January, 2016: The Rain Shadow is Discontinued
The Patagonia Rain Shadow is an attractive option for someone who needs a rain shell that looks good, is relatively lightweight, and isn't overrun with extraneous features. It is on the expensive side, so we would generally recommend the Patagonia Torrentshell over the Rain Shadow. It is slightly heavier but almost the same jacket for $60 less. Or go really cheap and get the Marmot PreCip, our Best Buy winner which is $80 less.
The Rain Shadow is Patagonia's slightly more high-tech, lightweight offering in the shell category (their less expensive jacket is the Patagonia Torrentshell). The Rain Shadow is the most attractive jacket that we tested and we loved the fit and cut of the coat. It is also fairly comfortable and layered well over other clothing.