If you are looking for a rain jacket to protect you in the next sudden downpour then Marmot has some great options to choose from.
From the more simple, but waterproof Essence and Precip, to the top of the line Goretex Paclite Minimilist, Marmot have you covered.
All you have to do is figure out which one is right for you.
That is why, in this review I am going to break down all the features so that you can quickly and easily decide which one is your next best friend in the rain.
You can use the Quick Navigation to jump to the section that interests you, or be my guest and read the whole thing.
There is no fluff in this review, just the facts :>
Taking a look at the most important features first, and breaking each one down in detail, this section reveals everything I can find on each model and how they differ.
Let me start off by saying that all of these jackets will keep you dry. So, if you are concerned about that, don't be. You can move on to the next section already.
But, there are some slight differences in how they do it.
The best of them all (in theory) is the Minimalist with it's industry leading Goretex Paclite material. This will last you for years and years and is the kind of material outdoor enthusiasts drool over. Light, waterproof, breathable and durable.
Note: Although I would normally totally recommend a jacket like the Minimalist, I wanted to let you know that a lot of people on the Marmot website have complained that it does not hold up in the long run. After some weeks of use, the waterproof coating on the material stops working. So, if you plan on using this a lot. A better alternative seems to be another model from Marmot - the Exum Ridge.
The favorite amongst most people is the Marmot Precip. It combines a nylon waterproof layer with Marmot's own NanoPro breathable material. The benefit of this option is that it is light weight.
The Essence is the lightest of them all and also incorporates a little stretchiness in the fabric.
Winner: Precip (or Essence if you want super-light weight)
There are a couple of important factors when it comes to the comfort of a rain jacket. The first is how breathable it is.
The Minimalist uses Goretex, which is renowned for it's breathability. No question there.
The other two (Essence and Precip) use Marmot's own Nanopro material. You can see the details either via that link, or in this video.
Although this is not as well-known as Goretex, all the reviews I have read online suggest that everyone who wears it is more than happy with the breathability. So, it is head-to-head with the Minimalist.
The Essence has perhaps the most comfortable fabric, because it has a little stretch to it. It is also the lightest, so does not feel like a burden to wear all day. It also has elastic cuffs and some vented areas under the arms to help you stay cool when doing the hard miles. To keep this jacket light there are zero pockets and the hood does not stow.
The PreCip is somehow similar to the Essence, but has no stretch in the fabric. It does however have pit zips which are the ideal solution to sweaty sports. Open them under your arms when you are hot and sweaty, keep them closed otherwise.
There are also some handy hand pockets and one on the chest with a water-resistant zipper. The chin guard is also a welcome addition, especially if you need to zip it all the way up in the rain and wind. The cuffs on the arms are velcro - never ideal, but usually durable.
The Minimalist is the heaviest fabric of them all, but also comes with pit zips to help reduce the heat and sweat. There are also a few pockets to help keep your hands warm and a chest pocket for some smaller items.
The hood is adjustable, but does not stow. And the arms are also velcro fastened.
All models come with a elastic drawcord hem which is essential for keeping the wind from sneaking up under the jacket.
The Minimalist is the heaviest of the bunch and takes the most space.
The Precip comes next. Then the Essence.
The reason the Essence is so small and light is that it is designed as a light-weight adventurers best friend. And at just over 6 oz, it wins hands down.
Note: Just be aware that with weight saving comes feature loss (pockets, chin guard) or durability loss (different materials).
The Precip is designed to fold up and be stowed in it's own pocket, which is a handy bonus for those needing to pack and carry!
Essence: 6.3oz (179g)
PreCip: 11oz (312g)
Minimalist: 15oz (425g)
Goretex is a top quality material that always comes at a price. So, it's no surprise that the most expensive jacket in this list is usually the Minimalist.
The Essence is also quite a specialized model, so is often a bit higher in price too.
If you are looking for the most cost effective model, that is also super waterproof and breathable, it appears that you just can't beat the Precip!.
Tip: You never know the exact price of each model and color, so it always pays to check out each and see what they are going for on the day!
Product Comparison Table
Below is a handy table showing you all the details of the jackets so you can easily compare.
Which One Is Right For You?
The Precip is the best option in most situations because it has a great combination of features, weight, waterproofness and price.
I would also seriously consider the Essence if I was worried about overall pack size and weight, because it is a seriously light-weight jacket. It also has the added advantage of being made from stretchy material.
The Minimalist loses out in most categories, and the complaints of loss of waterproofing over time really concern me. If you are really after a Goretex jacket (and they are great) then have a think about another model from Marmot that gets way better reviews, like the Exum Ridge.