Hiking, backpacking, and camping can bring unpredictable weather at any point in the day. For example, I recently hiked Humphreys Peak, a 12,000-footer, and experienced an assortment of unwanted weather. Of course, while beginning the trail, the weather was pleasant and sunny. As I continued ascending, the air naturally chilled, as expected with the higher elevation. However, toward the top was when my plans foiled. A thunderstorm rolled in; lighting and thunder in all. The storm worsened, and I descended the mountain while rain, sleet, and hail fell; flooding the trail and soaking all my clothes. If I did not learn it before, I sure learned that day to always bring along a dependable rain jacket, despite the predicted weather.
As soon as I returned to civilization, well after changing into dry clothes, I started researching reliable rain jackets. I found the overall best rain jacket for men and women is the Marmot Minimalist. With its durable design, unique characteristics and favorable fit, it’s easy to see why this jacket has surpassed the rest.
The Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket is on the more expensive side of the cost spectrum because of its great design and reliable materials.
Not only does the jacket use a 2.5 layer Gore-Tex structure, but it also has additional ventilation slits, accessible through zippers to protect from rain. The ventilation zippers make this jacket breathable, without sacrificing its waterproof design.
The Minimalist has a comfortable and adjustable fit. Velcro cuffs provide a tight fit around the wrists. The hood, as well as the hem around the waist, have draw-cords which can easily be adjusted even while wearing gloves. In addition, a Velcro chin strap keeps the hood in place without discomfort. The size of the jacket is large enough to layer cooler weather clothing under the waterproof shell.
The Marot Minimalist weights slightly more than a recommended hiking jacket due to its added layer. However, this jacket will provide additional insulation and durability because of its design.
Though the packaging does not offer a bag to fold the rain jacket into, the Minimalist is able to roll up into its hood to pack for easy travel.
The Marot Minimalist has just about everything you could want in a rain jacket. From additional ventilation to roomy pockets, the jacket’s design makes hiking in the rain a breeze, without actually feeling the breeze.
A chest pocket and hand pockets are conveniently located and equipped with water resistant zippers.
A storm flap lays over the front zipper closing and snaps into place for extra protection from the rain.
The ventilation pockets, as stated before, offer additional breathability that most rain jackets do not provide.
We discussed how the fit is adjustable for a custom feel. In addition to the tailored fit, the jacket has a Driclime chin guard, which cushions the chin strap to provide even more comfort.
- Using Gore-Tex Construction insures a reliable waterproof characteristic
- Comfortable fit with many adjustable elements
- Breathable design with zipper ventilation options for additional aeration
- Allows for easy layering under the jacket
- Adjustable hem, wrist cuffs, and chin strap allow the jacket to create a tight fit to protect from water entering the jacket’s openings
- Toggles are easy to use even while wearing gloves
- Large pockets at the hip and chest give plenty of space for storing easy to reach items in a waterproof location
- The jacket is expensive (however many similar quality rain jackets are around this price range)
- Does not come with a storage bag
- Could be considered bulky or too heavy for extreme hiking and backpacking
Overall the Marmot Minimalist Rain Jacket is a reliable piece of hiking gear that will last. You never know what you might run into on the trail. Do not let the weather rain on your outdoor parade. Instead be prepared with an excellence rain jacket like the Marmot Minimalist.
Check out our recommended Rain Ponchos, if you are looking for something lighter than rain jackets.