Rain jackets for hiking and travel can be expensive, but you don't have to spend a fortune to stay dry.
A packable rain jacket can come in handy in a variety of situations, from outdoor hiking and camping trips to touring a foreign city in damp weather.
They are waterproof, breathable, but lightweight and easy to pack. If you're in the market for the best lightweight rain jacket for travel, hiking, or running errands in the rain, but don't want to spend a fortune on it, check out our Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell rain jacket comparison.
These two are cheap to buy, but are still durable, with all the features you need in a great packable rain jacket.
Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell[toc]
Marmot vs Patagonia: What to Look for in a Rain Jacket
The first thing you need when you're looking at a lightweight rain jacket is waterproofing. This is a must, or you'll be soaked in no time.
Water resistant is also okay for light drizzle, but won't repel heavy downpours.
You also want to make sure your jacket is breathable, or you'll be soaked with sweat on the inside instead of rain on the outside.
You also want decent features, like waterproof pockets, waterproof zippers, and a decent hood to keep water from soaking your head and running down your neck.
And for those on a budget, a great low price on their hiking rain jacket is a must.
Rain Jacket Comparison: Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell
The best lightweight rain jacket for travel, hiking, camping, and everything else needs to be versatile, yet stylish, even if you're buying on a budget.
If these are all on your list of must-haves, check out our Marmot vs Patagonia rain jacket comparisons.
The Marmot men's Precip jacket has multiple sizes, including small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large, and even an xxx-large if needed.
The Patagonia men's Torrentshell jacket has the same sizes as the Marmot model, but adds an x-small size and loses the xxx-large size.
The women's model has the same sizes as the Marmot jacket but adds an xx-small size for those who need it.
If you're using your rain jacket for travel, you'll want something that's lightweight and easy to pack with your other gear.
Plus, you don't want to be wearing something heavy when you're hiking for a few hours in the woods, or you'll be exhausted before your day is done.
The Marmot Precip rain jacket is quite light at about 10.3 ounces.
The Patagonia Torrentshell is a bit heavier at 12.1 ounces.
When comparing the Marmot vs Patagonia rain jacket models, the fit is the same.
Both of these rain jackets have a regular fit, which means they are a bit loose, hanging straight down from the shoulders. This can be useful when you need to layer underneath to keep warm in cooler conditions.
Both the Torrentshell and the Precip jacket have an adjustable drawcord hem, so you can cinch it tight at the bottom for a tighter fit in this area, and to block out the cold.
Adjustable cuffs are a feature on both jackets as well, though they are Velcro on the Marmot Precip and fabric hook-and-loop closures on the Patagonia Torrentshell.
Materials and Durability
Hiking and camping means rugged terrain and grabby tree branches, so you want a rain jacket that will last for a while. And we all know that a ripped rain jacket is the last thing you want while out in the wild or traveling abroad.
That's why Marmot uses NanoPro 100% nylon ripstop fabric for all the main areas of their rain jacket.
This material is durable and strong, resisting abrasions. And if the coat is punctured, the tear won't spread, making it easy to fix.
Patagonia uses 50D recycled nylon ripstop as well to reduce tears.
These fibers come from waste fibers collected in their spinning factory and weaving mills, so they throw away less material while still giving you a durable, long-lasting rain jacket.
Waterproofing and Breathability
To keep you dry, the Marmot rain jacket uses NanoPro material, which is waterproof, while still remaining breathable.
This means it keeps the water out without overheating you underneath it. Every seam is also fully taped to eliminate any leaks. And the adjustable hem and cuffs keep you warm and dry.
The high collar also protects your neck and keeps rain from getting inside and running down your back.
The Patagonia Torrentshell jacket has an H2No Performance standard shell, which is 2.5 layers of waterproof and breathable fabric.
The neck is lined with Microfleece, which is also breathable, yet waterproof for added protection and comfort in damp weather. There are storm flaps inside the main zipper to reduce leaking in this area.
Even the pit zips and pockets have welted exterior storm flaps, along with DWR coated zippers for even more protection from the rain.
Every jacket needs pockets, but these two rain jackets have some that do more than carry your keys.
The Marmot rain jacket has two hand pockets, which are lined with mesh, giving you a bit of extra ventilation when left open.
The left hand pocket also doubles as a stuff sack, allowing you to roll up the rain jacket and stuff it inside for easy portability. There is even a loop for attaching the packed jacket to a carabiner.
