The Patagonia Triolet is a very durable and weatherproof shell jacket. It is, however, heavy, thick, and stiff, so it was not our favorite for most mountain sports. It is a decent jacket for skiing at the ski resort, as it has many pockets and an elastic loop to keep the jacket from riding up. Otherwise, it was not well suited to climbing and suffered from very short arm lengths.
The Triolet jacket is now available in a new selection of colors. In addition, the jacket is now made of 100% recycled polyester. These small changes do not alter the price.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Triolet hardshell jacket is not the company's best performance, but if it fits your dimensions and uses, we're sure you'll be happy with its durability, soft feel, and reliable storm protection.
The Triolet offers excellent storm protection—if it fits you. Most of our reviewers found the arms to be way too short, riding up and exposing their wrists any time we lifted our arms above our waist. As much as we love Patagonia, this was a pretty major bummer. That said, we didn't penalize the jacket too severely because if they fit you, you'll be psyched on the 3-layer, 75 denier 100% polyester plain-weave GORE-TEX with DWR finish. It is seriously burly, second only to the Arc'teryx Alpha SV in durability, in this review.
This jacket features one of the longer torso lengths in this review, which helps secure it comfortably under a harness and seal out drafts. The two adjustment points on the bottom hem and the three on the hood ensure an excellent seal against the elements. If you're looking for a burly jacket with a very different feel, you might like the ultralight Arc'teryx Beta SL, which is slightly behind the Triolet in this category but surpasses it in many other metrics.
This jacket feels cumbersome. It features supple enough fabric to still achieve a 6 out of 10, or above average score, but we weren't overly impressed by this jacket's mobility. First, there's the short arm length, so the cuffs ride up when backcountry skiing or hiking—any time you're swinging poles.
But we thought the combination of pit zips, hand pockets, chest pockets, and an internal drop-in pocket created a lot of resistance to fluid movement—and we just really don't need that many pockets. These features disrupt the soft texture of the fabric, making the jacket feel more stiff and clunky overall. There are several contender in this review which are a notch above the Triolet in this metric. The most similar in feel and all around performance would be the Arc'teryx Beta AR. But if mobility is crucial for you, you might like the soft hand of the OR Clairvoyant—it nearly feels like a sweatshirt with all the benefits of a burly hardshell.
The 3-layer, 75 denier 100% polyester plain-weave GORE-TEX with a DWR finish is burly but still breathable. This is a thicker hardshell, among the thickest in this review, and it wasn't one we liked for high-level aerobic pursuits, but the pit zips will help you out of a sweaty mess in a pinch. Several models in this review breathe much better, employing the use of highly breathable fabric in addition to well-designed pit zips. We really appreciated the breathability of the Norrona Trollveggen, our overall winner. But we were also impressed by the REI Stormrealm in this category with its highly breathable eVent fabric.
This was the jacket's weakest category. At 12 ounces, it's among the heavier jackets—not the heaviest, but due to redundant features (like too many pockets), we were frustrated by the unnecessary weight. There are many jackets in this review that are lighter than the Triolet, but if you're looking for the lightest, check out the Arc'teryx Beta SL or the OR Clairvoyant.
The Triolet has too many features to excel in this category. This is not a simple equation where more feature equals more points. Instead, we consider the thoughtfulness and usefulness of each feature and the big picture of how they work together. The main penalty comes from an excess of pockets, which is surprising coming from us—we love pockets. Just not too many.
This jacket has a keeper strap inside, in the back, which is compatible with some of Patagonia's winter pants. This is an excellent feature for those with compatible pants, as it helps keep the jacket from riding up. We did not find it to be useful for much of the time, however. Our favorite jacket for its minimalist approach to features was the Arc'teryx Beta SL. If you want a few more features, but still a relatively simple jacket, check out the Norrona Trollveggen. And if you're really psyched on all of the features, and don't mind paying for it, you'll love the Arc'teryx Alpha SV.
This is a very tough hardshell with burly 75 denier fabric. This makes a great jacket for hard use. Durability was a strong metric for the Triolet. However, for even more burly ruggedness, we can recommend the Arc'teryx Alpha SV as well as the all arounder, the Arc'teryx Beta AR.
This jacket was minimally versatile. It is heavy, thick, and overly-featured for most of our preferred activities. It makes a great jacket for the ski area, which can cross over to backcountry use in a pinch. But it wouldn't be our top pick for most backcountry adventures, and certainly not any sports which require lifting your arms above your head, like ice climbing, as the arms are way too short. The main problems for the Triolet in the Versatility category stemmed from its weight and fit. For our most versatile models, we recommend any of our award winners, especially the Norrona Trollveggen and the Arc'teryx Beta AR.
The Triolet is a great jacket for inbounds skiing and riding, which can be used on some backcountry adventures but will likely feel a bit heavy for general mountaineering use.
Patagonia makes great apparel and sets a high bar for environmental ethics. This jacket, however, is a bit expensive for the limited range of activities it suits.
The Patagonia Triolet is not the company's highest achievement. It is well made and has excellent quality fabrics, but the features are overdone and the shape and fit make it awkward for all mountain use.
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