Hands-on Gear Review

Compare rain jacket ratings side-by-side >

Patagonia Torrentshell Review

   

Rain Jackets - Men's

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: November 13, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $90 - $167 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Waterproof, good breathability, great hood, durable
Cons:  So-so ventilation, small zipper pulls and cord locks
Best Uses:  Backpacking, mountaineering, climbing, all round use
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
Review by: Brandon Lampley ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ November 13, 2014  
Overview
The Patagonia Torrentshell is an affordable, high-performing 2.5-layer rain shell. It has the function and attention to detail we expect from Patagonia and is a great deal. It is very similar in design and construction to our Best Buy winner Marmot PreCip; however, the PreCip breathes better, is more ventilated, and we recommend it over the Torrentshell for hiking and backpacking and more high energy adventures. That said, the Torrentshell does a little better job sealing out the downpours and its hood plays really well with helmets. It is more durable as well, so it's more appropriate for rough activities like climbing and mountaineering.

If a truly ultralight rain jacket is what you're after, check out the Marmot Essence, our Editors' Choice winner.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

The Patagonia Torrentshell is the highest overall scoring jacket in our tests that did not receive an award. It's an excellent jacket. Very similar in design and price to the Marmot PreCip, it's a little more durable and more mobile when the hood is over a helmet.

Performance Comparison
Click to enlarge
This model is an excellent 2.5-layer rain shell. It received high scores across our metrics, and has the best hood we tested.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Water Resistance
No complaints here, the Torrentshell earned the highest score we awarded for water resistance. The hood has well thought out features and fits a helmet better than others. There is a large stiffened brim and the elastic cord that tightens around the brow passes through a soft fabric sleeve on the underside. This creates some space between your brow and the hood. Another cinch on the back of the hood adjusts the brow. The Torrenshell was weather tight with ball cap, helmet, or just your head, and the hood rolls away if you prefer. Velcro at the cuffs and a relatively long waist combine to seal out the downpours.

Breathability
We found Patagonia's 2.5-layer H2No laminate fabric to be fairly breathable. This jacket didn't steam up too much when hiking in the drizzle. The Torrenshell's pit zips are average and get some air flowing through the generously cut torso when open. Fully opening the wrist cuffs allows a little additional air movement. The similar Precip and Venture both have mesh-lined hand pockets that add to their ventilation (the Torrentshell has fully waterproof hand pockets).

Click to enlarge
This jacket, the most affordable model we tested that uses a laminate vs a coating, should last you many years.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Comfort and Mobility
There's nothing fancy about the Torrentshell; for the most part, it features the minimum to get the job done well. It doesn't have a fleece patch at the chin, but does have one at the back of the collar, which we didn't find added much. The hood design is very comfortable around the face and though the three cord locks are small, adjustment is simple. Because of the small cord locks and the small string pulls on the pit zip and pocket zippers, operating things is a pain with gloves. What this jacket does offer is great mobility. The hood moves with or without a helmet better than others and the generously cut torso stays put when reaching with the arms.

Click to enlarge
The Torrentshell provides the best head mobility when zipped up tight over a helmet. It's the best optimized for mountaineering and climbing of the similar models we tested.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Weight
The Torrentshell weighed in at 12.1 ounces, right in the middle of the pack, and practically the same as the similar Marmot Precip and The North Face Venture.

Durability
We feel this model is one of the more durable jackets we tested. Patagonia's construction quality is top notch and the 50D ripstop nylon face fabric is burlier than similar models we tested.

Packed Size
This jacket stuffs into its left hand pocket and there is a webbing clip-in loop for securing it to a harness or backpack. Some jackets compress small because it's a struggle to get them in their pocket, but the Torrentshell stows easily. It's not the smallest when packed, but the ease of stuffing and clip-in loop are nice.

Click to enlarge
This model stuffs into it's own hand pocket, and though it's a little bigger when stuffed, it's also easy to stow away as it's not crammed super tight into the pocket. A carabiner clip in loop is convenient for climbers and mountaineers.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Features
The Torrentshell has the best hood we tested for use with a helmet. A stiffened brim, along with a fabric sleeve for the around the face elastic cinch are very comfortable on the brow. The cord locks for this cinch, as well as the brim height adjustment, are exterior and easy to adjust when the collar is zipped up tight. There's a micro fleece patch at the back of the collar, a hang loop, and a snap closure for rolling and stowing the hood. Large pit zips are covered by an exterior storm flap. The Torrentshell's hand pockets are fully waterproof and the jacket stuffs into the left hand one. The wrist cuffs are lined with a soft nylon taffeta and adjust with a Velcro tab. The elastic hem cinch has cord lock adjustments on both sides.

Click to enlarge
This jacket has a hang loop and small strap for securing the rolled hood at the back of the collar. We didn't feel the rear of the neck fleece patch added much. The pitzips are of average size, and the taffeta lined wrist cuffs tighten with a Velcro tab.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Best Applications
The Torrentshell works well for most wet and rainy activities. It's high performance enough for backcountry use and fine for around-town use as well. With its generous cut, we found it easy to layer underneath for cold weather. Because the hood works so well with a helmet, this is our favorite rain jacket for climbing and mountaineering.

Value
At $130 this is a great deal. With its attention to detail, Patagonia has designed a durable product that offers stellar weather protection at a relatively inexpensive price. The Best Buy winning Marmot Precip is $10 cheaper and with it's superior breathability and ventilation, we think it is a better choice for high energy adventures.

Conclusion
The cleverly named Torrentshell is a rugged, streamlined 2.5-layer rain jacket. Its water resistance is top notch, it breathes fairly well, and sports a functional, comfortable hood. While it's crafted with helmet-clad climbers and mountaineers in mind, it's also a great jacket for hiking and backpacking.

Click to enlarge
This jacket, the most affordable model we tested that uses a laminate vs a coating, should last you many years.
Credit: Brandon Lampley

Other Versions
The Patagonia Torrentshell - Women's, $130, is a solid, all-purpose rain shell.

Brandon Lampley and Robert Beno

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 13, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Patagonia Torrentshell?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Patagonia Torrentshell
Credit: Patagonia
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
MountainGear $89.97  -  31% off!
Backcountry $90.30  -  31% off!
CampSaver $96.75  -  26% off!
Compare prices at 8 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Rain Jacket Review

The Best Rain Jacket Review

Our comparison of the best rain jackets will keep you dry on those soggy days.
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Related Gear Reviews