The Torrentshell also has two hand pockets, though they are designed as handwarmer areas instead of for ventilation.
You can compress the jacket and stuff it into one of these pockets as well, zipping it up and attaching it to a carabiner with the included clip-in loop.
A hood is a must on the best ultralight rain jacket, to keep your head and neck dry.
The Marmot Precip has an attached hood, which has drawstrings at the front to adjust it around your face.
There is also a Velcro adjustment at the back so you can alter it to the proper size to fit over your head, keeping it from covering your eyes. The hood can be rolled up and stuffed into the collar when you don't need it.
The Patagonia model also has an adjustable hood, which adjusts in both the front and the back with drawstrings for the right fit.
There is also a laminated visor that adds a bit more protection from the rain falling down, keeping it off your face. The hood can be rolled up and stowed inside the collar using a cord and hook system when the rain stops and the sun comes out.
Though you may be looking for a budget rain jacket, you still want to have the best you can get. A few extra features will help you accomplish this.
For this, the Marmot Precip has added a DriClime lined chin guard, which is soft against the skin while protecting it from the zipper.
There are also pit zips you can open to cool you off if you start to sweat. The Precip also uses Angel-Wing movement, which lets you lift your arms up without shifting the entire jacket along with you.
The Torrentshell hooded rain jacket also has pit zips for ventilation. The minimal-welt exterior of the main zipper and the storm flaps inside create a zipper garage and chin guard for extra protection.
The Marmot Club was founded by Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntley, two university students who loved climbing and wanted to spend time with other like-minded individuals.
These two men also began creating down products in their dorm room, the first of which included a sweater, a vest, and a parka. Sleeping bags soon followed.
A few years later, they opened their own rental and retail shop called Marmot Mountain Works with a fellow climber Tom Boyce. Soon after, the company was contracted to create puffy jackets for filmmaker Mike Hoover.
In 1976, they added Gore-Tex products to their lines. Today, they are a much larger company, though they are still committed to creating the best possible products they can.
Where are Marmot Rain Jackets Made?
Though Marmot is based in Rohnert Park, CA, and some of their products are manufactured in the US, the majority of their products are made in China, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Honduras, Bangladesh, and El Salvador.
What is Marmot's Warranty?
The Marmot warranty covers manufacturer defects, such as broken or sticky zippers, elastic cord, toggle, or Velcro issues.
They will repair the product, or if a repair is not possible, the product will be replaced. They do not cover normal wear and tear or problems related to negligence or improper use.
Though Yvon Chouinard began his company in 1957 with climbing pitons, it wasn't until the 70's that they moved into clothing.
They began with shirts, then moved into polyurethane rain cagoules, bivouac sacks, boiled-wool gloves and mittens, and reversible "schizo" hats. And the Patagonia brand was born.
They experimented with different layering options, including the shell and insulation, and introduced bold new colors for their clothing.
Though they admit they've made mistakes over the past thirty years, they have remained true to their beliefs, treating their staff as family and protecting the environment. And they've continued to update their products as needed to keep them the highest quality possible.
Where are Patagonia Rain Jackets Made?
Patagonia is based in Ventura, CA, but the majority of their products are manufactured in Asia.
What is Patagonia's Warranty?
Patagonia has an Ironclad Guarantee. This allows you to return the item if you are not satisfied when you receive it, or if it doesn't perform to your satisfaction.
They will repair it, or offer a replacement or a refund. They do not cover damage from normal wear and tear, though they will repair it for a fee.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Rain Jacket
How Will You Use Your Rain Jacket?
If you're in the market for a new rain jacket, you'll want to consider what you'll be using it for before you buy.
Normal day-to-day wear rain jackets can also be used for some light outdoor activities, like hiking or camping.
There are also rain jackets geared for performance, made with tougher fabrics so they can withstand more extreme conditions.
There are also ultralight and trail running rain jackets, which are very light due to the thinner fabric. These are a bit thinner and less durable, plus sacrifice some of the features you'll find on other types.
Layers & Materials
When looking at Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell or any other brands, you may notice different types of layers.
This is because they come in 2, 2.5, or 3 layer jackets. 2 layers are pretty basic, with the outer shell and an inner mesh liner.
The 2.5 layer jackets use a thinner interior fabric attached to the waterproof outer layer. They are more compressible and lightweight than 2 layer models.
