Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pant Review
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Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Pant
|Price||$129.00 at Backcountry|
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Check Price at REI
$130.00 at REI
|$38.49 at Backcountry|
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$59.96 at Backcountry
|Pros||Great storm protection, versatile, durable, long-lasting DWR, comfortable waistbelt, feels less clammy than most similarly priced models||Lightweight, stormworthy, quiet fabric, good breathability, 3/4 length side zips, effective elastic cuffs||Ultralight, super compact, good mobility, extremely comfortable elastic waistband, stows nicely in a reversible pocket||Best inexpensive pant, above average durability, excellent storm-worthiness||Fantastic price, very light, impressively small compact volume, solid storm protection, respectable breathability|
|Cons||Side zips are only half-length, slightly baggy fit||No zip fly, one marginally useful pocket||Lower durability, feels clammy, hard to pull on over most boots||No pockets, low breathability and ventilation, not easy to put on without removing footwear||Not as breathable as other models, not as durable or as long-lasting, no ventilation options|
|Bottom Line||Fantastic versatility, performance, and price make this a piece of storm protection that nearly any outdoor enthusiast can appreciate||Highly protective pants that are light and compact for tucking away in your backpack||Hard to beat for any trip where weight and packed space are at a premium||A killer pant for the price, offering better than expected feel and weather resistance||A simple, lightweight, and compact rain pant that excels at a range of outdoor activies at a price that's tough to beat|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Outdoor Research Fo...||Outdoor Research He...||Columbia Rebel Roamer||Marmot PreCip Eco Pant|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Breathability and Venting (20%)|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Outdoor Research Fo...||Outdoor Research He...||Columbia Rebel Roamer||Marmot PreCip Eco Pant|
|Measured Weight||12 oz||10.2 oz||6.5 oz||12.5 oz||8.5 oz|
|Waterproof Fabric Material||3L H2No Performance Standard Shell with PFC-free DWR finish||2L Gore-Tex with PacLite Technology||2.5L Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse||Omni-Tech Waterproof/Breathable||NanoPro Eco|
|Face Fabric and Layer Construction||100% recycled nylon ripstop||100% polyester 50D||30D 100% nylon ripstop||70D 100% nylon||100% recycled nylon ripstop|
|Side Zips Length||1/2 length||3/4 length||1/4 length ankle zips||None||1/4 length|
|Put On Over Hiking or Mountaineering Boots||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Stows Into Pocket||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Waistband Closure||Elastic + shock cord||Elastic + shock cord||Elastic with drawcord||Elastic + shock cord||Elastic + shock cord|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Patagonia's Torrentshell line has been in production for quite some time. We have tested different incarnations of these products over the years, starting with 2L and then 2.5L fabrics, but the Torrentshell has been upgraded to 3L in the past few years, which we find is more durable, less clammy feeling, and significantly improves overall weather resistance with almost no weight or packed volume penalty. This, coupled with its no-frills but function-focused design, help the Torrentshell 3L to be one of the most versatile rain pants we tested.
If there is one thing this contender can provide, it's bombproof storm protection. The Torrenshell 3L uses Patagonia's tried-and-true proprietary H2No waterproof membrane sandwiched inside an external, thicker-than-average 50D face fabric and an internal tricot liner which felt notably less clammy than almost all the 2.5-layer models we tested.
There is no fly, and because its side zips are only 1/2-length there is a pretty minimal amount of places that water can leak in. We found the H2No fabric to hold up well and the DWR on the exterior of this fabric to hold up above average.
These pants performed well in real-world uses on a backpacking and mountaineering trip in Washington's North Cascade National Park and in our side-by-side shower and garden hose tests, proving it was built with storm protection in mind. If we knew we had a wet week of backpacking in front of us or expected to hang out for hours on the sidelines of the kid's rainy soccer game, this contender would unquestionably be a front runner in our selection.
Comfort and Mobility
This model features no front fly and 1/2-length side zips. This helps creates a smooth, clean waistband without buttons or velcro flaps to pinch or feel bunchy. Regarding comfort, the waistband is generally the make-or-break part of a rain pant, but these knock it out of the park here.
Our testers loved the Torrentshell's low-profile elastic waistband with a thin internal drawcord that adjusts and secures with a knot. This waistband proved comfortable enough to be worn all day or under a pack's waist-belt with no issues. While we wouldn't mind something a little easier to secure the internal drawcord, its flat design held the knot well. The internal fabric was among the least clammy feeling of any model we tested.
This model features average mobility and freedom of movement. Its fabric isn't stretchy, nor does it have any special articulation. Its loose, baggy fit helps in layering over shorts or hiking pants without feeling too cumbersome. You may need to try these on or order a size down from your usual Patagonia sizing.
Breathability & Venting
In our treadmill and hiking tests, the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L scored pretty average in breathability overall, but it's less clammy than other similar rain gear. While only average in breathability, we would note that it breathed better than the majority of its most direct and similarly priced competition.
This model's zippers are two-way, allowing the user to vent moisture and dump heat from the top while still being able to keep most of the water out. Besides offering good ventilation, these zips also facilitate easy on and off without removing footwear. The half-length zipper comes up just past the knee, enough to allow the pant to be pulled over all the hiking boots we tested and most mountaineering boots.
This model tips the scale at just a hair under 12 ounces. Not bad, but pretty average among products we tested which certainly leaned on the lighter end of the spectrum. For their average weight, they're much more durable than some of the lighter options. While you can buy lighter rain pants, these are generally more versatile than the significantly lighter options yet are still light enough for more extended backpacking or mountaineering trips — or to carry as a just-in-case layer on an afternoon hike.
The Torrentshell stows away fairly easily into a reversible pocket on its left side. They also have a clip-in point which could be nice for climbers or anyone else who might want to clip their pants to something. These pants offered a pretty average compressed volume and were a similar packed size to most other products in their price range.
This model is pretty no-frills. It only has two hand-warmer style pockets on the front of the pant and no rear pocket. The bottom cuffs are partially elastic and sport two snap closures to accommodate different boot sizes. We like that there isn't even a fly as it generally makes this model more comfortable and more weather resistant.
The 3 layer fabric on these pants increases their durability over previous versions. Like all rain gear, we still recommend handling them with care and avoiding situations like bushwhacking through thorns or backcountry skiing through the trees with branches they could get snagged on.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L?
In its price range, no model could match its level of storm worthiness. This was one of the most affordable pants we tested to use a 3-layer construction, which is more durable and will help its internal waterproof membrane to last longer. While not offering quite the level of performance of several more expensive models that utilize Gore-Tex, the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L is a fraction of the costs of those pants and offers nearly as good overall performance.
What Other Rain Pants Should You Consider?
If you're an occasional rain pant user who doesn't have (or want to shell out) the funds for the Torrentshell, we also wholeheartedly endorse the Columbia Rebel Roamer, which are super affordable, durable, and fairly lightweight. Our favorite overall pant is the Outdoor Research Foray, a protective and supremely comfortable Gore-Tex pant that excels across our metrics.
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