Last Updated: March 4, 2021

Marmot Minimalist Jacket Review: Should You Buy It?

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Marmot Minimalist Jacket

Marmot Minimalist is a lightweight rain jacket that sports a Gore-Tex membrane. It is durable, waterproof, windproof and sleek enough you won't be able to resist wearing it everywhere. View Latest Deal

Looking for the best waterproof jacket? The Minimalist from Marmot is certainly high up that list, but is it really the one you should buy? Well, that depends on what exactly you are looking for!

We will tell you everything you want to know about this jacket from the fabric that it is made from to the exactly number of pockets it has. And we’ll talk about quality, durability, performance and value for money, so hopefully you have more than enough useful information to figure out whether it is actually the right option for you. 

Read on to find out more about the Marmot Minimalist jacket and see why it is so popular!

Pros

  • Excellent weatherproofing
  • DWR coating on zippers
  • Very breathable
  • Articulated elbows for increased mobility
  • Adjustable cuffs and hem

Cons

  • No internal pockets
  • Hood not removable
  • No plus size options

Product Information

  • Material: Gore-Tex Paclite
  • Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Fit: Regular
  • Size Variety: S-XXL
  • Pockets: Three external

Materials And Durability

Marmot Men's Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, GORE-TEX with PACLITE Technology, Blue Sapphire, Small

The main fabric of the Minimalist jacket is Gore-Tex Paclite. It is a version of Gore-Tex specifically designed to be lighter and more packable than their standard fabric, but with the same levels of waterproofing and breathability. Paclite is just as premium as other version of Gore-Tex, but it is more breathable and portable.

Gore-Tex is the leader in the market when it comes to waterproof and breathable garments. They are the option most manufacturers turn to when they want a truly premium product, even when they have great in-house alternatives. Patagonia is a great example of this – they pride themselves for their proprietary H2No, but they still resort to Gore-Tex for their most premium products.

However, Gore-Tex is also one of the priciest options out there, which explains the high price point of the Minimalist jacket. And I can’t even say that it’s not worth it – if you want the incredible durability and premium performance of a Gore-Tex membrane, you won’t get it for cheap.

How Waterproof Is It?

The Marmot Minimalist jacket is entirely waterproof thanks to the excellent Gore-Tex Paclite fabric. The material acts as a semi-permeable membrane; it allows moisture inside the jacket to evaporate, but it does not let a single drop of water from the outside get through.

It also helps that the entire jacket is seam sealed. This ensures that drops of water can’t get in through tiny holes at the seams, and allows for a more comfortable experience overall. On top of that, this jacket is coated with DWR throughout, which just guarantees that moisture will simply slide off the jacket.

On top of that, it is worth noting that the pockets also feature storm flaps that keep the weather out. And there’s also the adjustable hood that ensures not even the heaviest of rains will ruin your hairstyle for the day.

What About Windproofing?

The best rain jackets are the ones that can keep the rain and the wind out. And that’s exactly what the Marmot Minimalist aims to do, with the abundance of weather resistant features.

The seam-sealed construction that makes this jacket entirely waterproof is also what ensures windy weather won’t ruin your day. The storm flap on the center front zip goes a step further guaranteeing that wind won’t get in through the zipper teeth. Plus, even the smaller zippers are covered with the Gore-Tex fabric, so you can rest assured that whatever you put in the pockets is always going to be safe.

This jacket also features Velcro adjustable cuffs, which are all about keeping the wind out of the sleeves. If you want to cool down a bit you can always loosed the cuffs so that fresh air can get in, but sealing in the heat is as easy as tightening those cuffs.

In addition to all that, there’s also the shape of the hood. It will cover the top, bottom and sides of your head, for excellent protection from all weather conditions. And let’s not forget about the adjustable elastic hem. Not only does it let you keep the wind out, but it also means you can adjust the fit of the jacket until it feels perfect.

Overall, the Minimalist ticks all the boxes when it comes to different windproofing features.  Even jackets that cost two or three times as much as this one don’t really have any additional features for keeping the wind out.

Minimalist Warmth?

Marmot Minimalist is a rain jacket, and as such it has no insulating features to speak of. This jacket wasn’t designed with winters and chilly evening in mind, and if that’s what you were looking for, you’re not going to find it here.

This is strictly a rain jacket and it won’t do anything in terms of keeping you warm on a cold winter evening. Maybe if you wear it over an insulated jacket or a warm fleece hoodie, but on its own it is as warm as a PU tent.

If you are in fact looking for a waterproof jacket that also has some insulating properties, you can see several great options in a different review I did.

Excellent Breathability

Marmot Men's Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, GORE-TEX with PACLITE Technology, Green Lichen, Small

Breathability is an important aspect of rain jackets, especially the ones that have so many different features that are designed to keep the weather out. When you make use of all that windproofing – tighten up the Velcro straps, pull in the hem and fasten the storm flap – will you start sweating profusely or will you stay comfortable?

The latter is more likely. The main advantage of the Minimalist jacket is that it’s made from Gore-Tex Paclite; a fabric that is designed with breathability in mind. That alone will be enough for most people, especially those who don’t spend most of their free time conquering the mountains.