A 3-layer rain jacket has 3 separate pieces. There is an outer layer, then the waterproof and breathable membrane beneath that.
Then there is a thicker fabric on the inside. These are the most durable and breathable jackets, though they are a bit pricier.
Waterproof rain jackets like the two we've reviewed here use a built-in laminate layer or some type of coating, like a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating, to keep the water from soaking the jacket. Instead, the water rolls off, keeping you dry.
There are also other waterproofing measures some rain jackets use to keep leaks to a minimum. These include fully taped seams, storm flaps, and adjustable areas like hems, cuffs, and hoods.
Some rain jackets even use a waterproof rating, which is represented by a number, usually ranging from 0 to 20,000mm, and some even go higher than this.
This number shows the amount of water in a diameter tube of 1 inch that the jacket's material can withstand before it leaks. But not all jackets show the rating, so you can't rely on this.
Breathability is important for any jacket comparison, including our Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell review.
Breathability ratings refers to the amount of moisture from sweat or humidity that can leave the jacket without letting any water in.
Some budget jackets are not breathable at all, but most of the models manufactured today have used the proper materials to ensure the most breathability possible in their rain jackets.
Both of the rain jackets we reviewed here are regular fit, so they fit loosely around the torso.
There are also slimmer fit rain jackets that are a bit sleeker and more flattering, though these are mostly aimed at women. Either one you pick is fine, but be sure to try it on first.
The reason for this is to make sure you can move your arms freely without any type of restriction. If the coat is too tight, you won't be able to move as well.
You also need to consider what kind of layers you'll be wearing underneath. For t-shirts, a tighter fit is fine, but if you add a sweater, this could reduce your mobility.
The best rain jacket for hiking, climbing, backpacking, or other outdoor adventures needs to be lightweight, especially if you're carrying a pack full of gear. But it also must withstand the rain.
Luckily, when comparing the Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell rain jackets, both were less than a pound.
Most manufacturers keep their jackets lightweight, without sacrificing on materials or necessary features.
Even if you bring a rain jacket with you, you may not have to actually wear it. This is why you need one that can be compressed to a small size, fitting in your pack easily or hanging off a carabiner without adding a bulky package to your gear.
For rain jackets, like our Marmot and Patagonia models, being able to stuff into their own pocket is a bonus, giving you a stuff sack without the need of carrying an extra one with you.
Pockets and Cuffs
Rain jackets will usually have hand pockets, but may not go any farther than that. You may find one with a chest pocket or an inside security pocket, but if you're shopping on a budget, don't expect these types of extras.
There are a few kinds of hand pockets. There are mesh ones that can double as an extra ventilation slot when left open. There are also handwarmer pockets to keep your fingers toasty on a chilly day.
Either way, be sure your pockets have coated zippers or some other type of closure that keeps the water out.
There are some rain jackets with extra large hoods, which are meant to fit over a helmet. If you are a climber, this is a must, but regular rain jackets for hiking, camping, or other activities don't need such a large hood. Instead, these have slimmer hoods for weather protection.
Adjustments on hoods are also a good idea. Most have adjustable drawstrings or Velcro on the back for a proper fit around your head.
There should also be some sort of adjustable measure around the front to tighten the hood around your face, blocking out the wind and rain.
As well as all the features listed above, there are a few others that can help increase the comfort of your breathable rain jacket. One is pit or side zips. Even with breathable material, you still may get warm under your jacket. These zippers allow you to open these areas for more ventilation, cooling you down.
Adjustments around the hem and cuffs are good for a decent fit, as well as keeping the damp, chilly air out. Chin guards protect this area from getting caught in the zipper while you do up your coat or move around during your hike.
The Bottom Line: Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket
A rain jacket can come in handy at any time, whether you like to spend most of your days outside or just need to run some errands.
They are lightweight and waterproof, with most of the decent models keeping you cool and dry on the inside as well.
The same goes for their features, like adjustable hems and wrists, pit zips, and hoods, though the Torrentshell adds a visor to the latter.
If you're shopping on a budget, both of the models in our Marmot Precip vs Patagonia Torrentshell comparison are quite cheap, though the Precip costs a bit less.
The Precip is also a bit lighter and has more sizes to choose from in the men's rain jackets. The Precip also has their Angel-Wing movement, which gives you more mobility.
For these reasons, the Marmot Precip is our top choice for the best rain jacket.