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Marmot Precip Rain Pants

Marmot makes two styles of Precip Pants, the kind with full length side zips, and what they call a regular, classic, or old style which just has a zipper the runs up to mid-calf. I use the ones with the full length zips as a winter shell for snowshoeing and climbing, and I wear the regular Precips as 3 season rain pants.

Marmot Regular Precip Rain Pants

There’s nothing terribly special about these pants other than the fact that at $75/pair they’re a very good value if you’re looking for an entry level, breathable rain pant. The boot zip is not big enough to get over my leather hiking boot, but will probably work fine with a lighter boot or trail shoes so you can get them on quickly when it starts to rain. These Precips also come with zippered pockets, which is a nice feature, and a draw cord style waist belt.

If you are shopping for your first pair of rain pants, one thing that you should keep in mind is that rain pants don’t keep you dry. Their main purpose is to keep you warm by preventing evaporative cooling from making your legs cold. Unless you slow your pace way down, you will perspire when it is raining regardless of whether your clothes are breathable or not. This is the dirty little secret that most gear manufacturers don’t want you to figure out and means you can save a little money for other clothing articles or gear where price differences actually result in better performance.

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  1. Tried these on today for the first time on a snow shoe hike – had high expectations as I love my precip rain jacket. I found some shortcomings – the velcro tabs on either side of the waist are not sticky enough – and so when you bend over – to pick up a pair of gloves that have fallen down for example they come apart and pants fall down. These tabs are also nearly useless to adjust how tight you want the waist. There should be good snapping tabs and a different way to cinch the waist. I also found two other shortcomings – The elastic waist band is not taut enough and the cut is not very athletic – so climbing up down boulders the pants start riding down. Looks like they might work if I use suspenders? I saw a similar pair at LLBean but one reviewer had practically the same comments – the LL Bean pants have a nice cinch system so you can cinch over the boot. Do you have similar issues?

  2. I use the full zips for winter hiking when I need a hard wind shell layer. They work fine for that and the velcro side tabs don't come apart on me. However, I could see them doing do that if they fit you a bit tight around the waist. I've had pants that close with snaps do that on me (different manufacturer).

    The Precips do however have a tendency to fall down on me when I'm doing something more active, such as ice climbing, so I wear other softshell pants and liners for that.

    The deal with the Precips is that you get what you pay for. If you want suspenders, a bib, snaps, snug fit around the knees, etc., expect to pay a lot more. I've concluded that it's not worth it for most winter hiking because eventually, I will shred them with crampons when I get tired. I shred at least one pair a year, so let them be inexpensive.

  3. I have a pair of the old style Precip pants. I’ve had them for a couple years and can’t remember the last time I used them in rain. Today I decided to test them out. I wore them over blue jeans so as to easily see if they kept the jeans dry. I was out for about a hour in continuous rain with some wind and when I came in I found that the knees and a couple other places were wet. It was not from perspiration. The directions for cleaning indicate to wash with powdered detergent then put in a dryer on medium heat. Will the washing and drying as directed restore the waterproofing or is it time to replace them?

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