Marmot Spire Jacket Review 2016

Features

The Marmot Spire has a snow skirt, which is a real bonus if you are battling to a summit in the snow. It is made from 3-layer Gore-Tex, but it’s not the Pro version. The two huge chest pockets are sealed to prevent water passing through into the jacket. The stormflap over the front zip will help keep out draughts and dampness, while pit zips aid ventilation. The hood peak is stiffened but not wired. 4/5

Fit

Available in men’s S-XL and women’s XS-XL, the jacket is about 3cm longer than the shorter designs. The style was slightly ‘boxier’ than some others and the sleeve movement was not quite as good, as the cuffs and hem tended to ride up a little more than some. Hood fit was pretty good but I’d like to have been able to reshape the peak a little more effectively than was possible. 4/5

Comfort

The Marmot Spire feels stiff and robust, so in rough weather it feels far more protective and comfy than lighter, softer jackets. Of course in calm weather it feels a bit stiff! The snow skirt is ideal for locking out winter draughts and powder snow. Condensation management is not quite as good as Gore-Tex Pro, but it’s plenty good enough. 5/5

In use

Having a snow skirt is a real bonus when you’re plodding through powder snow, and you can zip it out to remove 56g (though this is still quite a heavy jacket). I like the two huge pockets, but for me a third large external pocket would be even nicer. The hood is good but not quite the best, but it’s still better than many. Slightly better sleeve movement would also be good. So not perfect, but not far off either. 4/5

Value

The Marmot Spire costs less than many other jackets that have only tiny benefits, so in terms of value for money this is above average. RRP: £300. 4/5

Verdict

A very robust jacket with a snow skirt that’s ideal for tough winter conditions – if it matches your needs. 4.2/5

Marmot Precip (2015)

Features

Marmot’s Precip is a modern classic and is now using its new NanoPro 2.5-layer nylon fabric for durability and a little more condensation control. This material isn’t the best for breathability but it’s better than most at this price. You also get pit zips and two main pockets, which are mesh-lined rather than sealed, plus a hood with a large peak that isn’t as stiff as others. 3/5

Fit

The men’s Precip is available in sizes S-XXXL and the women’s in XS-XXL, with the fit being quite relaxed compared to some lightweight jackets. The hem tended to rise when raising my arms, despite the looser body fit here. The hood fit isn’t as close as higher-priced jackets and doesn’t easily move with the head either. 3/5

Comfort

At 327g (men’s L) this is light and the NanoPro material controls condensation better than other lower-priced fabrics, but a 3-layer jacket or a mesh-lined jacket is more comfortable, but of course heavier. The hood movement and fit are not great though and this affects comfort. Overall if you pay more you get a comfier jacket, but the Marmot Precip is good for the weight and price. 3/5

In use

The NanoPro material is a nylon ripstop so it’s very durable and also very lightweight. The pockets do take OS maps but access is easily obscured by a rucksack with a hipbelt. The hood lets this jacket down quite a lot though, as it doesn’t move well and the peak is not as good as a wired or more stiffened design. It is useable but not ideal. 3/5

Value

You are paying for a very breathable fabric. For the price the Marmot Precip offers good performance, but the design lets it down. 5/5

Verdict

The Marmot Precip features great fabric and comes in at a great weight, but its performance on the hill is limited by its design.  3.4/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2015

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Marmot Alpinist (2015)

Features

The 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro fabric used in the Marmot Alpinist provides durable levels of waterproofness and breathability and is combined with four external chest pockets, pit zips and a removable snow skirt. The hood is helmet- compatible too, making this a belt-and-braces feature list that ups the weight a little. 5/5

Fit

Men’s sizes are S-XL and women’s are XS-XL and the fit is described as ‘Athletic’, which in me was similar to others here, but a little lengthier in the body so this offered the best protection for my bum. There was a tiny movement in the cuffs when raising my arms, but nothing to worry about. The hood fitted me very well and easily moved with the head. 5/5

Comfort

The Marmot Alpinist is a stiffer jacket than some, which is great in the wilds of winter or on windier mountain days but in mild weather you’ll likely prefer less substantial designs. But it feels great in wild weather thanks to the protection it affords, combined with a durable fabric that breathes well and you can always use the pit zips if needed. 5/5

