When I made my plans to go to Alaska for the summer, I knew I’d need a good rain jacket. My previous rain jacket was made by “Red Ledge” — it was a jacket similar to a current product they make called the “Free Rein“. It was okay, but I always felt like I needed something that could withstand more of a downpour. This one kept me dry, but the jacket always felt too wet, as if it was absorbing water and not repelling enough of it. (or maybe I was just biased into thinking it was a cheap jacket because I bought it in Vietnam for $20?). Either way, I traded it for the Marmot PreCip Jacket. I felt that I could be going nowhere but up, going from a relatively no-name brand to ‘Marmot’! Right? RIGHT?!
So, in a way, this review will be a bit of comparison between these two jackets:
Upon receiving the Marmot PreCip jacket (I ordered it online and hadn’t tried it on before receiving it — risky, I know!), I thought… this… is… it?
Holding it up, it immediately seemed much cheaper than I expected for a ~$100 rain jacket. The material almost didn’t feel like a rain jacket, it didn’t seem slippery at all. The storm flap over the main zipper in the front seemed really cheap and flimsy, and the velcro that held it down seemed a bit too minimal.
But sometimes jackets can be a pleasant surprise! So I took to the rain and tried it out. Well, last weekend there was a complete downpour, and I had some errands to run. So I put on the Marmot PreCip and went around town, dashing from the car into stores and back. And the result of the big rain test?
The jacket got completely soaked — but my shirt stayed completely dry. So it was ultimately successful! However, the nylon fabric seems to be the type that water doesn’t bead off of, it goes into the fabric. So if you’ve ever had a really good rain jacket with Gore-Tex or a similar material, you might be a little bit worried at first. You’ll feel like you might get really wet if you stay in the rain too long, but the jacket just absorbs it all and it never penetrates all the way through the layers of the jacket. BUT — although my shirt stayed dry, my belt line and waistline still got soaked — this is because the jacket doesn’t extend very far down the body. (I am about 5’11”, and this jacket only went to the top of my belt — a size Medium jacket). The rest of the jacket fit proportionately well, but the length, at least for me, was quite inconvenient for a rain jacket.
The zipper zips up to a good length that allows you to pull the jacket over your chin and pull the hood over your forehead, allowing you to keep just about all of your upper body dry and out of the rain.
Something about the combination of this zipper and flimsy storm flap doesn’t give me a lot of confidence, for some reason. I think if Marmot improved this part of the jacket and increased the prices a little bit, it would make customers much happier with their purchase and they ultimately would be happier they paid a bit more.
The rear hood adjustment also feels a bit lacking, especially when compared to the cheaper Red Ledge jacket I had. The Red Ledge had a pull and cinch cord adjustment (common in a lot of rain jackets), but the Marmot PreCip just has a piece of velcro. In my experience, it’s much easier to adjust, without being able to see it, a cinch cord.
I understand, of course, that this is Marmot’s entry-level rain jacket and it may not have all the bells and whistles of their higher models. But when other brands are producing rain jackets for a similar price, or even less, with more thought put into the design, it makes me question why people would choose a jacket as basic as this instead of going to a different brand.
So who would this jacket be good for?
Although this jacket didn’t meet by specifications and preferences in a rain jacket, I could still positively recommend it to the casual user. If you need a jacket that you can stuff in your backpack or keep in your car in case of a sudden downpour, this would be a great choice. (BUT PLEASE make sure you get to an outdoor store and try it on first to make sure it will fit you well!) The jacket would even be a good pick for a backpacking trip. If you’re going to travel somewhere that you know will be rainy, though, and you’ll be needing a rain jacket every day or often during the trip, I’d keep looking. After reading some reviews and doing some more research, I’ve chosen the Marmot Aegis Jacket — and will be posting a review of it after I am able to get some use out of it.
I give the Marmot PreCip 3 out of 5 Stars
It’s a good budget jacket that could save you in a pinch. It’s not a jacket you’ll oooo and ahhhhh over, but it’ll get the job done!