. It's a bit thick to be really breathable but does feature 11" top-down pit vents for when you really need them. It does a decent job blocking the wind and keeping you warm on a cold day, though. We'd recommend it for lower-intensity activities, like walking the dog around the neighborhood.

The pit vents are a decent length but have only single direction...
The pit vents are a decent length but have only single direction zippers.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


Thick materials and thoughtful construction lend some credibility to the durability of this jacket. It's not made of ripstop material though, and some of the seams, while totally adequate, aren't quite as impressive as some other models we tested. It stretches slightly also, which adds to its comfort and durability. However, we question the "durably waterproof" claim by Marmot. It's to be expected that you'll need to reapply DWR finish to every DWR treated product throughout its life, but we expected better performance from the DWR treatment of a brand new coat.

We're unimpressed by the DWR coating wearing out so fast.
We're unimpressed by the DWR coating wearing out so fast.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Weight and Packability


This is another metric in which the Minimalist falls short of its name and the competition. It's one of the very few rain jackets we tested that doesn't pack into its pocket. And at 12.2 ounces, it's one of the heaviest shells we tested. You can, of course, roll it up into its hood, and with the single adjustment point on the back of the hood, this works reasonably well.

It's one of just a few jackets we tested that doesn't pack into its...
It's one of just a few jackets we tested that doesn't pack into its own pocket but it makes an okay package rolled up into its hood.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Minimalist isn't one of the cheapest jackets we tested, yet offers fairly unimpressive performance. For its price (or less), you could pick up a much more waterproof jacket.

Conclusion


The Marmot Minimalist isn't minimal among its competitors. It's heavy, doesn't pack into its pocket, and has plenty of pockets and features that defy its name. The only way in which we feel that it's actually minimal is in the one way we don't want it to be - water resistance.

Though an alright jacket for comfort, it just doesn't quite hold up...
Though an alright jacket for comfort, it just doesn't quite hold up its end of the bargain when it comes to water resistance.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg