Having a versatile jacket you can bring from street to trail is a must for anyone who’s always out and about.
The Patagonia Torrentshell is one of the most popular jackets out there, and for good reason. This lightweight and quality jacket has proven time and again why it remains at the top of the list. But the Marmot PreCip is holding its own with a lower price point and great weather protection.
If you’re in the market to find that perfect rain jacket to bring on your next adventure, it can get a little confusing. That’s why we put both jackets head to head to see which jacket delivers the best performance for memorable experiences.
The Patagonia Torrentshell performs very well even in extended rain and wind. Considering its lightweight material, it can stand against torrential rain and years of moderate outdoor use. The DWR coating and windproof exterior hold up very well. Its hood fits well and offers great coverage. The hem and cuffs are also easily adjustable to keep you as dry and as warm as possible.
The front zipper is covered with a flap, but it’s not secured with a Velco. In strong winds, it tends to open up. The storm flap underneath the zipper keeps the water from entering the jacket, but the outer flap needs to be flattened throughout the day.
Similarly, the Marmot PreCip also offers reliable protection against water, wind, and even some light snow. Its DWR coating does a good job in keeping water out, but the coating does wash out a bit after a year of use. You can easily reapply the coating and the jacket performs just as well as when you first bought it.
It has a collar and an adjustable hood to protect the head whole head up to the chin. The cuffs are sealed with velcro, and the hem is adjustable and keeps water and cold out pretty well. The front zipper is covered with a flap and also secured with velcro to keep it from flying up, unlike the Torrentshell. It also has an additional storm flap underneath the zipper.
While there are many similarities, the lower price of the Marmot PreCip does mean you’re giving up a few luxuries. The zippers are not water-resistant, though it does get protection from the storm flap. It doesn’t hold up as well as the Torrentshell in extended rain. The water doesn’t leak through the jacket, but it does soak through the upper layer and you’ll feel the cold on your skin. In no way does this diminish the performance of the PreCip, but it does justify the lower price.
Patagonia Torrentshell’s hood offers excellent protection. It stays in place even in more extreme conditions and is fully adjustable around the back of the head and the sides, as well as the fit around the face. It can be quite large but cinches down to perfectly fit your head. It also has an adjustable visor to keep rain further away from your face.
The Marmot PreCip hood is also easily adjustable, but the unique feature is the hood is removable. The hood attaches to the base of the collar and is adjustable via the Velcro tab at the back and two pull cords in front. If you don’t want to use the hood, it can be rolled and stuffed under the collar. It doesn’t offer as wide protection as the Torrentshell, specifically without the extended visor in front. However, it still provides decent protection.
Both the Torrentshell and PreCip went minimal on the pockets. This makes the jacket less susceptible to leaks, especially in extended rain.
The Torrentshell’s two hand pockets also serve as hand warmers and are fully waterproof. On the other hand, the PreCip front pockets are mesh-lined, designed to keep them lightweight and breathable. The tradeoff is these pockets aren’t as durable as the Torrentshell, and the PreCip pockets also run the risk of getting your stuff wet. It would be better to store valuables like phones in your mid-layer clothing.
Both the Patagonia Torrentshell and the Marmot PreCip, though differing in price, are not considered high-performance jackets. Because of their windproofing and waterproofing features, you will feel hot and sweaty if you happen to work up a sweat for some reason. This usually happens when you’re on a hike with unpredictable weather. On that note, both jackets pack up into their own pocket so you can easily stow it away in case you don’t happen to need it after all. At 12 and 11 oz in weight, carrying this around won’t be a problem.
Both jackets have pit zips that open up to improve ventilation. The Marmot PreCip is marginally better in breathability thanks mainly to its mesh pockets.
Build quality differs a little. Both are lightweight jackets, so don’t expect them to be heavy-duty garments. You can definitely get years out of both jackets, but the lining of both jackets breakdown the fastest.
As previously mentioned, the mesh lining of the PreCip’s pockets, though breathable, isn’t very durable. If you keep storing heavy items like cellphones or gear, it will definitely tear, but this won’t be after years of use. The velcro the secures the flap over the front zipper also loses its grip after a while.
You get additional features on the Torrentshell for the approximately $30 price difference. There’s a patch of fleece at the back of the neck of the Torrentshell for extra warmth, and its shell fabric is a bit thicker.
Both the Patagonia Torrentshell and the Marmot PreCip are excellent choices for your everyday rain jacket. While not meant for high-performance activities, both jackets perform considerably well in rainy and windy conditions. It all comes down to the nitty-gritty.
The Patagonia Torrentshell is an overall great jacket for everyday use or moderate activities. The build quality is slightly better, with a few more luxuries like waterproof zippers and waterproof pockets. The hood also fits quite nicely and the visor offers extra protection.
On the other hand, the Marmot PreCip performs equally well. Slightly thinner than the Torrentshell, it does have a detachable and adjustable hood and slightly more breathable. The PreCip won’t offer the best protection for heavy rainfall, but it does keep you dry when that happens.
Overall, there is very little difference between the Patagonia Torrentshell and the Marmot PreCip. Unless you’re a Patagonia loyalist or the differences in those little details matter a lot to you, the Marmot PreCip is a better buy – a lower price for practically the same quality and performance.