Haglofs Torsang Parka Review
Cons: Limited warmth, expensive, tight upper back, clumsy style
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Torsang Parka from Haglofs is a fully waterproof shell, insulated by a combination of pile and synthetic puff fill. The fit is trim, and the construction is well executed. The materials are well-chosen for their texture and protective nature. Overall, though, we wish it were more tailored both in fit and in form. Its overall cut is "tubular," and the jacket is strangely tight across the most even the most subtly athletic backs.
As winter jackets go, the Torsang isn't anything special. It is perhaps better thought of as an insulated rain jacket for around town. If we were testing it for that use, it would likely fare better in our scores.
The insulation value of the synthetic fill and fleece liner is minimal but useful. In wet and cool climates, this jacket protects well. It is fully shelled and synthetically insulated, with a smooth and simple in outward appearance. Much of the USA hovers around the freezing point all winter long. At this temperature, precipitation is wet, and the air is raw. With a light sweater beneath, the Torsang's insulation is just right for these conditions. All that said, we tested many jackets warmer than this one.
The Torsang excels at weather resistance. Taped seams and waterproof gasket zippers complement the waterproof/breathable fabric. The result is solid protection that's right in line with the best sort of waterproof gear.
The one chink in the jacket's protective armor is its hood. After years of reviewing sports-specific clothing alongside everyday wear, we've come to appreciate hoods that fit over helmets. Even when you're not wearing a helmet, these bigger hoods offer greater protection. You can make a big hood smaller with clever cordage, but you can't make a small hood bigger.
The Torsang has two comfort stories. First, the good news: The jacket's fabric and textile selection is spot on. There are many types of fabrics employed, and things are stretchy, soft, smooth, and quiet in all the right places.
On the other hand, the Torsang's fit is a bit clumsy. Our size medium, average build lead tester found the upper back section of the Torsang quite confining. It's as if there is a tight band connecting his armpits across the back. The sleeves are plenty long, and the waist fits as it should, but this major tailoring issue is quite distracting. Other testers experienced a similar proportion issue.
Dual-layered cuffs, high and low handwarmer pockets, and one interior pocket round out a simple feature set. The cuffs feature velcro outer closures with stretchy, soft, lycra-like inner cuffs. The upper handwarmer pockets are lined with fleece, but otherwise uninsulated.
The lower set of handwarmer pockets is lined with really soft nylon and insulated on both sides. The extra insulation is a special treat. It means that your hands are well-protected and that you can leave the pocket unzipped without exposing your digits to a draft. Constructing handwarmer pockets this way is more expensive, but worth the effort. A few other jackets use this tactic, notably, Editors' Choice' Arc'teryx Camosun.
The sleek construction should be quite stylish. However, the cut is decidedly rough. One tester described the look as "like a tube." For a town jacket like this, with these sleek materials, better tailoring should be easy.
The fleece liner and waterproof outer layer should perform well for a long time. The synthetic puff insulation, however, will degrade with time. For a jacket like this, the most durable insulation is down. Fleece also holds up, but isn't warm enough for a dedicated winter jacket. Taking care of the shell fabric by washing it gently and tumble drying on medium to high will keep the exterior waterproof.
This jacket is expensive. The materials are good and the wet weather function is excellent, but there are similarly priced jackets that protect as well, are warmer, and have down insulation that will last longer. We can't call this an excellent value.
As a wet weather winter jacket, this piece is in rare company. The jackets that we have tested in this subcategory are closely matched in many ways. The unifying factor is excellent water and wind repellency. Some are warmer than others. The Torsang comes out on the less insulated end of this spectrum. If you mind the fashion and fit warnings, this is a jacket worth considering.
— Jediah Porter
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