Rating: 5 / 5
See Marmot Precip description at:
We finally went for the Marmot Precip, as follows:
After several months of reading reviews, talking with experienced hikers, checking out gear on the Internet and in-store try-ons we finally each got Marmot Precips at REI over the holidays.
We travelled to visit family and ran into cold desert winds(40 - 60 mph, 32 - 50 F). Our carry along gear, which is always in the cars was not light weight. So on a break from the family visiting we stopped in at the local REI, which is always a treat for us because there isn't one in our hometown. My goal was to get a hardshell that was waterproof and windproof for just such circumstances and for prolonged rainy weather.
First question was which to get -- Marmot Precip or Montbell Jacket(s) (see Montbell jackets at:
First, I love Montbell gear and have no problems with it as far as functionality and quality, or weight. After spending a lot of time trying on Montbell gear at the one shop we visit which carries some of it and pondering over whether to get the more common Marmot Precip 12 oz. $99 or the more expensive Montbell Peak Shell 11 oz. $198.00, Versalite 11 oz. $139, or less expensive Super Hydro Breeze 13 oz. $89.00, I finally decided on the Precip.
(I eliminated the (1) Sierra Designs Nanolite approx. 4 oz. because it apparently has problems with really being rainproof; (2) the Intergral Designs eVENT jacket at 9 oz. for $220 and thru hiker jacket at 11.9 oz. because it was listed at $260 merely because of price v. weight savings in specialized weather conditions, and (3)the OR zealot at 8 oz. for around $200,(4) the GoLite Virga at 6 oz. for $80, and (5) the North Face Diad at 7 oz. for $139 because they got low weight but did not have the hand side pockets I was looking for in something I was going to wear in the rain, lots of rain or I wouldn't be wearing it because I would use a windshirt, baselayer, and maybe a mid-layer (as my confidence builds that RJ and the BPL staffs' advice is correct about lighter, layering is better than heavier, bulkier and unbreathable in wet, windy, and moderate cold weather conditions).
Trying the Precip on In-Store -- the reason I bought the Precip is I could:
The deciding factors were (1) that I could try on the Precip in the store and (2) price v. amount of use in specialized weather conditions (the cost of other jackets would substantially have purchased a tent v. a jacket -- and, for about $265 I could get a heavy duty expedition type 29 oz. Patagonia DAS synthetic fill jacket with all the bells, whistles, and blizzard protection).
Gear sizes, particularly in raingear, seem to really vary. A large sometimes fitting better than a medium or a medium fitting better than a large might be expected to do (less common but has happened in trying on different gear).
Sizing the Precip:
Because I could try on the Marmot Precips and the REI brand rain jacket for comparisons of hardshell raingear I was able to determine that what I needed was a Large (normally I wear a medium) Precip, especially if I am going to wear it over other layers. A large fit well over a merino wool baselayer and a Western Mountaineering Flash vest. It also would fit well over a medium or highloft mid-layer.
NOTE: I would highly recommend trying on raingear hardshell jackets before purchasing, if that is at all possible. I read that here somewhere in the last several weeks and it really struck home in checking out hardshells at REI. I think Brett may have mentioned that in purchasing Montbell there was a need to make sure the size was comfortable, since some of their sizes are a bit smaller than one might be used to.
REI Jacket v. Marmot Jacket/Precip:
REI made a jacket similar to the Precip which was on sale for $59.00 but when I compared the quality I decided that because the hardshell I purchased was going to be hardcore gear used when the weather was particularly bad or threatening to be bad (in lieu of my DropStopper jacket) I went for the Marmot product (I also would rely on this jacket to get me through moderate winter snows and weather, but the main use was as a safe, durable, hardcore hardshell for the spring and fall/early winter precip). The Marmot Precip simply was clearly superior, although the cheaper REI coat was also functional and appeared to be very durable and high quality, especially for the price -- the REI just didn't have the same appeal when you looked at the overall garment.
A comment that the REI salesperson made, the reviewers at BPL have made, and readers have confirmed is that the Marmot Precip jacket holds up well under a lot of use (one commentor noted that the DWR had to be maintained, but that is not big issue for us).
It has huge pockets, mesh sided for ventilation. It has a cozy neck piece so it doesn't stab the chin or neck when tightened up. It has all the necessary draw strings and velcro to control wind getting in or staying out. Big pit zips, and heavy duty storm flaps over the front zipper which is easy to use. The hood is big, has a great fit on me and does not obstruct peripheral visibilty when tightened down.
In particular I liked the fact that it came in a kind of "stealth" greenish color, since I will be using it in the spring and fall as a raingear/ windblock garment when the weather is bad enough that the DropStopper won't work well for interim relief from wet or wind. Thus, I don't need it for winter safety in snow, which would tend to cause me to go orange at this point, or yellow, red or something a bit more visible. So I appreciated the color choices available.
Used in cold, high desert winds:
This jacket performed beautifully in high (40 - 60 mph desert winds in later December, 32 - 50 F). Battening down the waist drawcord, the neck and hood draw string and the wrist adjusters kept all the wind out, giving the light weight baselayer and lightweight down vest the chance to do their job. So it is highly functional.
Maramot Precip is a 5 so far:
For all of those reasons this piece of gear gets a 5 from me, unless something goes wrong with it, which I don't expect it to do. All I wish is that someone would make a durable material jacket that only weighs a few ounces -- and so does everyone else wish, I imagine. I always have the choice of a poncho, but this is the piece of gear that I will be taking with me for comfort and versatility when rain is probable for extended periods of time.