In use

The Marmot Alpinist is heavy so when not in use it really weighs down your rucksack if stashed. The main two chest pockets swallow maps, but the Napoleon pockets are too small, which is a pity, as they can only be used for a GPS receiver or a very small guidebook. The hood peak is lightly stiffened but has no wire and so overall it may not always afford the best protection. 4/5

Value

The four pockets, pit zips and snow skirt have added to the price but it feels steep compared to some others however you try to justify it. 2/5

Verdict

The Marmot Alpinist is built for winter weather and it is mostly up to the task, but it is not perfect in terms of design and it is not perfect in terms of price. 4.2/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2015

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Marmot Precip (2014)

Features

The Marmot Precip has been a stalwart of lightweight hill and mountain travel for many years. Its low weight of 325g (size L) is a mammoth feature when backpacking. It also has a two OS map-sized hip pockets, pit zips to aid ventilation and a hood with a rear volume adjuster and face cords that can be rolled into the collar. The front zip also gets an external stormflap for better weather protection and there are pit zips.

5/5

Fit

Like most modern jackets the Precip is relatively short in the body but it is not the shortest jacket around and it did almost cover my bum. The sleeves fit reasonably well, with only a small amount of movement in the cuff when I raised my arms to scramble over rocks. The hood does let the jacket down though as the peak is large and easily obscures vision particularly as it does not move well with the head.

3/5

Comfort

The Precip uses Marmot’s latest 2.5-layer NanoPro fabric, which boasts impressive lab results. On the hill I get condensation inside more than a 3,layer jacket, but it certainly out performs most 2.5-layer fabrics. The pockets are mesh-lined so if water gets in them this area of the waist can become uncomfortable due to dampness. The weight does improve comfort overall though as this jacket feels so light and unrestricting to wear.

4/5

Performance

If you want a lightweight jacket then this is ideal in many ways but the absolute performance is less impressive apart from weight benefits. The pockets are map-sized but they’re placed where a rucksack belt sits, so access is not ideal. That hood tended to drive me insane as its peak and movement are poor and for me that is a major problem. In really wet weather I would prefer sealed rather than mesh pockets for optimum performance.

3/5

Value

The Marmot Precip is far better than most jackets at this price and while its overall performance lets it down you cannot grumble too much at £85.

4/5

Verdict

If you rank low weight as your main performance criterion the Marmot Precip is excellent and if you add in the price this jacket is stunning, but other features are not so hot.

3.8/5

Review by Graham Thompson

Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2014

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Marmot Artemis/Adroit (2014)

This jacket is made from Marmot’s latest fabric, NanoPro Membrain, which boasts excellent breathability in the lab and in my experience is one of the best 2.5-layer fabrics available for controlling condensation on the hill. It comes in men’s and women’s version called the Artemis and Adroit respectively. The jacket has a good water-resistant zip up the front with an internal flap to manage wind and water leaks through it. There are pit zips too for added control of condensation. There are just two outside pockets but these are huge and extend up most of the side of the jacket so you can easily access them and easily store maps in them. The drawback is that they’re mesh and the pocket bag extends to the hem, meaning retrieving items from them can be a chore – but at least the pocket zips are well-placed. The hood is reasonably well-designed with a stiffened peak that has a small soft wire in it, so it can be reformed if it becomes bent in the rucksack. The hood also fits on the head and moves easily to allow good vision. All that for 332g (size men’s large) is very good and a slight tweak to those pockets would make the Marmot Artemis/Adroit an excellent option, but with a price tag of £200 other jackets are slightly better in my view for hillwalking.

Specifications:

Fabric 2.5-layer NanoPro MemBrain

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL (Artemis)

Women’s sizes XS-XL (Adroit)

External pockets 2

Stowable hood? no

Side/pit zips? yes

Weight 332g (men’s size L)

Website www.marmot.eu

Verdict

The Marmot Artemis/Adroit’s fabric, hood and weight are great but I’d want slightly better pockets to guarantee my purchase of this jacket at £200.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine July 2014

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Marmot Spire (2013)

