Gear review: The Marmot Precip rain jacket
June 16, 2017 Gear Reviews
The Marmot PreCip rain jacket is one of the most popular and best selling rain jackets out there for hiking, backpacking and outdoor recreation. It made our list of top ten rain jackets, so we opted to test this jacket and write a detailed review on it.
I really like this jacket, especially when it comes to value for the money. If you’re looking to get into a waterproof breathable outdoor jacket, consider the PreCip.
Please note, this is my own personal jacket that I purchased myself. It was not given to me for review. I took this jacket with me to Iceland, where it really came in handy!
The jacket is made with recently updated NanoPro 2.5 layer coated fabric membrane for waterproof breathability. The fabric has a durable water repellant (DWR) coating on the outside that makes the jacket waterproof.
The DWR coating causes water to bead and slide off, keeping the fabric membrane open to allow for perspiration to evaporate. The proprietary membrane will vent water vapour and keep you free from sweat and dry on the inside. Once this membrane wears off, the jacket will stop beading water and become soaked, blocking the ability of the membrane to breathe by blocking the flow of perspiration and water vapour through the membrane.
The DWR coating is a chemical coating that wears out over time, and usually wears out first at the high abrasion points, like at the shoulder straps if you’re wearing it with a backpack. Luckily, you can re-introduce the waterproof property by reapplying the DWR coating. As long as the DWR coating is good, the jacket will remain waterproof and breathable.
Great fit and range of motion
The jacket offers above average mobility and range of motion. There are also two waist drawstring straps that keep the jacket fitted below your hips and keep from gusts of wind from blowing up your back. Because it’s so adjustable, the jacket is very warm and keeps you very dry and protected from stormy weather.
The jacket has a good length and doesn’t ride up when your arms are overhead, which is a really important feature. This is very important because it will keep your back much drier and allow the rain to slide off your back, keeping your legs dry. This is also important when wearing a backpack. As you walk, the jacket stays put below your hip belt and doesn’t ride up.
The jacket features a nice high collar that goes up high and protects the bottom half of your face. This protects the face and chest nicely when closed. The inside of the collar has a soft chin guard to feel comfortable against your face.
Fully adjustable hood
The hood is one of the best features of this jacket because it’s fully adjustable in three different points. It’s great at keeping the rain off your face, which is particularly an issue if you wear glasses or sunglasses. I wear prescription sunglasses and tend to wear them almost all of the time, even when it’s raining, so I appreciate this feature. I also like wearing a baseball cap under my hood when the wind is blowing sideways to keep rain off my face, and it fits under the hood nicely.
The high hood also protects your neck from cold drafts. The rear Velcro strap at the back adjusts the volume of the hood, and the two side toggles let you adjust the size of the front opening.
The hood also has a bill in the front, though it doesn’t have a stiff wire for shape like some hoods do, but does protect your face pretty well from blowing rain.
When not using the hood, there is a sleeve in the back where you can tuck it in to get it out of the way.
Velcro wrist cuffs and chest pockets
Velcro wrist cuffs prevent water from rolling inside the sleeves. It also helps regulate airflow. The wrist cuffs adjust with Velcro, which is a must in wet weather.
There are two mesh front chest pockets that you can use to store snacks, your cell phone or tissues, or you can put your hands in these pockets to keep them warm and dry. These pockets are completely waterproof.
The jacket has arm vents with zippers and a storm flap to allow you to ventilate while keeping rain from getting in. This is very important to keep your temperature regulated, as it’s very easy to overheat in a waterproof jacket.
Two large pit zips are fairly easy to operate with one hand, and the front pockets, when left open, allow you to dump more heat because the pockets are made of mesh.
The jacket weighs about 13 ounces, which is average for rain jackets. You’ll find some lighter rain jackets but they won’t have as good of ventilation.
There are also two waist drawstring straps that keep the jacket fitted below your hips and keep from gusts of wind from blowing up your back. Because it’s so adjustable, the jacket is very warm and keeps you very dry and protected from stormy weather.
The jacket is made with a ripstop nylon and has above average durability.
The jacket stuffs into it’s left-hand pocket and has a securely sewn-in webbing that you can clip onto a carabiner when stuffed.
This jacket has some nice features that other rain jackets don’t offer at that price. This jacket comes in at a very competitive price point, and though the list price is between $100- $130, you can usually get it for less than $100. The design has a great design which doesn’t change year over year.
You get a lot of nice technical features for your money. The only real disadvantage is, because it’s a rain jacket and non-Gore-Tex, it’s definitely not as breathable. But you would have to spend at least twice as much to get a Gore-Tex jacket, and the jacket breathes better than other rain jackets (not Gore-Tex) at that price.
With regards to the women’s version, this jacket isn’t as tapered at the waist as some other jackets and and fits a bit big as a result. This jacket fits a bit big in general, so when purchasing consider buying a size down if you’re unsure.
It’s not that fair to list breathability as a disadvantage here considering how much this jacket costs, but I just have to mention that on the ‘waterproof and breathable’ jackets category, the jacket runs quite hot compared to Gore-Tex jackets. The inner membrane has a slick almost plastic-like coating which protects it from wear and tear, but also makes the jacket quite warm. The coating is meant to keep you from feeling too clammy when you start to get hot, but doesn’t feel that nice against the skin and should be worn with a long sleeved shirt. Read more about how to layer here.
This jacket has a lot of nice design features for the price point. The ability to wear it across a range of temperatures, the adjustable hood and ventilation as well as large storage pockets, are found on far more expensive shells. This jacket is an excellent value for the money.
Comparable jackets such as the Patagonia Torrentshell, Columbia Watertight II, The North Face Venture 2 are far less breathable. While this jacket has the best value, there are of course other jackets that have all the features and more, and are much more breathable, like the Arc’teryx Beta SL or Arc’teryx Alpha LT.
I found this jacket to be quite comfortable around the face and across the forehead when tightened around the face and very good at sealing out rain.
The DWR is quite durable, I’ve used this jacket for over a year now with no loss of waterproofness. It’s very breathable for a jacket of it’s price range, and the ventilation features are great and allow you to pass moisture and keep cool. The ventilation is as good as on jackets that are twice as expensive. For example, I recently reviewed the Cabela’s PacLite parka, which offers similar features, but because it’s made of Gore-Tex it costs twice as much.
The ability to configure and adjust this jacket makes it great for summer and winter use, but it’s the best in cooler climates and perfect for the mountains or high altitudes or northern latitudes. This jacket has a thick enough waterproof coating that you can wear it when it’s really cold out. Read why it’s important to stay dry and how easily you can get hypothermia in the backcountry.
This jacket will come in handy on rainy backpacking trips such as the west coast trail.
Where to buy
This jacket is available almost everywhere. It’s very popular. You can usually get it on sale, so check our gear finder, which gives up to date prices including sale products.
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