Marmot Precip Eco Rain Jacket
– Price: $100
– Weight: 10.6oz (301 g)
– Waterproofing Fabric: 2.5 layer NanoPro Eco
– Waterproofing Rating: NA
– Number of pockets: 2
– What we like: Super affordable, effective, light and packable
– What we don’t: Not the most protective, basic construction, clammy when wet
The Wise Adventurer’s Verdict
Simple yet effective, the Marmot Precip Eco has kept its fair share of budget-concious hikers dry over the years.
When it comes to budget-friendly rain gear, Marmot’s Precip jackets have been a fan favorite of hikers, backpackers, and campers for years. Dirt cheap, well-made, and reasonably protective, this jacket has a well-deserved reputation for nailing the basics without stretching your budget.
The Marmot Precip Eco is a bit of an outlier in this sense, which is par for the course for Marmot, a company that prides itself on doing things a bit differently. The brand has come a long way from its humble beginnings as two college students sewing their own sleeping bags in a dorm room, and they’re now regarded as one of the best choices for rain gear money can buy.
This year we took the Precip Eco into the field ourselves to see just how well a budget jacket can hold up to the cream of the crop. We took the Marmot on wet weather hikes alongside heavyweights from Arc’teryx, Rab, and REI for a head-to-head comparison, and came away genuinely impressed with how good a jacket can be for around $100.
If you’d like to read more about how we test our rain jackets here at The Wise Adventurer, you can check out our in-depth testing methodology. If you’re ready to dive straight in, let’s get started!
Detailed Evaluation of the Marmot Precip Eco
We spent a few weeks with the Marmot Precip Eco to get a feel for what the jacket is like to live with day to day, as part of our intensive yearly testing of the best rain jackets. Our testing included purpose-driven testing like rainy hikes and camping trips as well as general around-town use for a more complete picture of the Precip’s utility. Here’s what we found.
Marmot specs the Precip Eco with a proprietary 2.5 layer membrane they call “NanoPro Eco” backed with a DWR coating for added protection. In our testing, we found the jacket held up well to light to moderate rain, which is high praise considering its price point.
The DWR treatment did a commendable job of shedding moisture for prolonged periods of hiking in light rain. We were able to log a solid two hour trek in the Precip before the outer fabric started to give up the ghost, which, again, punches well above its weight class in a jacket this affordable.
From there we found the fabric started to slowly wet out, and the usual cold and clamminess associated with 2.5 layer shells began to set in. We’ll give credit where credit is due here though: Despite the unpleasant sensation of “plastic on skin” the NanoPro liner did its job well, and we have yet to experience any issues with the Precip outright failing in the field.
Elsewhere we found the Precip to be sufficient, although notably lacking in features. The main zipper isn’t waterproof or even water resistant, which means the Precip relies on a chunky velcro storm flap to keep the wet stuff at bay. The same goes for the pockets and pit zips, although the flaps on these portions don’t velcro down, so they’re not the sort of thing we’d rely on to protect our phones or other sensitive electronics.
Another downfall of most 2.5 layer shells is breathability, and we found the Precip performed as expected in this regard during our testing. The jacket will keep you dry from exterior moisture, but it started to get steamy from within as we picked up the pace.
The only relief offered here comes in the form of the Precip’s dual pit zips, which are a bit smaller than average, but make a noticeable difference when left wide open. We will say that the budget build of this jacket is also apparent in the pit zips’ single zipper design, and while a dual zipper upgrade likely wouldn’t make much of a difference due to the relatively small size of the opening, its absence was noted by each of our testers.
We will give Marmot the nod here for designing the two hand pockets of the Precip to double as heat vents as needed. Both pockets are sewn from an open mesh material, which means you can leave them open in between showers to help circulate a little more air through the shell as you move without having to remove a layer.
Fit and Comfort
We found the Precip Eco to be a bit of a double edged sword when it comes to fit and comfort.
In dry to drizzly conditions, we absolutely love it. The fit of the jacket is nice and streamlined, hitting a good balance between room for layers and minimal bulk. Our testers also noted that because of the jacket’s impressively light weight, it feels airy and unencumbered on the shoulders, making it particularly comfortable for hiking around without a pack, be it in the countryside or around town.
Once the rain really starts coming down, however, the Precip is far from our favorite option. We mainly chalk this up to the previously mentioned 2.5L construction, which starts to feel cold and clammy against the skin as the outer fabric wets out.
We’ll also note that the Precip’s budget-focused build notably lacks some of the extra comfort-oriented features like the Arcteryx Beta AR we tested this year with its the suede material around the face and neck. Of course tradeoffs like this are to be expected in a budget jacket, and we couldn’t complain too much considering the protection on offer.
Our testers experienced zero durability issues with the Precip over the course of our testing, which included hiking with packs, stuffing the jacket into gear-laden compartments, and the occasional off-trail foray into the underbrush.
With that being said, we don’t expect big things from the Precip in terms of durability, both due to its overall material quality and the characteristics of the 2.5L membrane.
As far as material quality goes, while we’ve yet to tear or puncture the Precip’s outer fabric, it feels notably thinner than robust options like the Patagonia Torrentshell or Arcteryx Beta AR, and as such, we can’t see it outlasting more premium jackets. We’ll also note that the mesh material inside the pockets isn’t exactly confidence inspiring, and we could see it getting cut or torn over the course of the year. This is especially true if you pack the jacket down into its own pocket and then throw it into your pack to roll around with angular gear like tent poles or Jetboil cook pots.
