Patagonia Triolet Review
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|Pros||Inexpensive, protective, versatile, lots of pockets||Sturdy weather protection, supple fabric, lightweight, breathable||Athletic fit, good packability, plenty of venting options, decent weather protection||Optimally designed pull-cords and buckles, recycled nylon face fabric, athletic fit, Patagonia guarantee||Lightweight, inexpensive, easy to tighten drawcords|
|Cons||Heavy, boxy fit, vents could be longer, stiff fabric||Short on pockets, slim fit||Pricey, relatively heavy, limited durability, fabric seemed to get dirty quickly||Expensive, not super breathable, hood not as protective with a helmet on||Glossy internal fabric, poor mobility, hand pocket zippers not waterproof|
|Bottom Line||A protective and durable hard shell jacket at a great price, but with a boxy fit||A lightweight shell that boasts great weather protection but without the bells and whistles of other jackets||This model is a slim-fitting hardshell that's designed for backcountry skiing and offers ample stretch||A versatile hardshell that can handle any mountain environment or activity||This model is closer to a rain jacket than a hardshell, though it can be used as a lightweight just in case layer|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Triolet||Norrona Falketind G...||Ortovox 3L Ortler||Patagonia Pluma||Mountain Hardwear E...|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Mobility and Fit (20%)|
|Venting and Breathability (20%)|
|Features and Design (10%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Triolet||Norrona Falketind G...||Ortovox 3L Ortler||Patagonia Pluma||Mountain Hardwear E...|
|Measured Weight (size large)||19.8 oz||14.1 oz||17.0 oz||15.1 oz||11.4 oz|
|Material||100% recycled polyester 75D Gore-Tex||30D Gore-Tex with C-Knit backer||Toray Dermizax NX||40D 3L 100% recycled nylon plain-weave Gore-Tex Pro shell, with a 15D GORE Micro Grid Backer Technology & a DWR finish||Gore-Tex Paclite 2.5L 100% nylon w/ DWR coating|
|Pockets||2 chest, 2 hand, 1 internal mesh||2 hand, 1 internal zippered||1 chest, 1 arm||2 high handwarmer, 1 chest, 1 interior chest||2 hand, 1 chest|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hood Draw Cords||3||1||3||3||1|
|Two-Way Front Zipper||No||No||Yes||No||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Triolet is heavier and less refined across the board than the best jackets, but it has high-end weather protection and great features, making it a suitable substitute for much more expensive jackets.
The Patagonia Triolet is a waterproof, windproof, winter weather machine. It easily repels liquid water, snow, and wind thanks to its thick outer fabric, waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, and waterproof chest pocket and main zippers. It has a long hem with an elastic drawcord that helps seal out the jacket from below and three pull cords to tighten down the hood.
Patagonia's DWR is excellent, which beads water off the exterior face fabric. One of our testers used the Triolet every winter for six years, and never experienced a problem with its ability to repel winter weather. This jacket is about as waterproof as it gets. The only feature that the Triolet doesn't match up to much more expensive Gore-Tex Pro shells is in the waist pocket and armpit vent zippers, which aren't waterproof. Instead, there's a fabric flap to keep water out.
The Patagonia Triolet weighs in at 19.8 ounces (560 grams), which is very heavy for a modern hardshell jacket. This is likely due to the thick, 75-denier fibers used in the external face fabric. The inner lining fabric of the three-layer shell laminate is also thicker than that of Gore-Tex Pro jackets, which adds some weight.
In our lengthy experience with this jacket, the thick face fabric helps the garment last a very long time. It easily fends off sharp objects like sticks and branches, and can take a beating where thinner hardshells would puncture. If you're seeking an all-around hardshell jacket for casual use, resort skiing, and some mountaineering and ski touring, the weight of this jacket isn't a problem. But if you are a technical climber or hardcore backcountry ski enthusiast, you can find significant weight savings with other options.
Mobility and Fit
The Triolet has a wide and boxy fit, which feels loose and straight-cut. There is plenty of extra material, which makes it easy to layer underneath for cold days at the ski resort. That said, the fit is generic and unrefined compared to other high-end jackets on the market.
Still, this jacket's fit isn't horrible. A more articulated fit will cost you a lot more. This jacket is an incredible value, and has plenty of mobility for most users. We noticed, though, that our gloved hands tend to pop out of the sleeve cuffs when we reach our hands far above our heads, like while ice climbing.
Venting and Breathability
The Patagonia Triolet's thick face fabric and inner lining keep it from being as breathable as most Gore-Tex Pro jackets. On aerobic tours in warm winter weather, we sweat quickly in this piece and usually take it off in light snowfall while moving, rather than building up moisture inside the jacket.
The underarm vents help dump heat and moisture from the interior environment, and they are 16 inches (40 centimeters) long, which is plenty. The zipper pulls can be tough to pull, since there is a flap of fabric over the zipper to block water. We sometimes have trouble pulling the vent zippers with one hand and often need a friend to help us zip or unzip all the way.
Features and Design
The Triolet has four external pockets, two on the chest and two handwarmer pockets. The handwarmer pockets are placed low enough that a climbing harness will cover them, but the two chest pockets are still accessible while wearing a harness. There is also one internal mesh stash pocket, which is useful for storing skins or other backcountry accessories.
The hood is helmet-compatible, with three drawcords to lock it down during winter storms. The sleeves have hook-and-loop straps to seal the wrist cuffs over hands or gloves, and there is one drawcord on each side of the hem. Other than these standard features, the Triolet is minimalist.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Triolet?
We have used this jacket for years and can attest to its value. With as much weather resistance and durability as the top hardshells, and just a bit less refinement, the Triolet presents a great deal for anyone who needs a strong, durable Gore-Tex shell but who is also shopping on a budget. It is also highly versatile, useful for activities from the ski resort to the city to the deep wilderness.
What Other Hardshell Jackets Should You Consider?
If you have more money to spend, you can get a better jacket, but you'll mostly be paying for a better fit and slightly more refined features. The Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light is our favorite all-around hardshell, and it features a lighter fabric, a more tailored fit, and better breathability. The Mammut Nordwand Advanced is our recommendation for anyone venturing into the harshest weather with a lightweight kit. The Mountain Equipment Lhotse is the best climbing-specific hardshell, and the Norrona Falketind Gore-Tex is our choice for a protective hardshell in the three warmer seasons.
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