The Marmot Spire has been around a few years and surprisingly it still uses standard Gore-Tex rather than the new Pro version, while it tips the scales at 713g, which adds up to this not being as instantly appealing as some other jackets. But on closer inspection it does have a snow skirt attached, which you can zip out and save 62g. It may not be the latest fabric but it works well enough when mountain walking in the UK. Also, this fabric has a stiffer and more robust feel about it, which is ideal for challenging weather as it helps trap warm air inside. Better still the Marmot Spire is 6cm longer than some jackets here so my groin had more protection from the elements! You also get a stormflap over the main zip so it is much less likely to leak in driving rain. There are pit zips too in case you need more airflow. The sleeves are not as well-designed as others, though, as the hem or cuff tended to ride up more easily than some jackets. The hood fits reasonably well, even without being fully adjusted – and it has a great wired peak too. There are only two chest pockets but these are big enough for maps and well-placed to allow easy access while wearing a rucksack. So the overall package is great.

Weight 713g (size men’s L)

Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex

Lining none

Men’s sizes S-XXL

Women’s sizes XS-XL

External pockets 2

Can hood be rolled down? no

Side/pit vents yes

Website www.marmot.cu

Verdict

A little heavy and not the latest version of Gore-Tex, but the Marmot Spire is a good price for a jacket that is longer than most and has all the most important features for comfort in the mountains in winter.

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine November 2013

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Marmot Speedri (2013)

Made from waterproof and very breathable Gore-Tex Pro Shell, the Speedri will withstand really heavy rain. There’s a bit of stretch in the fabric, which makes it great to move around in. It’s a great-looking jacket with a simple cut, waterproof zips and three decent-sized pockets. It’s let down slightly by its hood, though – it’s deep, but it doesn’t swivel when you turn your head, and the large peak can obscure vision. It’s very versatile, though – tough enough to withstand all-day rain, yet light enough to carry in your pack.

 

Sizes: XS-XL
Fabric: Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Weight: 310g Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 01539 563616; www.marmot.eu

 

* Review from Country Walking magazine, May 2013.


Marmot Nano (2013)

Gore-Tex Paclite is a 2-layer fabric, so you get a massive weight saving – and this brings the Marmot Nano in at just 249g (size L), which is some 100g lighter than other jackets of its design. The Nano benefits from two large chest pockets that are placed above any rucksack hipbelts, so you have great easy-access storage space for maps or protection for your hands. They aren’t mesh-lined, but have drilled holes to improve airflow while keeping the worst of any water out. Like many lightweight jackets the body is quite short, and the front zip has an internal stormflap rather than an external one. The Marmot Nano’s hood doesn’t have a wired peak and the peak isn’t as stiff as others that are unwired, so it isn’t quite as good as the best jackets in terms of providing protection in the worst weather. But the hood fit is good and so is the movement. So all that for 249g appears a great option for the hillwalker, but my main issue is that Gore-Tex Paclite is a 2-layer fabric and so once you get any condensation inside you really notice it, and this isn’t so much of a problem in the 3-layer fabrics such as Gore-Tex Active. But Paclite is more packable, lighter and also more durable.

Fabric Gore-Tex Paclite
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
External pockets 2
Stowable hood no
Side/pit zips no
Weight 249g (size men’s L)
Website www.marmot.eu

 

Verdict

The Marmot Nano has great pockets and reasonable hood for hillwalkers, but the benefits of the minimal weight, small packed size and good durability need to be balanced against the reduced comfort of a 2-layer fabric.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2013 


Marmot Minimalist (2012)

Cut from a polyester-faced Gore-Tex Paclite, the Minimalist feels more like a fattened-up lightweight than a full-on winter jacket. It’s a great bit of kit though, and its lightness and superb packability will appeal to those who prefer to leave their waterproof in the pack as much as possible. The hood’s good: with 3-way adjustment; but the peak’s floppy. The storm flap is pretty flimsy too and only fastens at the top and bottom. The handwarmer pockets are a decent size, although the chest one’s quite small; and it has decent pit-zips.