But the hikers and backpackers who know just how uncomfortable these jackets can get will be happy to know that the Minimalist has underarm vents. So, if you ever feel too warm in this jacket, you can just unzip the vents and let some cool air in. This is excellent for regulating temperature on the go, especially when you’re mid-hike and have no intention of stopping to take off your jacket.

Oh, and those underarm vents also have storm flaps to keep the rain out. Just don’t leave them unzipped if it starts pouring and you will be fine.

Enough Pockets?

Rain jackets usually disappoint me when it comes to the amount of storage they offer, and the Minimalist sadly follows that trend. While it has more pockets than Patagonia’s Torrentshell, it still only offers three zippered pockets to the wearer. Two are standard hand warming pockets and the third one is higher up on the chest.

The upside is that all of the pockets are designed to keep the weather out, so they are great for safekeeping. You can keep pricey electronics inside them and not worry about the weather, which is certainly a plus. But are three pockets really enough for your endeavours?

It’s worth noting that the interior of the jacket is just solid lining, with not so much as a drop in pocket. Keep that in mind when you’re making the final decision.

Portable But Not Stuffable

The Minimalist jacket is from some of the lightest and toughest materials that exist. It weighs only about 15 ounces, so you should be able to carry it wherever you go. And you certainly can, but it lacks the packability of its competitors.

My favorite jackets for outdoor adventures are the ones that fold into their pockets. It’s the pinnacle of convenience – you fold the jacket, stuff it into its pocket and just throw it in your backpack without worrying if it’s going to get wrinkled or caught on something. You don’t get that convenience with the Minimalist.

This is a lightweight jacket you can certainly carry everywhere, but you will have to carefully fold it and find a place for it in your bag. It won’t take up much space, but it’s never going to be as compact and compressed as the jacket that can be stuffed into a pocket or a small sack.

Built For Backpackers

Marmot Men's Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, Navy, Small

The Minimalist jacket was built for backpackers and it shows. And it’s not just because of its durable material or its amazing weather resistance – it’s the little things like the position of the pockets and the shape of the hood.

The chest pocket is centred, so that whatever you put inside doesn’t interfere with the shoulder straps of a backpack. A sternum strap will go over the pocket so you might struggle to reach something inside, but it only takes a moment to unclip it to get to the pocket.

The hood is not too stiff, so when you’re resting it on top of your backpack, you shouldn’t feel it at all. And even the handwarming pockets are higher up than we usually see on rain jackets, so that they don’t interfere with the waist belt as much. You will still have to fasten it over the pockets, but you should be able to get stuff out of them without undoing the hip belt.

Fit And Size Variety

This is a regular fitting jacket with articulated elbows for better mobility. It runs true to size and you can wear it over pretty much anything, from a thin tank top to a fleece hoodie. If you want to wear the Minimalist over an insulated jacket you might want to pick it up in a larger size, depending on how thick your mid-layer is.

The Marmot jacket is available in sizes from S to XXL. It’s not a very inclusive size range, so hopefully it is available in your usual size. Marmot has recently started to expand their range by including more plus size options, but they have only done this for a few select models and the Minimalist is not yet one of them. But, we can hope!

Pricing And Value

The Minimalist is a great waterproof jacket, but it does come with a hefty price tag. And that’s mostly because of the Gore-Tex construction – if you want premium waterproofing technologies, you must pay the premium price. Gore-Tex products are never cheap, but they make up for the high price point with excellent performance.

Plus, you’re getting a lot of other features for your money, including waterproof zippers, underarm vents and articulated elbows. If you intend to wear the Minimalist often and need something comfortable, weatherproof and durable enough to handle everyday wear, the Marmot jacket won’t disappoint you.

Especially if you want this jacket for hikes and backpacking trips. It was designed with that kind of wear in mind, and it’s absolutely perfect for it. If you were hoping to get something more suitable for casual everyday wear, you’ll find our other recommendations in the next section.

Marmot Minimalist Jacket: Is It Good Enough?

For the most part it is. The Gore-Tex exterior is a winner, and the lightweight construction is just amazing. You barely feel this jacket on you, which makes it the perfect addition to your already full backpack. If you don’t mind carefully folding it that is, since you can’t just stuff it into one of its pockets.

This Marmot jacket might be called Minimalist, but its features are anything but that. The zippers are waterproof and all of them have storm flaps that protect them from the weather. Everything about this jacket is windproof and waterproof, from the adjustable hood to the drawcord at the hem.

Sale
Marmot Men's Minimalist Lightweight Waterproof Rain Jacket, GORE-TEX with PACLITE Technology, Black, Small
  • Lightweight men's rain jacket is perfect for hiking, backpacking, cycling, and other activities where light travel and harsh weather are your top concerns
  • Gore-Tex with Paclite technology provides optimal waterproofing, breathability, and packability; taped seams ensure true weatherproofing

But it is a pricey jacket and the only way you’re going to get value out of it is if you actually wear it almost every day. If you’re the kind of person who spends a lot of time outdoors and really needs something lightweight and waterproof, the Minimalist is an excellent option for you. But if you want something casual that’s going to spend more time in your closed than out of the house, then you might want to check out some other options first.

Head over to Amazon to see whether the Minimalist is available in your size. And be sure to check out our related posts, if you’re still looking for the perfect waterproof jacket for you!

 

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