Waterproof jackets don’t need to break the bank. Gear editor Chris Townsend assess the best budget waterproofs. On test Marmot PreCip waterproof jacket

Made from Marmot’s new NanoPro coating the PreCip jacket is surprisingly breathable for a jacket at this price. Indeed, I’ve tested much more expensive waterproof jackets with less breathability. Marmot says this is because NanoPro has a ‘superior microporous structure’ that is ‘dynamically air permeable’. What this means is that the pores that let moisture vapour out are much smaller than in previous coatings and packed more densely together and also that they allow a tiny amount of air through (that’s the dynamic bit), enough to increase breathability but not enough to be noticed. The result is good breathability. I’ve worn this jacket for several hours in wind-driven wet snow and rain and stayed dry inside. The fabric is flexible and comfortable too.

The design is also pretty good. If you start to overheat there are underarm zips and the mesh pockets, which sit just above a hipbelt, can be opened for ventilation too. The pockets are just big enough for maps as well. The cuffs however are narrow and so not useful for ventilation. The hood gives good protection and moves quite well with the head though the soft fabric does distort when the drawcords are tightened. A stiffer peak would help here. There are flaps covering the front zip and the pocket.

The PreCip would make an ideal backpacking jacket as it’s light and compact.

Reviewed in May 2015 Issue