This review is a follow up to my previous post, in which I reviewed the Marmot PreCip Jacket. Although it was a fairly decent jacket, it just wasn’t what I was looking for, and so I broadened my search for the best lightweight rainjacket for travel and backpacking. I ended up finding a great deal on the Marmot Aegis Jacket — and since it had all the features I was looking for in a rain jacket, I went for it.
Although quite a bit more expensive than the PreCip, the Aegis really stands out in the quality of materials (compared to the Aegis) — you really get what you pay for with this one!
Outdoor Gear Lab chose the Aegis as their pick for the best rainjacket a couple years ago. (Click here to see the reviews!)
What’s so great about the Marmot Aegis?
The first thing I noticed upon trying this jacket on was how great it fit. This was one of my main concerns after owning the poorly sized Marmot PreCip. The PreCip didn’t even go down past my beltline and the sleeves were a tad too short. The Aegis, however, in the same size (medium), fits perfectly. The bottom of the jacket goes just far enough to prevent my torso from getting wet. And the sleeve cuffs are tapered, allowing the top of the hands to have protection from the rain, as well.
Another great thing about the jacket (which I didn’t even expect to take such a liking to) is the DriClime lined collar and cuffs. It’s really nice to have a rainjacket that won’t stick to you if you get a little hot and sweaty underneath your jacket. These fleece linings prevent that gross, sticky, sweaty feeling.
The jacket doesn’t actually have a layer of Gore-Tex, but it has Marmot’s version of it – “MemBrain Strata”. It effectively repels rainwater and forces it to bead and roll off. I recently took the jacket on a bike ride where I was caught in a downpour for about 10 minutes. My pants were soaked, but my jacket kept the rest of my completely dry. And when I got out of the rain, the rest of the water on the jacket shed off very quickly.
Other things I really like about this jacket — the storm flap over the the main zipper is only one sided, but it is rigid and folds over by itself after being zipped up. It feels very durable and I wouldn’t be worried about water getting into the main zipper during a storm.
There are really large Pit-Zips to allow for airflow and ventilation. The Pit-Zips don’t have the water resistant zippers that the hand pockets do, but they probably aren’t as necessary in the armpits!
So what could possibly be improved on this jacket?
I think this jacket is just about perfect. I’d like to see the main zipper be a water resistant zipper, just to make the jacket even more durable.
The hood is a great size, but I didn’t fit over my bike helmet. I didn’t buy it hoping it did, though — I’m just pointing this out in case any climbers or bikers are looking into this jacket hoping to use it with a helmet. I’d much prefer to have a hood that fits well without a helmet, since that’s how I’ll use it 99% of the time. (I’ve seen descriptions of this jacket that say the hood is meant to fit over helmets, though, so just make sure you try it on and get a feel for it before you buy it).
Another small suggestion is to use an elastic cinch adjustment for the back of the hood instead of velcro. It’s easier and more convenient, in my opinion. However, I don’t adjust the hood often enough to really care, so that isn’t a make-or-break-it point for me!
Overall, I think this is a fantastic rain jacket that is suitable for a wide variety of people and activities. It’s very lightweight and packs very small (and the hood even packs into the collar!).
I give the Marmot Aegis Jacket 5 out of 5 Stars
I hope the materials and zippers hold up over time, because I hope to own this jacket for many years!