Marmot PreCip Eco
Weight: 10.3 oz. (men's medium)
Waterproofing: 2.5L NanoPro Eco
What we like: Proven performance, light and packable design, and an excellent value.
What we don’t: Basic interior lining feels clammy when working hard; no chest pocket.
See the Men's Marmot PreCip Eco See the Women's Marmot PreCip Eco
Being from Seattle, we get asked for rain jacket recommendations a lot, and often steer people to the Marmot PreCip. The reasons for this are fairly simple: the jacket punches well above its $100 price with quality waterproofing, a versatile feature set, and a comfortable, lightweight construction. Recently updated to the “Eco” thanks to a recycled face fabric, the jacket remains an all-around winner for everything from daily use, hiking, backpacking, bike commuting, and just about any other subalpine adventuring. Below we break down the Marmot PreCip Eco’s weather protection, breathability, weight and packability, durability, fit, and more. To see how it stacks up to the competition, see our article on the best rain jackets.
As a rain and wind blocker, the Marmot PreCip Eco is a leader in its price range. The jacket is built with a 2.5-layer NanoPro Eco waterproof and breathable shell, which has provided us with solid protection in drenching rain, gusty winds, and even occasional snowfall. To keep moisture from pooling on the jacket and soaking into the outer layer, the PreCip also includes a DWR coating. The coating is fairly unique in the industry as it’s PFC-free (short for perfluorocarbons, which is a non-biodegradable chemical used in most DWRs). In testing, the coating has done a fine job shedding Pacific Northwest drizzle and mountain rain over the past few months, however it will get overwhelmed in a deluge.
Moving beyond the shell fabric, the jacket has other nice touches for keeping the elements at bay. The collar and adjustable hood offer good coverage for the chin, forehead, and sides of the head, although we’d prefer a moldable bill on the hood for even more security in wind (we cover this in more detail in the "Features" section below). The cuffs secure easily with a Velcro tab for a snug seal, a large flap with Velcro hook and loop closures protects the main zipper, and an additional storm flap on the interior of the zipper provides a second layer of defense against driving rain. Through extended use of the Eco and prior-generation PreCip, we’ve found it’s plenty tough in moderate weather and stacks up very well among competitors like the Patagonia Torrentshell, The North Face Venture 2, and REI Co-op Rainier.
At $100, the PreCip Eco is on the cheaper end of the rain jacket spectrum, so it’s important to understand what you’re giving up. To start, you don’t get high-end touches like water-resistant zippers, although the storm flaps do their job. Secondly, in heavy downpours, the DWR and thin construction can’t keep up and the jacket will start to absorb some moisture into the top layer of the fabric. This doesn’t mean the shell is leaking, but if you’re wearing short sleeves, your arms will feel the cold and wet sensation of the material being pinned up against your skin. These are nitpicks, however, and more a consequence of the lightweight and value-oriented design. Overall, the PreCip is a great defender against nearly all types of rain, wind, and snow—just don’t expect it to perform like a $400 hardshell jacket.
We’ll start by saying that 2.5-layer jackets aren’t renowned for their breathability, and the PreCip Eco is no exception. When you’re working up a sweat, the jacket can feel wet and clammy against your skin. But Marmot has done a great job with its design to maximize your opportunities to stay cool with a smart feature set. To start, the jacket has pit zips for quickly dumping heat. And they’re reasonably protected under the arms, so you’re unlikely to let in rain unless the conditions are very rough. Additionally, the hand pockets, which are protected by small flaps over the zippers, are made of mesh to release even more heat. On the whole, the PreCip can’t touch the breathability of a more expensive 3-layer design (or even some higher-end 2.5-layer options like the Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow), but its creative build gives you a host of options to stay as comfortable as possible while on the go.
The Marmot PreCip Eco feels very light in hand, and the numbers back it up. On our scale, a men’s medium weighs a feathery 10.3 ounces, which is the exact same weight as our prior-generation PreCip. That’s about an ounce less than its main competition: the Patagonia Torrentshell (11.3 ounces), The North Face Venture 2 (11.1 ounces), and the REI Co-op Rainier (12.5 ounces) all weigh more. Among the larger multi-sport and everyday rain shell category, the PreCip stacks up well. Pricier and thicker Gore-Tex Paclite options like the REI Co-op XeroDry and Marmot Minimalist may offer better overall weather protection, but the PreCip undercuts them by a significant 2.2 and 4.6 ounces respectively. And you can shave weight with ultralight designs like the Outdoor Research Helium II (6.4 oz.), but you compromise on durability and features like pit zips and pockets. For everyone from backpackers to commuters and travelers, we think the PreCip hits a nice balance in terms of weight.