As for the liner, our experience with these thinner 2.5 membranes doesn’t bode well for durability. We’ve found that they tend to degrade much faster than others as the jacket is regularly used, folded, and exposed to moisture and oils from the skin. We’ve had similar designs hang on for around two years of regular use in the past, and don’t expect the Precip to hold up much longer than that.
Weight and Packability
Both weight and packability were a few of our tester’s favorite things about the Precip Eco, and this jacket ranked among the best in our testing for this metric. At just over 10 ounces, the Precip feels incredibly light on the body, and only adds a negligible amount of weight to our pack.
We also loved just how small we were able to pack the Precip down into its own pocket. The Rab Downpour 2.0 was the only jacket to outclass the Marmot in this regard, which is high praise considering the Precip sells for nearly half the cost.
For this reason, we often found ourselves reaching for the Marmot on outings of all kinds whenever there was a chance of rain in the forecast. Between the decently durable fabric and commendably low price, the Precip makes a great backup jacket you don’t have to worry about damaging or getting dirty.
As far as features go, the Precip Eco is arguably the simplest jacket in our testing, keeping the frills to a bare minimum in the name of frugality. With that being said, we enjoyed what little it had to offer, and found the Precip to be a well-rounded package for the money.
Adjustments are notably spartan, with simple pull strings on either side of the hood and hem, and velcro cinches everywhere else. That includes the depth adjustment for the hood, which while it looks laughably simple, worked just fine in the field and offered an agreeable amount of adjustment for each of our testers.
Speaking of the hood, we’ll also note that we’re big fans of Marmot’s stashable hood design, which allows the entire hood to be rolled down and tucked away into the collar when not in use. It’s a small detail, but one that most rain jackets overlook, and was particularly nice considering the jacket’s price.
Lastly we’ll give Marmot props for including a dual use stash pocket on the Precip, allowing the jacket be stuffed and zipped into its own pocket when not in use. The stash pocket makes for a particularly sweet added bonus for a jacket this affordable, and our testers felt it added extra value to an already well rounded shell.
As you might have guessed by now, we found the Marmot Precip Eco to be an outstanding value during testing. This jacket is already incredibly affordable, regularly going on sale for under $100, and the fact that it protects as well as it does is reason enough to buy it.
Add in the fact that it’s impressively light and compact and you’ve got a winner for just about any application from casual camping to weekend backpacking trips. We also felt that while the Precip wasn’t exactly leading the charge on premium features, Marmot did a commendable job of working in all the little things like pit zips, a stash pocket, and even a stowable hood without adding to the price.
With that being said, our biggest issue here from a value perspective was durability. Granted, it’s tough to complain about a jacket this affordable, but knowing we’ll have to go out and replace the jacket somewhere between the 2-3 year mark due to the lining limits our overall enthusiasm for the Precip.
What We Like
Obviously we’re loving the price of the Precip Eco, and after spending a few weeks in one ourselves, we’re convinced there’s a lot more to like here than simple budget-friendliness.
Overall protection, for example, was an unexpected highlight, and although the Precip is far from the most protective jacket in this year’s field test, its combination of a reliable 2.5 layer membrane and high quality DWR treatment deliver serious bang for the buck.
Our tester’s other favorite part of the Precip was its weight and packability. This jacket goes toe-to-toe with the best in business in this regard, and even outclasses some jackets at double or triple its price. That low weight also makes for a remarkably comfortable jacket for general use, and as long as the rain isn’t coming down hard enough to wet-out the face fabric, we were pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this jacket was to wear.
What We Don’t Like
As can be expected for a jacket this inexpensive, the Precip Eco does have a few drawbacks we noted during testing. Our biggest gripe was the performance of the 2.5 layer membrane, which as expected, doesn’t breathe particularly well and doesn’t feel particularly nice against the skin in prolonged rains.
We’ll also note that while we experienced no durability issues during our field testing, we don’t consider durability to be a high point of this jacket. We think it’s still an incredibly smart buy for the money, all things considered, but we don’t expect the liner to hold up for more than a few seasons of use before it starts to lose its effectiveness and renders the Precip useless.
- Patagonia Torrentshell 3L: A reasonably affordable jacket with upgraded rain protection, durability, and features. Read our full test and review…
- REI XeroDry GTX: A budget-friendly way to get into GoreTex protection, but not the most breathable. Read our full test and review…
- Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic: Comparable rain protection, weight, and packability, with a much more comfortable and active stretch fabric. Read our full test and review…
The Bottom Line…
At the end of the day, we really can’t complain about the Marmot Precip Eco. Our testers all came away feeling it was a ton of jacket for the money, and between its respectable rain protection, ultralight feel, and value-added features, we found the Precip to be an absolute home run for anyone wanting quality outdoors gear on a tight budget.
It’s not the most advanced or breathable jacket we’ve used, and it isn’t likely to last half as long as something like the Arcteryx Beta or Patagonia Torrentshell, but we believe it’ll serve you well in a variety of applications for a couple years while you save up for more technical garments. Marmot has built a serious budget contender with the Precip Eco, and so long as they keep the price this low, we hope to see this jacket stick around in their lineup for years to come.