The Marmot PreCip rainwear series has long dominated the market for affordable waterproof garments. The Eco update makes for a feel-good buy, and also improved durability. These are not the most durable or burly rain pants, so they won't edge into more severe conditions higher in the mountains or in colder climates, but for backpackers and hikers, they are certainly of high value. They are excellent for a lot of terrain and climates, due to their impressive light weight.
Marmot PreCip Eco Pant - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, lightweight, compact
Cons: Clammy feel inside, less versatile
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The updated Marmot PreCip Eco pants are now made of PFC-free Marmot NanoPro recycled nylon.
The PreCip Eco pants hold up their longtime standard of water resistance with their proprietary NanoPro nylon. These pants feature a 2.5 layer nylon with a microporous coating and a dry-touch finish, which sounds fancy, and works well in most applications (this is not a layer for mountaineering or expedition use).
In even more technical terms, these pants are waterproof to 10,000mm, which means that an inch wide column of water will not leak through this fabric until it reaches a height of 10,000mm; this says something of the pressure required to push water through the fabric. In practical terms, this means the material will hold up well to light rain and snow. As such, these are not a go-to pair of hardshells for skiing at the resort, the pressure of sitting on a wet ski lift will overpower the pressure rating of these pants.
Comfort and Mobility
The PreCip series has always been a reliable go-to for general waterproof uses. They are loose enough to fit comfortably over your pants but slender enough not to feel too baggy and cumbersome or otherwise inhibit your activities. These pants are relatively easy to get on over your casual pants; however, the side zips only go up to the top of your calf, which makes it challenging to get these pants on or off over any shoes much bigger than running shoes. The elastic waistband also allows you to slip these pants on and off with relative ease, though a front fly zipper would give you more room, again, to slide the pants on over bulkier shoes.
The bottom hem has an adjustable elastic pull-cord to cinch the pants around your ankles, which can be very helpful when walking through wet brush or to effectively seal and secure the pants around your rain boots.
Last but not least, the material of the PreCip pants itself is supple and light, which makes moving easier. The feel of the fabric inside the pants can be clammy, so we don't recommend wearing these next-to-skin.
Breathability and Venting
These pants are made of a microporous material that Marmot asserts is dynamically air permeable. They claim this makes the pants more breathable, which conceptually makes sense. However, breathability is the most difficult metric to compare objectively, based on specifications and measurements, due to a lot of variability in measurement standards between companies.
In our field tests, we found that this did feel somewhat different to us. Marmot says this material is still windproof, but when riding a bike or moving quickly, we felt cooler in these pants. This is great for those who run warm and sweat more while exercising, therefore wanting a high level of breathability, but you may not like these as much for higher speed activities like cold weather cycling or skiing (if you need them to help keep your legs warm).
The model we tested did not have side vents, but Marmot does offer another version with full-length side zippers, which can double as side vents if you unzip them from the top.
The PreCip Eco pants are on the lighter side of pants in this review, making them an excellent companion for a variety of outdoor activities in milder climates. They are light enough to be a go-to for backpacking when you need to be prepared for any weather, but you have to justify each item in your pack since you're carrying the weight of it on your back. There are lighter rain pants, but the PreCip is an excellent product for a great price, especially if it's something you may not actually wear a whole lot.
The PreCip pants are compact enough to be a tremendous waterproof pant to tote along on your next backpacking adventure, without being too annoyed if you never wear them at all. They are light, simple, comfortable, and an excellent companion to stuff into the bottom of your backpack and forget about until the sky cracks open in the middle of your 10-mile trek to your next camp.
The PreCip Eco pants have enough features to be easy to use but not too many to make them feel bulky, heavy, or cumbersome. They have two zippered hand pockets with mesh inside to quickly stash small items. The ankle unzips nearly to your knee to allow you to put these on or take them off over shoes. The elastic cord at the bottom hem allows you to cinch the pants around boots or keep them close to prevent snagging or catching. And that's just about it. The simplicity keeps these light yet functional—great for backpacking.
These pants are made of nylon ripstop, which is relatively supple but has enough stiffness to resist snagging. We love supple materials, but with rain pants, we tend to prefer a little more stiffness for two reasons. One, it helps prop up the material and keep the potentially clammy fabric from sticking to your legs when wet, and it makes the material less likely to snag on brush or other sharp objects when walking. These pants are on the lighter side, so they won't hold up to much abrasion, but if you use them mainly for hiking, they are plenty durable.
The PreCip series has always been a great deal in rainwear for backcountry enthusiasts of many types, notably those preferring lighter weight "emergency" rainwear. These remain an excellent value for the features, function, and durability they offer.
The Eco update to the Marmot PreCip pants is a notable improvement to a long-standing go-to in affordable rainwear. These are more durable than their predecessor and are more environmentally friendly as well. These rain pants are a reliable companion on a variety of adventure types, and they are notably a excellent fit for lightweight backpacking due to their simplicity and adequate durability.
— Lyra Pierotti