Not only is the jacket lightweight for carrying in a backpack or suitcase, but with its compact stuff size, it’s easy to squeeze into your bag. The PreCip compresses into its left hand pocket, which includes a two-sided zipper for storage. Depending on how you manipulate the stuff pocket while stowing it away, it’s about the size of a large grapefruit. This puts it on par with the Torrentshell and Venture above, and easily undercuts the Gore-Tex Paclite options. We hesitate recommending the jacket for climbers, however, because the mesh stuff pocket can be torn on rock while attached to a climbing harness. Otherwise, we have no complaints about the Marmot’s packability.
The Marmot PreCip Eco isn’t built to last a lifetime, but among its lightweight peers, the jacket holds up well. The shell fabric still looks practically new even after a backpacking trip, being stuffed into various packs and suitcases for travel, and lots of daily use. And the zippers have been faultless: the large teeth on the center YKK zip is super smooth, and the same goes for the smaller, coil design for the hand pockets. It’s still a lightweight piece so you’ll want to be wary around sharp equipment, but we’ve found the PreCip impressively tough considering its weight and price.
That said, it’s important to note that lightweight jackets like the Marmot PreCip, Patagonia Torrentshell, and The North Face Venture 2 won’t last as long as a more expensive rain jacket or hardshell. The thin interior of its 2.5-layer construction will deteriorate after extended use (often after many years). Moreover, as we touched on above, the PreCip’s mesh hand pockets aren’t very resistant to tears. And a final area of concern is the center flap over the main zipper. The Velcro securing the flap on our prior-generation PreCip stopped holding on all that well after a few years. But we still think it’s the superior design at this price point compared with the unsecured flaps used on the Torrentshell and even cheaper Velcro design on the Venture.
As we covered above, the PreCip Eco comes with a quality and very adjustable hood. The design is a little unique: unlike most models that combine the hood and collar into a single piece, the hood of the PreCip is separate and connects to the jacket at the base of the collar. As a result, you can put the hood on and take it off even when it’s zipped all the way up. The hood itself can be adjusted with a Velcro tab at the back and two pull cords on either side at the front. We do prefer hoods that have a toggle cord at the back for securing around the bill, such as what Marmot includes with their pricier Minimalist jacket, but otherwise it’s a solid build. And a final design touch: the hood can be stowed and secured under the collar when not in use.
Lightweight jackets have simple feature sets, and the Marmot PreCip Eco is no different. You only get two hand pockets, but they are nicely sized and can store small items if needed. The mesh construction doesn’t make them particularly durable, however, so we wouldn’t recommend storing valuables or objects that may tear through the fabric. Travelers that prefer a chest pocket for securing personal items may be disappointed, but it’s likely only a small compromise for most users.
Matching its versatile design and feature set, the PreCip Eco has a nice, regular fit. We ordered our usual medium size and found that it was comfortable, if not a little roomy, when wearing a thin baselayer. Mobility still was excellent, and we had no issues when adding a lightweight down jacket or fleece jacket underneath. The hem cinches with a single drawcord at the right side, which can bunch up the hem a little in that direction if pulled tight. We consider this a fine tradeoff given the weight of the jacket, however, and don’t think it takes away from its everyday appeal.
Sustainability: Recycled Nylon and PFC-Free DWR
As we touched on above, the latest PreCip includes a number of eco-friendly updates. To start, the NanoPro construction now uses 100% recycled nylon, which is something we’re seeing in more and more products (including Marmot’s own Minimalist). Additionally, they’ve switched to a PFC-free DWR coating. This is a significant shift as the chemical finish on just about every jacket currently on the market has been linked to both environmental and health issues. All in all, we think these sustainable steps made an already great jacket even better.
Other Versions of the Marmot PreCip Eco
We tested the men’s PreCip Eco rain jacket for this review, and Marmot has a number of other offerings in the PreCip lineup. If you prefer the look of a half-zip jacket, Marmot makes the PreCip Eco in an anorak version for $90, which sports fun two-tone colorways and a kangaroo-style pocket in the front. If you live in a notoriously wet environment, Marmot also sells PreCip Eco pants in short, regular, and long lengths (all $80), which also feature the NanoPro Eco waterproofing and PFC-free DWR coating. All are available in women’s versions for the same price. Compared to the men’s rain jacket tested here, the women’s model is slightly lighter at 8.7 ounces and sold in different colors, but otherwise the two share an identical feature set and overall construction.
