The Marmot PreCip Eco is the updated version of our previous Best Buy award winner, the Marmot PreCip. With a few upgrades and a more environmentally conscious material-sourcing, the PreCip Eco still reigns supreme as our winner this year. In addition to pit vents and high pockets for hiking, you can now pack the hood away into the collar for use as a windbreaker if there's no actual precipitation. It's simple yet highly functional in all the right ways and costs a lot less than most of the competition.
Marmot PreCip Eco - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Simple but functional, can pack away hood, high pockets for waistbelt, inexpensive
Cons: Not the most durable, hood not great protection, difficult to fit into pocket
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Marmot PreCip Eco is made of recycled 100% ripstop nylon and treated with a DWR finish for waterproofness. It's a simple 2-layer design with high hand pockets for use with a waist belt and the ability to stow the hood away inside its collar.
Marmot's NanoPro technology does a great job sealing out moisture from this jacket. It stayed remarkably waterproof through all of our intensive testing, both indoors and out. Completely taped seams help keep them from leaking as well. Double storm flaps around the front zipper are secured by Velcro to keep them in place even when the storm starts wailing. Velcro cuffs help secure your wrists if you're out being active, and it (four inches) zips snugly without feeling tight, even when zipped to the top, helping to keep your neck protected.
It also features a nice cozy chin guard to keep you comfy and dry in there. And because this jacket has a separate neck from the hood (so the hood can pack into the neck), it stays put well under your hood, adding an extra bit of warmth during a chilly rain.
However, we're not the biggest fans of the PreCip Eco's hood. Instead of having a brim that sticks out to help shield your eyes, the elastic cinch cord runs through the slightly stiffer section that would be a brim, tightening that down around your face when you pull it close. This, unfortunately, leaves your face more exposed to precipitation that we would like. We also found that the lightweight material is so thin and flexible that the water-repellent finish wears off a bit more quickly than many of the beefier models. This can easily be fixed by washing it with a DWR coating like Nikwax, but still requires that extra step of getting some and actually doing it.
While we wish this jacket wasn't so crinkly to wear, so many are, so we're not too surprised. It feels a bit on the thinner side, but not as thin and chilly to wear as some of the more minimalist options. With this new version of the PreCip Eco, the fit has been updated slightly and is a fairly classically feminine cut, while still having some extra space underneath. It's not our favorite to layer over a puffy jacket or a bulky sweatshirt, but it works fine over a medium layer.
With a good length torso and four inches of hem drop in the back (on the size small), the PreCip does a pretty solid job of coverage and comfort through some moderate activities. We also appreciate that the storm flaps are well designed and don't get easily caught in the zipper like many of the other less expensive models we tested.
While the Eco does okay with moderate motions, it's not ideal for an extended range of motion and will leave your wrists somewhat exposed if you reach overhead. We're also not in love with the elastic adjustment cinches on this jacket and think they could be improved with very minimal changes. The hem has just a single cinch point on the right side, which is always harder to get even all the way around than dual cinches on opposite sides. But it's the hood toggles that we really aren't fans of; the toggle pieces themselves are fine, but they're not attached to the sides of the hood. This makes it an awkward task to do with one hand, and if you're using two hands, you're much more likely to get raindrops running up your sleeves and a lopsided cinch job. But all in all, these are fairly minor complaints about a pretty comfortable, albeit crinkly, rain jacket.
The PreCip has pretty decent breathability for a rain jacket made of crinkly plasticky material. The ability to pack away the hood into its collar is great for when you want it as a layer, but it's not actually raining out. Though the nine inch pit vents aren't the longest we tested, they certainly help when you want to dump some heat.
The PreCip is somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to wind resistance and will protect you from small breezes, but isn't meant for gale-force winds. But this breathability goes both ways, which in general is a pretty good compromise for this type of garment.
With that all being said, the inside of this jacket is a bit on the plasticky side. If you're heading out for a seriously high output activity, you'll likely work up some condensation on the inside of this jacket, despite the pit vents and stowaway hood.
The Eco is made of NanoPro Eco 100% Recycled Nylon Ripstop 24oz/yd material. This essentially means it's a decent combination of durability and packability. It's not as durable as some of the models we tested that could almost be lightweight hardshells, but it's not as fragile as some. The seams are pretty neatly sewn, though they're not hidden out of sight and protected as well as some.
Though we didn't have any issue with our jacket during testing, we have some concerns about the longevity of the inner lining layer. Based on our knowledge and experience with these kinds of materials, it may start to crack or come unpeeled over time. However, that amount of time could be as long as many years from when you get it and also depends on how you use it. And again, we didn't have any actual issues with this lining during our testing. The only small issue we did have is needing to reapply the DWR finish after intensive testing; this is not totally a bad thing - and most waterproof layers will need this regularly throughout their lifetimes - but it did happen a bit quicker than we would have preferred.
Weight and Packability
Tipping the scales at just 8.7 ounces, the PreCip Eco is one of the lightest jackets we tested. It also packs down into its left pocket, though it takes a bit of work to actually do. We're pretty impressed with the packability, considering how much protection it offers and all the features it has to boot.
The only more packable jackets we tested are ones that are specifically made to be ultra-packable and tend to cut out all features like pit vents, hand pockets, and sleeve cuff adjustments. In that light, the Eco is all the more impressive for all it manages to squeeze into a pretty lightweight package. If you're on the hunt for a raincoat that you can store in the bottom of your pack for emergencies without losing all the features you love, the PreCip is an excellent choice.
It's a no brainer that we think this jacket has an exceptionally high value, which is why it's our Best Buy award winner. It may not be the most feature-filled or the most impressive protection among models we tested, but it's pretty darn great and comes attached to a price tag you find on much lower-performing jackets. It's not every category that has such an obvious and outstanding candidate for an excellent performance with a small price tag, but this is surely one of them.
We love the sheer usefulness of the Marmot PreCip Eco. It performs well across the board and has an impressively low price tag for all the quality you get, making it a no brainer for our Best Buy award once again. Though it may not be the ultimate companion for extreme sports, the Eco is a highly functional, inexpensive option that our testers continue to love year after year and only seems to get better with each new iteration.
— Maggie Brandenburg