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Patagonia Torrentshell Review

   

Rain Jackets - Men's

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: June 4, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $74 - $129 | Compare prices at 9 resellers
Pros:  Great waterproofing, somewhat affordable, packable
Cons:  Not the best fit or most comfortable, hood cinches are tough to use, not very breathable
Best Uses:  Everyday rain jacket or any application where you want something light and waterproof
User Rating:     
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 (3.0 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  67% of reviewers (2/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
Review by: Robert Beno and McKenzie Long ⋅ December 3, 2013  
Overview
The Torrentshell is the less high-tech, and in our opinion preferred, option in Patagonia’s rain shell line (the fancy version is the Patagonia Rain Shadow). We like this jacket, but are not ready to recommend it over the Editors Choice winner, the Marmot Aegis. It is a solid, middle-of-the-road performer in all categories (including price) and would be a great option for someone seeking that Patagonia quality with a slightly lower price tag. But, if you are focused on price, we feel the Best Buy winning Marmot Precip is a better value. To see exactly how it compared to others, check out our complete Rain Jacket Review.

Although the Rain shadow is lighter (11.4oz), the fact that the Torrentshell can pack into its own pocket and the Rain Shadow can’t makes the Torrentshell preferable for packing and transporting. If you are counting ounces, shell out the extra cash for the Outdoor Research Helium 2. If you are looking for the best performance at the best price, try the Marmot PreCip.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

A very waterproof and decently priced rain shell, the Torrentshell is very similar to our Best Buy winning rain shell, but is slightly less ventilated. It packs into its own pocket and is decently lightweight.

Performance Comparison
Click to enlarge
Large Pit zips on the Torrentshell help the jacket ventilate
Credit: Erisa Coppenoll

Water Resistance
The Torrentshell is completely waterproof. The 2.5 layer H2No fabric does the job well in conditions from drizzle to downpour to sleet. We never had any issues with leaking or soaking, even in problem areas such as the zippers and seams. All the seams are taped up nicely and the zippers all have storm flaps to help keep the water out. The fabric itself is durable.

Breathability
The main dislike that we have with the Torrentshell lies in its breathability. Simply put, this jacket does not breathe or ventilate well. We found that the Torrentshell, along with the Rain Shadow, were the least breathable jackets we tested. None of the rain shells we tested were as breathable as 3-layer Gore-tex found in hard shell jackets, but the design of the Torrentshell doesn't ventilate as well as jackets with mesh pockets such as the Marmot PreCip or Marmot Oracle.

Some of the jackets we tested had larger mesh-lined pockets that can be left open and, when coupled with the pit-zips, significantly helped with the jacket’s breathability. The Torrentshell is not one of these jackets. As mentioned above, the pockets of the Torrentshell are made of the same waterproof fabric that the rest of the jacket is constructed from. As such, the Torrentshell jacket iss one of the least breathable and least ventilated jackets we tested.

Comfort & Mobility
The Torrentshell is a pretty solid jacket. No standout features here, just decent all around performance. However, testers felt that the Torrentshell’s fit and cut could be a little better. We found that the front zipper folded in a strange way, giving us a pot-belly look, and that when arms were raised the waistline of the jacket rode up, exposing some lower back skin to the cold and rain.

The newest version of this jacket includes a small patch of micro fleece on the collar for added comfort. The collar is also extremely tall, almost inordinately so, and testers found it constantly jabbing at the underside of their chins.

Features
All the zippers are smooth and easy to use, and the pit-zips go down and up one-handed no problem. The cinch on the bottom of the jacket is easy to use and stays tight once adjusted to your liking. The cuffs are easily adjusted with a simple Velcro strap. The pockets are made of the same waterproof material as the rest of the jacket, so while doing nothing for the breathability of the shell, they keep the condensation produced by your body from hitting whatever you’ve got in your pockets.

The hood is bomber and has a great shape to it, though fitting a helmet in would be almost impossible. One small gripe we have with the Torrentshell is that the hood cinch (excepting the back cinch) is very difficult to use due to the fact that the loose ends of the elastic cord are located inside the collar. Testers found it more convenient to forgo the two cinches for the rim of the hood and just using the cinch in the back.

Weight & Bulk
The Torrentshell packs up into one of its pockets and is easily clipped to a harness or the outside of a backpack for ease of transport and maximum packability. At 13.7oz. the jacket was neither the lightest nor heaviest of the jackets that we tested. The primary difference between this jacket and the Rain Shadow is weight: the Rain Shadow shaves off a few ounces, but at the expense of not packing into a pocket. We like the addition of that feature for only 2 more ounces on the Torrentshell.

Best Application
This jacket excels in any wet and rainy condition. It packs up well, so is adequate for backpacking.

Value
The Torrentshell looks good and performs well. At $130, it is about the middle of the road as far as price goes. If you are looking for a solid rain jacket with dependable Patagonia craftsmanship that won’t break the bank, this is it.

Conclusion
This is an average performing jacket at an average weight and average price. It gets the job done, but doesn't stand out in any way.

Robert Beno and McKenzie Long

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 4, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)

67% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (2)
3 star: 25%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 25%  (1)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Jun 4, 2014 - 12:02pm
Lucky Man · Hiker · WPB, FL
The first time I used this jacket, on a five-day hike in north Georgia in autumn, it was barely adequate in light rain. The second time I used it, on a 12-day hike in the Smokies in May, it did not keep me dry at all during moderate and even light rain. I got soaked and cold. I am astonished at how poorly a product from Patagonia performed; I hope this is not the start of a trend. Fortunately Patagonia still has good customer service, was apologetic and agreed to take back the product.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 14, 2014 - 08:01am
Ianalias · Backpacker · 46112
As a cheap rain jacket I would call this bomb proof. AS many features as the Torrentshell has it almost cant be beat for price. The coat hanger loop is 10lb rated as well as the loop inside the stow pocket, making it perfect for clipping to a harness wile climbing. For me, using the pit zips in combination with not cinching down everything helps me regulate my body temp. I do agree with the hood cinching system is a bit difficult to use on both sides of the hood but the cord located at the crown is not. fit is a little odd I also agree there but I also do layer up with this jacket and it does just fine. this jacket is everything you can expect from a simply done Patagonia product.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 29, 2013 - 12:59pm
Coach Z · Hiker · Washington, DC
Love Patagonia, Love this jacket.

Have used it in heavy rain and it held up well as expected. The Torrentshell also performed well while wearing packs, and regardless of what layering was underneath.

Expectedly, it loses a star based on breathability (which is sacrificed for how it stands up to downpours) and price (which will come with the Patagonia trust of quality).

In the end - it's a great rain jacket that I've had for 3 years now and continues to get the job done. I expect it will be with me for a long time to come.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket - Men's
Credit: Patagonia.com
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