The Marmot Minimalist is exactly what it sounds like. A rain jacket that gets the job done, without stuffing in a bunch of features you don’t need.
About the Jacket
Composed of Goretex Paclite, the jacket is packable, light weight at just 15 oz, and offers real rain protection without trapping in your own body heat. Two zippered hand pockets, and a zippered chest pocket are provided, and are just enough to protect your hands and your smart phone or keys while hiking. An adjustable hood cinches down around your face, and stays on your head even when not tightened down. Pit zips allow you to enhance breath-ability, without sacrificing water proofing. The jacket retails at $200, and is offered in a woman’s model as well.
What I liked
This jacket feels great against the skin. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a soft, breathable material that flexes and feels more like a fabric than a plastic. There is none of that clammy feel that you get from many nylon based rain jackets, and you get much less of that “swishing” sound of typical nylons. Breath-ability is great, providing plenty of air on 6000 foot mountain climbs thanks to the breathable materials and pit zips. The jacket is absolutely waterproof, and has resisted hard rain and grime for months with no signs of slowing down. The build quality is fantastic, brushing off thorns and branches with no issues. Quality stitching and seams finish off the well engineered jacket. The fit is close, without blowing in the wind, but still provides complete freedom of movement. At no time did I ever feel trapped inside my jacket. The hood provides good protection for the face and eyes due to the extended brim above the face, while the neck of the jacket is a soft enough material to avoid scratches up your chin.
What I didn’t like
The hand pockets block water entirely, but they’re set a bit low for backpacking. They’re still usable, but raising them up just a bit to dodge the hip belt would have been perfect.
The men’s jacket has a chest pocket, but no hanging loop. The woman’s jacket has no chest pocket, but does have a hanging loop. I’m not sure why they did this, but it’s worth pointing out. Despite the difference, the woman’s jacket was largely the same, except for a modified fit and colors. Female reviewers were impressed with fit and comfort, while providing the same protection.
I love this jacket, absolutely. The soft fabric feel, the flexibility, and fantastic weather protect at just 15 oz all comes together to make an impressive rain jacket that simply gets the job done, and stays out of the way. Breath-ability is superb, providing an enjoyable internal environment free of excessive heat and moisture. If you’re looking for simplicity, light weight, and reliability, this is your jacket.
Highest of Recommendations.