Patagonia revamped these pants for 2020. Check out the details to follow.February 2020
Patagonia Torrentshell Pant Review
Compare to Similar Products
Patagonia Torrentshell Pant
|Price||$83.30 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$79.95 at Backcountry
$59.95 at REI
|$38.49 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Light, with enough weather protection for most||By far the lightest and most compact pant in our review, great mobility, elastic waist band is extremely comfortable and functional||Compact, light, affordable||Inexpensive, lightweight, excellent packed size, reasonably weather-resistant, baggy cut makes it easy to wear over other layers, low profile waistband doesn't pinch under a backpack||Best pant among $50 and under options, above average durability, excellent storm worthiness|
|Cons||Limited durability, zippers that leak a little in extended use||Less durable than most, hard to pull on over boots||Thin fabric prone to tearing, limited breathability||Not especially breathable, clammy with moderate aerobic activity, no front hand pockets, below average articulation||No pockets, breathability, ventilation, not easy to put on without removing footwear|
|Bottom Line||“Normal” rain pants for occasional and light-duty use||Hard to beat for any trip where weight and packed space are at a premium - as long as there isn't too much off-trail travel, where their lower than average durability could be an issue||Budget, lightweight pants totally suitable for occasional use||Perfect for those who want to bring a pair of rain pants but aren't likely to use them very often||A killer pant for the price, offering better than expected feel and weather resistance, but does not offer much in the way of features|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Pant||REI Co-op Essential||Columbia Rebel Roamer|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (18%)|
|Breathability and Venting (18%)|
|Packed Size (12%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Pant||REI Co-op Essential||Columbia Rebel Roamer|
|Measured Weight||9.5 oz / 271g||6.5 oz / 184g||8 oz / 225g||9.5 oz / 271g||12.5 oz / 354g|
|Waterproof Fabric Material||H2No Perfomance Standard||2.5 Layer Pertex Shield+||Nano Pro||2.5-layer REI Proprietary waterproof breathable fabric||Omni-Tech Waterproof/Breathable|
|Face Fabric and Layer Construction||2.7-oz 50-denier 100% recycled nylon ripstop||30D 100 Nylon Ripstop w/ Pertex Shield+ Waterproof Breathable Insert||NanoPro100% Nylon Ripstop 2.2 oz/ yd||40-denier nylon ripstop||70D 100% Nylon|
|Pockets||2 pockets||1 pocket||3 pockets||1 pocket||None|
|Side Zips Length||3/4 length side zips||1/4 Length Ankle Zips||1/4 Length||1/4 Length Ankle Zips||None|
|Put on Over Hiking or Mountaineering Boots||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Inseam Length, Size Medium||32 in||31 in||32 in||31.5 inches||30 or 32 in|
|Stows Into Pocket||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Waist band Style||Elastic + shock cord||Elastic + Shock Cord||Elastic + shock cord||Elastic + Shock Cord||Elastic + Shock Cord|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Torrentshell 3L Pant vs. Older Model
Since our last test period, Patagonia remodeled these pants. Instead of the previous 2.5 layer construction, these are constructed with a full 3 layers, using recycled nylon. The first photo depicts the updated pant, the second photo is the model we tested.
We've purchased the updated pant for testing, but until we release our findings, the review to follow is our account of last year's Torrentshell Pant.
Hands-On Review of the Previous Torrentshell Pant
The Torrentshell Pants from Patagonia are simple, lightweight, waterproof shell pants for short-term and occasional use. They are very similar to many products on the market, in a number of ways. The attribute that best differentiates them is the environmentally friendly materials, construction, and business model behind them. For many, this alone will be worth the modest price of admission, especially when the product works just fine in a category that doesn't demand maximum performance.
In total, these are nothing super special. They aren't the lightest, aren't the most durable, aren't the most comfortable, and aren't the most weatherproof. However, they aren't the most expensive either, and Patagonia backs them up with their renowned warranty and environmental consciousness.
Rain pants, for most users, need to keep out periodic short showers and occasional lengthier deluges. In this context and these uses, the Torrentshell pants will hang in there. The lining is a little vulnerable to long term wear, and the zippers aren't as water-tight as some. Again, for short term and occasional use, the Torrentshell will keep out the weather.
Comfort and Mobility
Patagonia's athletic cut leaves room for motion. Some testers wish the pants were less baggy. When wet, the thin fabric and clingy lining stick to inner layers and bind up a little bit. The drawstring waist holds the pants up and stays low-profile beneath even heavy backpack waist belts.
Breathability and Venting
There are two clear strata (with one exception) in the realm of waterproof fabric breathability. At the top of the heap is the externally branded, licensed coatings and laminates. Gore-Tex and EVent definitely breathe better than the proprietary coatings and laminates. Patagonia, in the Torrentshell Pants, uses their own branded "H2No" fabric. The most significant difference between it and one of the licensed fabrics is the breathability.
Ventilation is separate from breathability. To us, breathability is the transmission of water vapor through the fabric itself. Ventilation is the ability to open zippers or other closures for full air exchange. The ventilation option on the Torrentshell is the 3/4 length side zips. They open from both top and bottom and can pretty effectively shed air. The catch is that open vents on your rain pants will definitely allow rain in just as effectively as they let air move around. This is the case with any rain and shell pants. The 3/4 side zips of the Torrentshell are similar to those on the Outdoor Research Foray and on the Arc'teryx Beta AR.
A couple pockets are all we can comment on, in terms of features, for the Torrentshell Pants. Two hand-warmer style pockets on rain pants, though, makes for a pretty robust feature set. For the most part, shell pants are very simply constructed. We dig the dual pockets on the Torrentshell, which even our Editors' Choice winner is lacking.
The Torrentshell Pants pack to about the size of a 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew; this is typical for pants in this price and protection category. The Top Pick Outdoor Research Helium Pants pack even smaller, while the Arc'teryx Beta AR shove down to a size that is almost three times the bulk of the Torrentshell.
The size medium Torrentshell Pants we tested weigh 9.5 oz. A few pairs are lighter, and lots are heavier. A close competitor, in a variety of ways, is the Marmot PreCip Pant. The non-full-zip version of the PreCip is about an ounce lighter than the Torrentshell. The Top Pick Outdoor Research Helium is much lighter at 6.5oz.
The thin fabric of these and the "2.5 layer" construction won't be the most long-lasting choice. You don't select these for durability. We have seen other products made with Patagonia's "2.5 layer H2No" fabric lose all waterproofing after a few seasons of use. We haven't yet tested the Torrentshell Pants long enough to ascertain maximum durability, but our experience with similar products suggests some durability limitations. This shouldn't be a huge deal-breaker, as most just won't use their lightweight rain pants often enough to wear them out prematurely.
These are the pants you tuck in the bottom of your ice climbing pack as extra warmth or that you carry the length of the Appalachian Trail to use just a handful of times. They are light and unobtrusive (though not as light and compact as others) with just the right amount of protection when you need it.
Patagonia backs up the Torrentshell Pants with a guarantee and assurances of environmental sensitivity. If these things matter to you, the value of the Patagonia product may exceed that of the Best Buy award winner.
We don't have much to say about the Patagonia Torrentshell Pants. This is a good thing. They'll work when you need them to and stow away largely unnoticed when you don't.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More