Sizes: S-XL
Fabric: Gore-Tex Paclite
Weight: 420g
Women’s version: Yes
Contact: 015395 6316; www.marmot.eu


Marmot Terminus (2012)

This breathable, hard-wearing Gore-Tex Pro 3L jacket packs in a fantastic range of features and still manages to weigh just under 500g (size UK12), but it may have more going on than most walkers need. The Marmot Terminus has four hipbelt-compatible outer pockets with water-resistant zips but no stormflaps, the lower larger two with venting holes, and the top right with a hole for your iPod headphones, plus a small wrist pocket and one inner mesh pocket. The main zip is water-resistant and has a substantial stormflap behind, and there are water-resistant pit zips for increased venting. The Marmot Terminus’s arms are long and articulated, so there’s plenty of freedom of movement for scrambling, and there is a removable snow skirt (54g) for snowy activities. The helmet-compatible hood is great, with a wide wired peak, but there is a little extra material around the neck area and the side elastic loops stick out when you pull it in tight around your head, plus there is no means of stowing the hood away when not in use. The price is high when you consider you can get a jacket with all the features you need for £150 less. The closest men’s equivalent is the Cerro Torre Jacket (£430).

Weight 470g (size UK12)
Material Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3 Layer
Women’s sizes US6-10 (= UK 10-14)
Men’s sizes 32-54in
Pit zips yes
Wired hood peak yes
Stowable hood no
Website www.marmot.eu

 

 

Verdict

The Marmot Terminus has a great features and design for winter mountains and snow sports, but it may be more than some walkers need.

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine November 2012


Marmot Mica (2012)

When moving fast and light every gram counts, and so in many ways the Marmot Mica £120 is the best jacket in our test as it is the lightest at just 204g (men’s size L), which is over 100g lighter than many of the alternatives. It is also half the price of some jackets we looked at, so it is superb value too. The Mica packs down incredibly small as well, so you can stash it in a bumbag if necessary, or the outside pocket of a small daysack. With all these benefits there has to be a drawback of course – and for the Mica it is that it lacks some of the features of other, higher-priced options. The material is Marmot’s own brand of PU laminate, which is called Membrain, and this works well but it is a little more clammy than other fabrics and also not as durable as heavier materials. Put the jacket on and the movement in the sleeves is not as good as that of higher-priced jackets. There are two pockets at hip height but when walking these are not as accessible as chest pockets. The hood is particularly poor compared to others here as it does not fit as neatly or move as well on the head.

Weight 204g (men’s L)
Fabric Membrain Strata
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
External pockets 2
Roll down hood no
Side/pit vents no
Website www.marmot.eu

 

Verdict
If low weight is your top priority the Marmot Mica £120 is the best option in our test and the price is superb too, but other jackets offer better features and performance.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012


Marmot Crystalline (2012)

This is the lightest jacket on test at a mere 160g. It has a lovely flattering cut, although it’s shorter than some and only just covers the hips. Packability is superb, while it is waterproof and breathes well too. But the best thing about this jacket is comfort. The lightweight fabric glides easily over the skin, and feels lovely and soft to the touch, inside and out. It’s got a high, comfortable collar and a deep, adjustable hood with a stiffened peak. Adjustable Velcro cuffs pull up to the elbows when you get too warm, and the hood rolls away when not needed. You’ll need to look after it, as it’s quite flimsy, but this offers everything you want from a lightweight waterproof, even packing into its own pocket.

Sizes: XS-XL
Fabric: Marmot MemBrain Strata
Weight: 160g
Men’s version: Yes (Mica)
Contact: 01539 563616; www.marmot.de

 

Review from Country Walking magazine, May 2012


Marmot Stretch Man/Athena (2012)

The Marmot Stretch Man/Athena tops the tables for comfort and design. You’re certainly getting your £200-worth in this regard. The stretch panels featured throughout keep the jacket supple and moveable in all positions, while the dual hem adjusters and neck and hood fasteners (with internal tidies) and extremely long, two-direction pit zips are well-designed and satisfying to use. The two external pockets are cavernous, as is the single internal pocket. All three could accommodate an OS map with ease. The hood peak is rigid and perfectly sized, large enough to provide comprehensive protection from the weather but not so much that it obscures your vision. Everything, from the zip fastenings to the wrist clasps, inspires an assurance of quality. In terms of performance, the Marmot Stretch Man/Athena is not quite the most breathable or the quietest jacket on test, although it will perfectly suit the needs of most hillwalkers. Moisture build-up was minimal and water repellence is impressive considering the mixture of materials and the variety of seams and zips. All of this adds up to a jacket that you’ll look forward to putting on and can comfortably wear in rain or sun.

