Patagonia Torrentshell 3L - Women's Review
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Patagonia Torrentshell 3L - Women's
|Price||$179.00 at REI|
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|Pros||Excellent water resistance, good breathability, quality materials, great value||Excellent water resistance, whole size/pit vents, great range of motion||Comfortable, breathable, versatile, not crinkly, soft hand feel||Excellent breathability, great mobility, comfortable||Simple but functional, hood packs away, good value|
|Cons||Stiff crinkly fabric, zippers not sealed||No stow pocket, heavy||Hood doesn't offer great coverage||Zipper catches storm flap, pit zips felt stiff at first, fabric took up water||Small zipper pulls, internal fabric can stick to bare skin|
|Bottom Line||A fantastic rain jacket offering exceptional performance in the wettest conditions and designed to last for the long haul||Built to withstand the elements while on the move, this jacket offers a great balance of water resistance and breathability||An exceptionally breathable and comfortable jacket for active adventures offering a full range of motion while repelling light moisture||This comfortable, breathable jacket has great mobility and is a good fit for those looking to explore in light to moderate precip||A solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Outdoor Research As...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Rab Downpour - Women's||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Water Resistance (30%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Weight and Packability (15%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Torrentsh...||Outdoor Research As...||Mountain Hardwear S...||Rab Downpour - Women's||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Measured Weight||12.2 oz||10.5 oz||9.7 oz||10.6 oz||9.2 oz|
|Number of Fabric Layers||3||2||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Material||100% 50D Nylon||50D Polyester||50D Stretch Ripstop||50D Polyester||100% Ripstop Nylon|
|Pockets||2 hand||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand||2 hand|
|Pit Zip Length||11"||20"||11"||14"||10"|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stows into Pocket||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Of the rain jackets tested in this price range, the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L offers the best water resistance, making it an exceptional choice for those looking to prioritize top-level water resistance on a tighter budget. While it may not have some of the high-end bells and whistles of pricier options, it is a reliable, high-performing workhorse that will keep you dry no matter the conditions and is worth considering for wet-weather adventures. The jacket's H2No 3-layer fabric consists of 50-denier ECONYL 100% recycled nylon ripstop face, a polycarbonate PU membrane with 14.3% biobased content, a tricot backer, and this iteration received a more environmentally friendly PFC-free DWR finish. The fabric is Bluesign approved, and the garment is Fair Trade Certified sewn, making it a great sustainable option.
True to its name, the H2No fabric effectively repels water and prevents moisture from penetrating the jacket. It provides excellent water resistance that can withstand heavy precipitation for an extended period of time. The Torrentshell 3L kept testers dry during our shower test, long hikes in light rain, and torrential downpours. In this category, it kept pace with the top performers, many with a significantly higher price point.
The hood on the Torrentshell offers good coverage, with a large visor to shield the face from rain and dual adjustability that allows for a comfortable custom fit for maximum coverage. However, the zippers are a weak spot as they are not sealed, relying instead on a placket to keep moisture at bay. The center zip has an internal and external storm flap, which effectively keeps rain from seeping through the zipper. The storm flaps on the pockets provided adequate coverage in most situations — of the jackets with plackets on the pockets, those on the Torrentshell tested on the more water-resistant end compared to other non-sealed zippers. If water got under the placket, then it would soak through, but this only happened if water was left to pool in these areas or the flaps were not properly closed. Overall, we were quite impressed with this jacket's ability to keep the wearer dry in wet, windy conditions, and we think it is a great choice for those looking for a rain jacket for wet weather in the midrange price bracket.
The Torrentshell 3L efficiently vents internal moisture and heat from sweat while keeping external precipitation out. During both in-the-field tests and isolated lab tests, the 3-layer construction proved to be one of the more breathable options among the stiffer, more robust fabrics we tested — even with the vents up. With vents closed, the jacket can be a little warm, causing slight sweating, but it's not uncomfortable.
Once opened, the 11-inch vents quickly expel heat and regulate internal temperature while hiking, snowboarding, and biking. For a hardshell-style jacket, this garment is surprisingly breathable. While it is not quite as breathable as some of the thinner jackets, we were happy with the level of water resistance and breathability, making it a good option for those living in wetter climates who often get outside for active endeavors in the rain.
Comfort and Mobility
The fit of the Torrentshell 3L manages to be simultaneously flattering while also leaving plenty of room to move. The shoulders are on the roomier side, allowing a full range of motion. The hood has dual adjustments, adjusting from the back as well as from the sides. The side adjustments have an internal release button that can be a bit fiddly. The back adjustment drawcord and toggle also have a loop-and-hook on the back to allow the wearer to roll the hood up and stash it to make a collar. We like this versatility.
The Torrentshell fabric is on the stiffer, more crinkly side, which some testers were not a fan of, and is worth considering depending on your clothing preferences. The biggest spot this was an issue was at the neck — it's on the slightly taller side and hits at the chin, feeling a little stiff and scratchy. The opening for the face is on the smaller side, which offers good coverage, but we found that if the jacket was already zipped up and you want to put the hood up, you must unzip it a bit, put the hood up, and then re-zip it. While this was a little annoying, it does offer great hood coverage.
Weight and Packability
Weighing in at 12.2 ounces, the Torrentshell 3L is on the heavier side of the rain jackets we tested, which is worth considering if gram-shaving is frequently important for you.
This rain jacket stows into one of its hand pockets, which has a double-sided zipper. On the last version of this jacket, we found it was hard to pack into its own pocket, but Patagonia increased the pocket width by 1 inch, making it much easier to pack into its own pocket quickly. Still, once stowed, the package is on the larger side. It does have a loop in the pocket that can be clipped to a carabiner, which we found handy.
The Torrentshell 3L is constructed of quality components, all of which held up well throughout testing. The 50-denier ripstop fabric is tough and rugged and is abrasion resistant. Construction is solid and showed no signs of weakness during our testing period or beyond.
The only questionable component of this jacket is the front hood adjustment. The elastic cord goes around the front, with internal lock buttons on either side of the face. These buttons are about 5 ½ inches up from the end of the cord, where you pull to tighten. Since the cord is elastic, this means you have to pull with some force before it starts to actually tighten between the buttons. It held up fine through testing but is an unusual design, and the elastic could get stretched out over time because of this.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L?
The Torrentshell 3L may not have some of the highest-end features of the more expensive jackets. Still, all components are quality, and it also comes with a reasonable price tag that we think is worth the excellent water resistance and rain protection it offers. It is slightly on the stiffer, more crinkly side, which is worth considering for those who like a softer hand feel. It is also on the slightly bulkier side. All in all, this jacket is a good investment for those looking for top-notch water resistance at a mid-range price point that will keep them dry and comfortable for the long haul.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
While we love what the Torrentshell offers, especially for the price, if you feel you need better breathability and movement, check out the impressive Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic. If weight is your main priority, the Outdoor Research Helium is almost mind-bogglingly light. And if you need to save even more bucks, the best deal we've found is the Marmot PreCip Eco.
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