Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka Review

A unique product in a crowded field, the Tres stands out for great construction and modular versatility.
Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka
By: Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 14, 2016
Price:  $549 List  |  $549.00 at REI
Pros:  Three jackets in one.
Cons:  Relatively confining fit in combined mode for the amount of warmth it provides.
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 9
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Style - 20% 8
  • Features - 10% 8
  • Durability - 5% 7
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Our Verdict

The Tres 3-in-1 Parka is an all-purpose winter jacket that can be disassembled to provide a down sweater and separate shell jacket. Or it is a comfortable cozy down sweater and a well-made rain jacket that can be combined for cold and nasty weather. No matter how you look at it, the Tres is unique and useful. Other jackets are warmer and other jackets are more comfortable, but the Tres fills a niche for many users.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Tres is the only 3-in-1 parka we tested in this review. We have tested this style in our Mens Ski Jacket Review for years now, but this is the first time we have included one in our all-around Winter Jacket review. We like it. The utility is nice, but it comes with some inherent tradeoffs. Read on as we compare the Tres to the rest of this strong field.

Performance Comparison


The Tres in action at Grand Targhee  Wyoming.
The Tres in action at Grand Targhee, Wyoming.

Warmth


With down insulation and more-than-average layers of fabric, the Tres delivers a warm score in a svelte-looking package. The insulation is entirely concentrated in the inner, hoodless "down sweater." However, additional warmth is provided by the air space between sweater and shell, as well as the multiple layers of fabric in the shell piece. The sum is roughly similar to the warmth of Top Pick Arc Teryx Fission SV and former Best Buy winner The North Face Gotham III Parka. The top of the heap Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun and Best Buy Marmot Fordham are both a little warmer. The main drawback in terms of warmth of the "three-in-one" design is that the hood ends up uninsulated. On the Tres, this is noticeable. The hood protects against wind and rain but lets the warmth slowly seep out.

Weather Resistance


The shell of the Tres is made of Patagonia's proprietary, waterproof/breathable laminated fabric they call H2No. The seams are all sealed and the zippers are waterproof. Only the Arc'teryx jackets, the Camosun and Arc'teryx Fission SV offer similar protection. For shelter from the gnarliest wind and precipitation, the Tres is immaculately equipped. The hood design complements the fabric with protective and sealing function.

The two parts of the Tres can be worn separately. Here  the shell is worn on its own. Notice the free-hanging drape of the loose shell.
The two parts of the Tres can be worn separately. Here, the shell is worn on its own. Notice the free-hanging drape of the loose shell.

Comfort


The inner part on its own is as comfortable as any jacket reviewed. It is essentially a down sweater hanging lightly and warmly on your frame. The shell of the Tres on its own is similarly loose and free, but made of stiffer materials. The catch, comfort wise, when choosing a three-in-one style jacket, is that all the extra layers of fabric and zippers make for a more confining construction. For the warmth and protection provided by the Tres, other jackets are far more comfortable.

Notably, the Mountain Hardwear Therminator is quite a bit warmer and bulkier, but actually feels lighter. Similarly, The North Face McMurdo is way warmer and feels similarly confining to the doubled up Tres. For this level of warmth and protection, the Arc'Teryx Fission SV is far more comfortable than the combined version of the Tres. Separate the layers, however, and you return to a comfy jacket providing freedom of motion.
The down sweater "liner" of the Tres worn on its own is light  airy  and warm.
The down sweater "liner" of the Tres worn on its own is light, airy, and warm.

Features


The three-in-one status of the Patagonia Tres is its most notable feature. The option to use just the shell, just the inner layer, or both together is a huge benefit. Beyond that the hood is effective, the pocket set is useful, and the various hem and cuff seals are solid. Aside from the three-in-one attribute, the Mountain Hardwear Therminator offers a similar feature set as the Tres. The other highly weather protecting jackets in our review, like the Arc'Teryx Fission SV, do not offer as many features as the Tres.
Like the best long coats in our review  the Tres unzips from the bottom up for range of motion.
Like the best long coats in our review, the Tres unzips from the bottom up for range of motion.

Style


This is decidedly an urban coat. The lines are clean and the hardwear is metal. The cut is long and generous, sometimes confining motion but always looking great. We mentioned that there are drawbacks to the three-in-one style jacket, and style is one of them. When you separate the layers and wear just the outside, the shell hangs loosely and looks too big. In order to size the coat for comfortable "unified" wear, this baggy shell fit is inevitable.

The smooth style is most similar to that in the Editors' Choice Camosun. In some ways, the smooth style of these two will also appeal to those that dig the old school look of the Fjallraven Greenland or the Patagonia Isthmus.

Durability


In assessing durability we look for tight seams, heavy fabrics, and long-lasting insulation. The down used in the Tres' inner jacket will last a lifetime. The shell is constructed of beefy fabrics and sewn together with careful Patagonia craftsmanship. We have no reservations about the durability of the Tres 3-in-1 Parka. We anticipate the Tres to be similar in durability to the Camosun or Marmot Fordham.

Best Applications


This is a great, year-round jacket for the undecided, space-conscious user. Wear just the inner on crisp fall and spring days. Wear just the shell when its raining but not yet freezing. Pair the two for nasty weather in all but the coldest of climates.
For cabin life  a warm jacket system is clutch. The Patagonia Tres can provide that system  all in one.
For cabin life, a warm jacket system is clutch. The Patagonia Tres can provide that system, all in one.

Value


Just like the name says, with three jackets in one the value quotient of the Tres is worth noting. Those that live in areas with four true seasons will find a use for all three versions of the Tres. For them, this is worth the relatively high cost of admission.

Conclusion


As a truly unique piece in this high-end field, it is easy for the Tres to stand out. Beyond the unique design, the Tres is lauded for excellent construction.
The Patagonia Tres is a casual coat  with technical features. Notably  borrowing from their ski and alpine climbing jackets  the fully protective  articulating hood is very much appreciated.
The Patagonia Tres is a casual coat, with technical features. Notably, borrowing from their ski and alpine climbing jackets, the fully protective, articulating hood is very much appreciated.

Jediah Porter

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