What We Like
- Excellent mix of price, weather protection, and weight.
- The versatile design: all the features you need in an everyday rain jacket, plus the pit zips and small stuffed size make it great for hiking and backpacking.
- Quality hood design with plenty of adjustability, and you can stow the hood away under the collar when not in use.
- Latest PreCip Eco includes a recycled nylon fabric and PFC-free DWR coating without an increase in price.
What We Don’t
- Heavy rainfall will overwhelm the DWR coating and relatively thin materials, but this is true of nearly all 2.5-layer rain jackets.
- Interior feels clammy when you work up a sweat hiking (again, common with budget shells).
- Velcro used for protecting the main zipper feels a little cheap and can lose its stickiness over time.
|Marmot PreCip Eco||$100||10.1 oz.||Hiking/daily use||2.5L NanoPro||Yes||Yes|
|Patagonia Torrentshell||$129||11.3 oz.||Hiking/daily use||2.5L H2No||Yes||Yes|
|The North Face Venture 2||$99||11.1 oz.||Hiking/daily use||2.5L DryVent||Yes||Yes|
|REI Co-op Rainier||$90||12.5 oz.||Hiking/daily use||2.5L Peak||Yes||Yes|
|Marmot Minimalist||$189||14.9 oz.||Hiking/daily use||2.5L Gore-Tex||Yes||No|
|REI Co-op XeroDry GTX||$159||12.5 oz.||Hiking/daily use||2L Gore-Tex||No (vents)||No|
As we touched on above, the Marmot PreCip is an easy jacket to recommend due to its excellent combination of price and performance. As a result, it’s a very popular choice in the rainy Pacific Northwest. But it’s certainly not alone—right up there in terms of popularity is Patagonia’s Torrentshell. The two jackets have a lot of common: 2.5-layer constructions, similar levels of weather protection, pit zips, and two hand pockets. Fit-wise, the Torrentshell isn’t as roomy in the torso as the PreCip, but we have no issues wearing various thicknesses of mid and baselayers under either jacket (for more information, see our Torrentshell review). Both can fend off a rainstorm pretty well, but we prefer the PreCip’s larger storm flap over the center zipper (the two-flap design of the Patagonia isn’t held in place with Velcro). Further, the PreCip is the better ventilator with its mesh hand pockets providing a nice compliment to the pit zips. The clincher for us is price: the Torrentshell costs $29 more, and unless you prefer its fit, we give the clear edge to the PreCip.
The North Face Venture 2 is another long-time competitor of the PreCip. As with the Torrentshell, the jacket is a good option for everyday use, travel, and outdoor activities like hiking and backpacking. It weighs about the same as the PreCip and includes features like an adjustable hood, two hand pockets, and pit zips. Our issue with the Venture is that it feels cheap. Both jackets cost $100, but the PreCip just doesn’t have the same entry-level feel. The Venture’s main zipper isn’t as smooth and the bulky fit doesn’t offer as good of mobility. And most importantly, we’ve found the Venture wets out faster in a downpour (see our in-depth Venture 2 review). Overall, unless you can get a screaming deal on the Venture 2, we find the PreCip to be the superior $100 jacket.
A third 2.5-layer shell to consider is REI Co-op’s Rainier jacket. When we first put it on, we were immediately struck with how much it shared in common with the PreCip: the hood design is nearly identical, you get nice touches like pit zips and mesh hand pockets for dumping heat, and its shell material is also recycled. The Rainier gets the edge in price by $10, but falls short of the PreCip in a few key areas. For one, the REI jacket fits very large and we ended up sizing down to get a comparable fit. Further, its hand pockets are on the small side and it weighs about 2 ounces more. Both are solid jackets and provide similar performance, but the PreCip wins out for us as the more complete piece.
If you’re in need of more durability and weather protection, you may want to consider a Gore-Tex Paclite design like the Marmot Minimalist or REI Co-op XeroDry. These shells have more substantial face fabrics, and as a consequence won’t get pinned against your skin as easily in heavy rain. Additionally, they won’t break down as quickly as the budget-friendly Marmot. The downsides are that the Minimalist and XeroDry are pricier ($189 for the mid-range Marmot and $159 for the REI), weigh more, and don’t pack down as small. If you want a thicker build or are making a long-term investment, we certainly wouldn’t blame you for choosing either the Minimalist or XeroDry. But for daily wear and activities like hiking and backpacking, the PreCip is hard to beat.