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Montane Minimus 777 Ultralight Rain Jacket Review

The Montane Minimus 777 Rain Shell weighs just 5.1 ounces (144 grams) in a Men's XL.
The Montane Minimus 777 Rain Shell weighs just 5.1 ounces (144 grams) in a Men’s XL.

The Montane Minimus 777 jacket is a lightweight, 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell that weighs just 5.1 ounces (144 grams) in a men’s XL, making it lightweight enough to be used as a rain jacket and wind shirt when you want one garment that can perform both functions. Designed for high activity sports like hiking and trail running when you are generating a lot of body heat, the Minimus 777 has a very thin shell fabric that improves its breathability because moisture has to pass through a thinner barrier. Highly compressible and packable, the Minimus 777 virtually disappears in a backpack, making it a good ultralight backpacking gear choice.

The Minimus 777 has a non-adjustable hood, but is sized for hikers and trail runners, not climbers or skiers wearing a helmet.
The Minimus 777 has a non-adjustable hood, but is sized for hikers and trail runners, not climbers or skiers wearing a helmet.


The Minimus 777 is a 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell made with a 7 denier nylon face fabric, a 7 micron Pertex Shield+ laminate, and a 7 denier tricot backing that helps improve the jacket’s durability. All of the interior seams on the jacket are seam-taped to ensure waterproofness. A DWR coating is applied to the exterior of the jacket to bead precipitation so it runs off the surface of the jacket.

The manufacturer claims that the Minimus 777  is waterproof with a 20,000mm hydrostatic head and that it has a MVTR rating of over 30,000g/m2/24hrs.


The Minimus 777 has a simple hood, although it is sized for hikers and trail runners, not skiers or climbers wearing a helmet. While not adjustable, the hood has a piece of elastic in back and around the front opening that helps mold it to your head and face (even if you have a small head like mine.) The hood also has a small front brim, although it does not contain a shaping wire, necessitating a brimmed hat if you want to keep rain out of your face.

There’s a left side front pocket, large enough for a pair of softshell gloves or GPS/Smartphone, which doubles as a stuff sack when you want to store the jacket. It has a YKK Aquaguard water-resistant zipper, which is also used for the main zipper on the jacket. The main jacket zipper is also backed with a storm flap.

The wrists of the jacket are elasticized, but fairly snug so you can’t pull them up higher than your forearm. The hem is also elasticized. The jacket length drops to the bottom of the buttocks but tends to ride at waist height when worn with a backpack.


I tested the Montane Minimus 777 over a two month period in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees down to 30 degrees in rain, snow, and windy conditions, above and below treeline.


The breathability of the Minimus 777  is superb and it is certainly one of the most breathable rain jackets I’ve ever tested. I attribute its breathability to the thinness of the jacket’s fabric. The jacket also keeps me much cooler than other rain or alpine shells, resulting in less perspiration. This is most noticeable during periods of heavy exertion, such as climbing uphill.

The Montane Minimus 777 has excellent breathability during high exertion activities but careful layering is required in colder temperatures.
The Montane Minimus 777 has excellent breathability during high exertion activities but careful layering is required in colder temperatures.

While this is advantageous in warmer temperatures, the Minimus 777 requires careful layering when temperatures drop because it does not retain much body heat. I do not plan to use it for full-on winter hiking for this reason and will switch to a thicker, warmer alpine shell with better ventilation, an adjustable hood, and more pockets for colder, above treeline hiking/mountaineering.

The packability of the Minimus 777 is also superb. While you can stuff it in its pocket, I pack it loose in my backpack since it takes up little space and the fabric is so thin, soft, and malleable.


While the factory DWR coating is very good, I have noticed wet-out under my backpack shoulder straps which is what you’d expect from any waterproof/breathable jacket with a DWR coating.If you purchase a waterproof/breathable jacket that has a DWR coating, it will be necessary to reproof it periodically to restore its performance.

The front pocket also collects considerable moisture, passed from inside the jacket, and will dampen gloves, hats, or electronic devices stored in it. If you have a smartphone, I’d advise storing it in a waterproof protective case or elsewhere in your backpack.


If you are looking for a very lightweight waterproof/breathable rain shell, particularly for three-season hiking or trail running, I recommend the Montane Minimus 777 jacket, which is also available as a pull-on. Usable as a rain jacket or a wind shell, the Minimus 777 weighs just 5.1 ounces (144 grams), packs up very small, and provides best-in-class breathability. The fit is snug as is the UK hill-walker style, so be prepared to try on different sizes to dial in the jacket size you need to accommodate your mid-layer clothing system.

