The Marmot Minimalist boasts fantastic water resistance to keep outdoor enthusiasts dry even in the heaviest downpours. The hood provides great coverage, and the Gore-Tex fabric sheds water like a duck in a storm. The relaxed fit offers plenty of room for layers, and we love the deep pockets for stashing our phone, keys, and snacks. The fabric is not very breathable, but the vents help when moving and sweating. The name says it well: this minimalist design has all the essentials and nothing unnecessary. This jacket is perfect for those looking to get outdoors for light to moderate activities even in torrential downpours. To see our favorite women's raincoats, check out the full review.Editor's Note: Our Marmot Minimalist article was updated on October 4, 2022, reflecting our latest findings.
Marmot Minimalist - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great water resistance, durable, deep pockets
Cons: Heavy, no stow pocket, poor breathability
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|Pros||Great water resistance, durable, deep pockets||Excellent water resistance, whole size/pit vents, great range of motion||Comfortable, breathable, versatile, not crinkly, soft hand feel||Exceptionally packable, lightweight, breathable, good mobility||Simple but functional, hood packs away, good value|
|Cons||Heavy, no stow pocket, poor breathability||No stow pocket, heavy||Hood doesn't offer great coverage||No vents, no hand pockets||Small zipper pulls, internal fabric can stick to bare skin|
|Bottom Line||A superbly durable and water-resistant rain shell, though less breathable and packable than some models||Built to withstand the elements while on the move, this jacket offers a great balance of water resistance and breathability||An exceptionally breathable and comfortable jacket for active adventures offering a full range of motion while repelling light moisture||A great emergency layer that is feather-light, compresses into a tiny stow pocket and punches above its weight for breathability and water resistance||A solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank|
|Rating Categories||Marmot Minimalist -...||Outdoor Research As...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Weight and Packability (15%)|
|Specs||Marmot Minimalist -...||Outdoor Research As...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Measured Weight||11.9 oz||10.5 oz||9.7 oz||5.6 oz||9.2 oz|
|Number of Fabric Layers||3||2||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Material||100% Recycled Polyester||50D Polyester||50D Stretch Ripstop||30D Ripstop Nylon||100% Ripstop Nylon|
|Pockets||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand, 1 chest||1 chest||2 hand|
|Pit Zip Length (in)||12||20||11||N/A||10|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stows into Pocket||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Marmot Minimalist has great water resistance and functionality in a clean, simplistic design. It has all the key components you need and nothing unnecessary. The Gore-Tex Paclite 100% recycled polyester fabric features a PFC-free DWR coating that can withstand a pretty heavy deluge.
The Minimalist excelled in field and lab tests, thanks to its Gore-Tex Paclite fabric and DWR coating. The fabric competed well with the top contenders in the shower test, managing to keep underlayers dry for an extended period of time under heavy pressure. We found that the fabric will take up water after a while, appearing damp on the outside, without saturating through to the jacket's interior.
One weak spot is the zippers, which were water resistant with a storm flap, but not as watertight as the sealed zippers featured on some other contenders. In our paper towel test, the paper towels in our pockets got wet a lot sooner than our baselayers. The hood also does not cinch around the face, which allows water to run down into the jacket.
Breathability was one category where the Minimalist's performance was a little disappointing. The 3-layer fabric's membrane did not seem to efficiently vent internal moisture when we were working hard and sweating.
The pit vents helped to dump excess heat when they were open, but not as efficiently as some of the jackets with longer vents.
Comfort and Mobility
The pockets are large on the Minimalist and are comfortable for keeping hands out of the elements. We found the longer zipper pulls on the center and pocket zips easy to use even with gloves on. The Gore-Tex Paclite fabric is a bit more flexible than some of their other offerings and moves well with the body.
While the jacket is roomy in the sleeves and torso, it is somewhat narrow in the shoulders, which limits mobility slightly. The neck was also a bit stiff and uncomfortable under the chin. The inside of the lining feels slightly plasticky against bare skin, as well.
Weight and Packability
The Minimalist does not live up to its name when it comes to weight. Even without additional bells and whistles, this jacket weighs in at 11.9 oz, nearing the higher end of the spectrum we tested.
The garment is one of the few in our test fleet that doesn't pack into a stow pocket. It's also bulkier and less packable than some others.
The Minimalist is built to last, made with quality Gore-Tex fabric which held up well in testing with no signs of abrasion.
Center and pocket zippers all ran smoothly and consistently. The drawcords and toggles were easy to use, worked well, and are quality components, holding up well over months of testing.
Should You Buy the Marmot Minimalist?
The Minimalist offers a functional, simple design with superior water resistance that will keep outdoor enthusiasts on the trail even when storms roll in. It will keep you dry for an extended period of time even in heavier rain. We also really love the deep pockets on this jacket.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
The Outdoor Research Aspire II, another jacket that utilizes Gore-Tex Paclite fabric, also moves well with the body and provides a wider range of motion and better venting capabilities. If an ultralight, packable emergency layer is more aligned with your needs, check out the Outdoor Research Helium jacket.
— Jessica Albery
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