Weight 369g (size men’s M)
Fabric 2.5-layer MemBrain
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
Website www.marmot.com

 

Verdict
The Marmot Stretch Man/Athena is the most comfortable and functional jacket on test, boasting an excellent design and good performance. Wearing this is a genuine pleasure. It won the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Dan Aspel
First published in Trail magazine June 2012


Marmot Alpinist 2011

At £400 the Marmot Alpinist is definitely a considered purchase, as it has the highest price tag of those jackets featured, but if you can ignore the price for a moment, then there are some good features.
For starters, although it is made from Gore-Tex Pro Shell like many others, it uses what appears to be a more durable version, so it should resist wear and tear better. Also there are four chest pockets, unlike the two you tend to get with many lower-priced jackets. The two Napoleon pockets are a bit small though and won’t quite fit a Cicerone guidebook for example. The zips are exposed but you do get a wider internal gutter system than others to funnel leaks away. Inside you get a removable snow skirt, and the jacket boasts an excellent hood. There’s also a little more length in the body than many jackets that are lower in price.
This is definitely one of the better options we looked at, but the price is still steep compared to its rivals. Also, it doesn’t come in a women’s version.

Price £400
Weight 742g (men’s L)
Fabric 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Lining none
Sizes men’s S-XL
External pockets 4
Wired hood yes
Side vents yes
Website www.marmot.eu

Ratings
Features 5
Design 4
Comfort 4
Performance 4
Value 2
Overall 4

You get plenty of really good features with the Marmot Alpinist, which makes it among the best jackets for performance, but the price is still painfully high.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2011


Marmot Spire 2011

The Marmot Spire is a very well-featured jacket that is suitable for year-round mountain walking. It is made from Gore-Tex Performance Shell, which is not as breathable as Gore-Tex Pro Shell; but it is lower in price, which allows a more durable version of the fabric to be used, as well as allowing the jacket to be given additional features for the price.
The Spire has two chest pockets, big enough for maps and to permit easy access while wearing a rucksack hipbelt. It would have been good if there was a third chest pocket, however.
In addition the Spire has pit zips with double stormflaps to stop water leaking in through them. The jacket weighs 728g (men’s L), but this includes a removable snowskirt for winter, which when removed saves 56g. You get a big stormflap over the main zip, and the hood has a large wired peak as well as great fit and movement.
The Marmot Spire is a very functional jacket that should be able to provide years of performance, thanks to the extra durability of the fabric employed and the mountain-orientated design. There is no women’s version.

Price £250
Weight 728g (men’s L)
Fabric Gore-Tex Performance Shell
Lining none
Sizes men’s S-XL
External pockets 2
Wired hood yes
Side vents yes
Website www.marmot.eu

Ratings
Features 4
Design 5
Comfort 4
Performance 4
Value 4
Overall 4

The Marmot Spire offers a good set of features that are well-designed combined with a tough fabric. The drawback is that you are not getting the most breathable Gore fabric.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2011


Marmot Super Mica Jacket 2011

The Marmot Super Mica is a beefed-up version of the original Mica, and it benefits from Duralite Zonal reinforcement at the shoulders and hips, which is a particularly neat solution for those who not only want lightweight gear, but also lightweight gear that’s durable. Lightweight fabrics by their very nature aren’t quite as rugged as heavier ones, so to ensure they don’t wear too readily, some brands reinforce the jacket in key areas.
Weighing in at just 256g (men’s L) and packing down to about the size of a Coke can, this jacket is ideal for stashing in a pack. Get it on and it certainly feels minimalist, too. Some of the details have been scaled down to reduce weight, so for example the main front zip feels particularly delicate.
There’s no external stormflap, but there is a slimline internal flap to keep the breeze and through-the-zip leaks at bay. You do get two massive chest pockets, though, making this a practical design for walkers. These pockets are mesh-lined, which aids breathability, but of course it means they might let water into the jacket more easily. There are also pit zips provided, surprisingly, which perhaps hints at the possibility of condensation. The fabric is a 2.5-layer Marmot MemBrain, and it’s a little clammier than 3-layer materials as the printed half layer on the inside can’t control condensation as well as an inner layer that’s thick enough to really soak up the sweat.
The Marmot Super Mica’s hood is a little annoying as it has a relatively large, floppy peak; so while the fit is okay and the movement quite good, there are better hoods around.

