Patagonia Torrentshell - Women's Review
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Patagonia Torrentshell - Women's
$89.93 at REI
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|Pros||Waterproof fabric, protective storm flaps, stowable||Comfortable, breathable, versatile, not crinkly, soft hand feel||Excellent breathability, great mobility, comfortable||Exceptionally packable, lightweight, breathable, good mobility||Simple but functional, hood packs away, good value|
|Cons||Crinkly and stiff, zippers not waterproof||Hood doesn't offer great coverage||Zipper catches storm flap, pit zips felt stiff at first, fabric took up water||No vents, no hand pockets||Small zipper pulls, internal fabric can stick to bare skin|
|Bottom Line||A solid rain jacket offering excellent water resistance that will hold up through many rainy adventures||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 great emergency layer that is feather-light, compresses into a tiny stow pocket and punches above its weight for breathability and water resistance||A solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Torrentshell||Mountain Hardwear S...||Rab Downpour - Women's||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Weight and Packability (15%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Torrentshell||Mountain Hardwear S...||Rab Downpour - Women's||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Measured Weight||12.2 oz||9.7 oz||10.6 oz||5.6 oz||9.2 oz|
|Number of Fabric Layers||3||2.5||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Material||100% Ripstop Nylon||50D Stretch Ripstop||50D Polyester||30D Ripstop Nylon||100% Ripstop Nylon|
|Pockets||2 hand||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand||1 chest||2 hand|
|Pit Zip Length (in)||11||11||14||N/A||10|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stows into Pocket||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Torrentshell offers outstanding water resistance and decent breathability at a reasonable price. Thought stiffer and bulkier than many of the new-school soft and stretchy fabrics, the Torrentshell offers some of the best water resistance and performance at its price point. The H2No 3-layer fabric is made of 50-denier recycled nylon ripstop, a polycarbonate PU membrane with 13% biobased content, and a tricot backer. It also has a DWR finish that's exceptionally great at repelling water, and vents internal moisture adequately. Patagonia is known for leading the industry with their recycled fabrics and ethical practices, and this jacket is Fair Trade Certified sewn with bluesign-approved fabric.
The H2No fabric does exactly what the name implies, saying no to moisture, letting it roll right off. Its superior water resistance holds up to heavy precipitation for an extended length of time. The water resistance of the fabric rivals many jackets at much higher price points. From our shower test to long, drizzly hikes to torrential downpours, the Torrentshell kept testers dry.
The hood offers decent coverage, with a good-sized visor to keep the rain off the face, and dual adjustability, cinching down around the face and tightening from the back, allowing you to customize the fit to your head. The weak spot in this jacket was the zippers. The zippers used are not waterproof, instead relying on storm flaps. The storm flaps offer good coverage, and of the non-sealed pocket zippers tested, these were some of the more water-resistant. The center zip has an internal and external storm flap, which did an excellent job of keeping rain from soaking through the zipper.
The 3-layer construction efficiently vents internal moisture and heat from sweat while keeping external precipitation out. Of the stiffer, more robust fabrics tested, this was one of the more breathable options, even with vents up. We were impressed with the breathability capabilities of the Torrentshell's fabric in field tests.
The 11-inch vents quickly dumped excess heat when opened, helping to regulate internal temperatures while hiking, snowboarding, and biking. For a hardshell-style jacket, this garment is surprisingly breathable. The vents have two zippers, allowing you to adjust and dial in ventilation exactly where you want it.
Comfort and Mobility
The fit of the Torrentshell manages to be simultaneously flattering while also leaving plenty of room to move. The roomy shoulders allow a full range of motion. The hood has dual adjustments, adjusting from the back and sides. The side adjustments have an internal release button that can be a bit fiddly. The back adjustment drawcord and toggle also has a loop-and-hook on the back to allow the wearer to roll the hood up and stash it to make a collar, increasing versatility.
The Torrentshell's fabric is on the stiffer, more crinkly side, which not everybody loves. Our biggest gripe here was the neck, which is taller and hits at the chin. It felt a little bit stiff and scratchy. The face opening is on the smaller side, which grants good coverage, but we found that if the jacket was already zipped up and the wearer wanted to put the hood up, we had to unzip it at the chin, put the hood up, and then re-zip it.
Weight and Packability
Weighing in at 12.2 ounces, the Torrentshell is one of the heavier rain jackets tested. It stows in one of its hand pockets, which has a double-sided zipper. Because the fabric is on the stiffer side, it is a little harder to pack into its pocket. Once stowed, the package is somewhat large. There is a lightweight loop in the pocket that you can flip to a carabiner, which we found handy.
The Torrentshell is constructed of quality components, all of which held up very well throughout testing. The 50-denier ripstop fabric is tough and rugged and is abrasion resistant.
The only questionable component is the front hood adjustment. The elastic cord goes around the front of the hood, 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. 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 it's kind of a weird design, and the elastic could get stretched out over time because of this.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Torrentshell?
While this jacket does not have some of the high-end features of the more expensive jackets, it also comes with a more reasonable price tag. We think the price is fair and worth the excellent water resistance and rain protection the Torrentshell offers. It is slightly on the stiffer, more crinkly side, which is worth considering for those who like a softer hand feel. It's bulkier than the lighter weight options, too. All in all, we think this jacket is a good investment for those looking for top-notch water resistance at a mid-range price point.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
For top-tier water resistance performance with a more comfortable fit and better range of motion, the Arc'teryx Beta LT is worth considering (although you'll pay a premium for it). For a more breathable, flexible emergency layer that packs down ultra-small and is featherlight, check out the Outdoor Research Helium. And for an even more approachable price tag, the Marmot PreCip is a tester favorite.
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