The Marmot Minimalist holds true to its name. It's a minimalist jacket that doesn't include a lot of the functionality you get from its counterparts. It did have a very impressive fabric, boasting its trademark 2.5-layer Gore-Tex PacLite fabric to help keep you dry, all while maintaining the ability to breathe and move with you. We stayed dry but felt it lacked the ability to do so when we were aerobically exerting ourselves. If breathability is your top priority in your rain jacket, but you also want to stay dry in your drizzly pursuits, check out our Top Pick award winner for overall functionality Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic.
Marmot Minimalist - Women's Review
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Adjustable hood, great fit, waterproof
Cons: Expensive, breathability, Velcro on the pockets is very abrasive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
— Katherine Elliott