Price £160
Weight 256g (men’s L)
Fabric 2.5-layer Marmot MemBrain Strata
Lining none
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 1
Wired hood no
Contact (015395) 63616; www.marmot.eu

Features 4
Design 4
Comfort 3
Performance 4
Value 5
Overall 4

The Marmot Super Mica is a superb price and weight for a jacket with great pockets and pit zips, but the hood could be better and condensation could be improved.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2011


Marmot Crystalline

The Crystalline is one of the lightest jackets ou there, but for £170, does it do what it’s designed to do? The fabric feels extremely flimsy, but it is waterproof; and it survived a few tough days in the hills with no sign of tearing. It’s also soft, doesn’t rustle badly when you walk, and is surprisingly breathable, too. The hood is excellent – nice and deep for women with long hair – and the high collar does a great job of trapping in warmth and stopping rain trickling down your neck. The hood is easily adjusted via two bungee cords under the chin, and a Velcro tab at the back. It even manages to swivel fairly well with head movement. There are two decent-sized handwarmer pockets (although they’re not mesh-lined for venting), Velcro adjustable cuffs and a drawcord at the hem.

VITAL STATS
Sizes:
XS- XL
Fabric: MemBrain® Strata™
Weight: 130g
Men’s version: No
Contact: 01539 563616; www.marmot.eu
• Review from Country Walking magazine, May ’11


Marmot Alpinist 2010

The Marmot Alpinist weighs 730g (size M); Gore-Tex Pro Shell; four large chest pockets; pit zips aid ventilation; removable snow skirt; good hood: wired peak and volume adjustment. But no external stormflap on main zip (although it does get internal guttering flap); slightly shorter than some options; main drawback is the price.

The Marmot Alpinist is an excellent winter mountaineering and Alpine jacket, but the price is very high.

First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Marmot Precip 2010

The Marmot Precip is a modern classic that offers most of what anyone would want from a multi-activity jacket, including a great price. It is made from an extremely waterproof fabric, while mesh pockets and pit zips improve condensation control, which is a feature worth having when biking or running in particular. The front zip gets a double stormflap on the outside, which is relatively rare for a lightweight jacket, but it will help keep the wearer drier. The Precip is an average length for this type of jacket with a slightly scooped tail to protect the lower back when biking. In use access to the pockets is great and the movement in the sleeves is reasonable too. When biking or running you can roll the hood to the collar, while walkers can benefit from its ease of movement on the head. The Marmot Precip great all-rounder at a great price. But a more breathable fabric is available if you spend more cash. It is quite a short jacket too, so you might prefer some of the longer options. The hood movement is okay, but there are better hoods out there, particularly as the peak is not wired. There is no reflective material either.

Outer Precip Dry Touch
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability very breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 372g (men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 20

The Marmot Precip is a superb choice for running, biking, climbing and walking, but higher-priced jackets are even better.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2010


Marmot Mica/Crystalline 2010

A jacket that remains the same price in 2010 as it was in 2009, the Marmot Mica/Crystalline makes use of a 2.5-layer fabric called Membrain Strata, which offers superb levels of waterproofness and breathability but is incredibly lightweight. The result of using this material is a jacket that weighs around 200g, and yet it still has a hood, pockets and a full-length zip. The hood has a volume adjuster, face drawcords and a stiffened peak, and it fits pretty well too. The pockets are located at the hips and are large enough for maps. Velcro cuff adjustment and a hem drawcord complete the essentials. This is a very lightweight jacket, at an excellent price and with some useful features. If your priority is weight and price, then this pretty much ticks the boxes. But the Marmot Mica/Crystalline’s pockets are not easily accessed while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt and would be so much more useful if they were higher on the body. The fabric may not soak up sweat as well as some others as it does not have a scrim layer. The fabric feels pretty delicate too, so you need to treat it more carefully than some other heavier fabrics.

Outer Marmot Membrain Strata
Inner none
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XL (men’s); 8-18 (women’s)
Weight 208g (L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 5

The weight, the price and the general features make the Marmot Mica/Crystalline ideal for travelling light, but others do have performance benefits. It won ‘Best Value’ in our test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2010