Disclosure: Montane provided Philip Werner with a sample Minimus 777 jacket for this review. 
Written 2016.

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  1. I love the reviews, especially on items that I’m not aware of, but I am always curious what you really wear and use on a trip. One day, you have jacket A and the next day jacket B and I’m not sure which one you would really use if the manufacturer’s weren’t giving them to you.

    I’m all for taking the free stuff (go Capitalism!), but am worried that the reviews might be getting slanted.

    Am I off base? I hope so!

    • Fair question. I think I’m pretty open about such things and here’s how.

      I use a Lightheart Gear Silnylon rain jacket that doesn’t require any DWR coating for three season hiking and an Outdoor Research Foray Jacket for winter hiking with is a Gore-tex thing, with abundant ventilation. These are all listed in – incidentally, I bought them both. Actually, OR replaced another jacket that failed on me with the Foray because the old one wasn’t manufactured. They have an awesome guarantee.

      I view it as my journalistic responsibility to review new gear that I don’t necessarily use everyday and cite it’s pros and cons. I’m no different than Backpackinglight or OutdoorGearLab in this respect except that I’m a one-man show without the overhead of a huge advertising staff and editors running around trying to look like they’re adding value. I think the lack of advertising staff reduces any chance of editorial conflict….you’d be amazed at what other online publications do to get advertising revenue…not citing any names here but it’s rife with the bigger pubs though they’ll deny it.

      I’m also not a sponsored athlete with any companies. I was in the past but decided that it introduced to much potential conflict and now refuse such invitations. I get them constantly.

      I have also always listed how the items I review were sourced, well before it was ever required by law (even though many other magazine-style gear review sites still don’t). I simply cant afford it, since I don’t have a huge advertising staff, so I take these manufacturing hand-offs when I can. Does it bias what gets covered? To a certain extent, but I only review gear I that interests me and that I can use, which keeps it relevant for most readers here, since they are like me. Life is short. I don’t have time to review anything that is not relevant for my personal hiking needs.

      I’m also one of the only regular gear reviewers in the backpacking space that regularly published negative reviews of gear, despite whether manufacturers give me samples or not. The reality is that I care a million times more about my readers than any gear manufacturers and I think most regular readers know it. I also give away most of the gear that I review to readers in raffles. See
      A note on SectionHiker’s Product Reviews, Gear Raffles, and Reader Polls.

      Hope that answers your question. Its an issue that I am very cognizant of. I hope that readers will view me as a trustworthy source of information about new products because I’m more like them and not a revenue hungry publication trying to maintain senior management bonuses and advertising sales quotas.

      • I just wanted to chime in and say that I have always noticed that you go out of your way in transparency, and I think that you do a stellar job of being fair. Just wanted to make sure you knew that people notice and appreciate it.

      • Great response, thank you for taking the time to do it.

        Please keep ’em coming!


    • Philip will sometimes post long term reviews, and more occasionally, a master list of gear he’s kept, worn, out, and replaced because he likes it so much. If you search the archives you’ll come across these.

      I do wonder how many hours a week he hikes to be able to give everything he reviews a fair shake. I’ll cop to carrying two jackets on a hike to try them both in one go, but I also am only “reviewing” for myself.

  2. Yikes..a ‘lightweight’ piece of gear that is pretty expensive per oz of weight saving over a traditional wind/rain shirt given the limitations. Is it worthy?

  3. You may not be able to reveal this, but any plans to review the Columbia Outdry Extreme Eco when it comes out next year?

  4. I’m still confused! In “Why DWR Sucks”, you say “The (Waterproof / Breathable) system is a complete sham”. Here you say “the factory DWR coating is very good” and go on to recommend it because it “provides best-in-class breathability”. Which is it???

    • I don’t think I’m contradicting myself….

      I say, quoting from the article: “If you purchase a waterproof/breathable jacket that has a DWR coating, it will be necessary to reproof it periodically to restore its performance.”

      I still believe that the DWR paradigm is poor price/convenience performer but the majority of people still buy into it. The factory DWR on this coat is good, unlike other coats where it fails immediately. The breathability is also very good, probably because the jacket is so thin (it doesn’t have to rain to be breathable).

      If you are looking for a lightweight waterproof/breathable jacket for three seasons use this is a good pick, but expensive. That is what most people STILL want to buy.

  5. At that price,,,forget it !

  6. I’m with Packman Pete…… Good grief!! :)

  7. I know this is an old post but I have to chime in that I personally find your review’s totally honest and impartial. Without people like you we would only have the bought and paid for reviews from sources unknown. Keep it up Philip, please.
    This is the jacket I dream of.

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