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Patagonia Torrentshell - Women's Review

A solid rain jacket offering excellent water resistance that will hold up through many rainy adventures
patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $179 List
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jessica Albery ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 22, 2023
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 11
  • Water Resistance - 25% 9.0
  • Breathability - 25% 8.0
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 7.0
  • Weight and Packability - 15% 5.0
  • Durability - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Torrentshell lives up to its name and can withstand the most torrential rains out there with a supremely water-resistant fabric. The rugged fabric held up well through months of abuse and is built to last. The membrane of the 3-layer fabric did a decent job venting internal moisture, and the pit zips helped to regulate internal temperature, making it an awesome rain jacket for moderate outdoor activities in heavy precipitation.
REASONS TO BUY
Waterproof fabric
Protective storm flaps
Stowable
REASONS TO AVOID
Crinkly and stiff
Zippers not waterproof
Editor's Note: We updated this review with information on the updated Patagonia Torrentshell on March 22, 2023.

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Pros Waterproof fabric, protective storm flaps, stowableExcellent water resistance, whole size/pit vents, great range of motionExcellent breathability, great mobility, comfortableExceptionally packable, lightweight, breathable, good mobilitySimple but functional, hood packs away, good value
Cons Crinkly and stiff, zippers not waterproofNo stow pocket, heavyZipper catches storm flap, pit zips felt stiff at first, fabric took up waterNo vents, no hand pocketsSmall 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 adventuresBuilt to withstand the elements while on the move, this jacket offers a great balance of water resistance and breathabilityThis comfortable, breathable jacket has great mobility and is a good fit for those looking to explore in light to moderate precipA great emergency layer that is feather-light, compresses into a tiny stow pocket and punches above its weight for breathability and water resistanceA solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank
Rating Categories Patagonia Torrentshell Outdoor Research As... Rab Downpour - Women's Outdoor Research He... Marmot PreCip Eco -...
Water Resistance (25%)
9.0
9.5
7.0
7.0
7.0
Breathability (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort and Mobility (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Weight and Packability (15%)
5.0
6.5
7.0
10.0
8.5
Durability (15%)
9.0
9.5
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Patagonia Torrentshell Outdoor Research As... Rab Downpour - Women's Outdoor Research He... Marmot PreCip Eco -...
Measured Weight 12.2 oz 10.5 oz 10.6 oz 5.6 oz 9.2 oz
Number of Fabric Layers 3 2 2.5 2.5 2.5
Material 100% Ripstop Nylon 50D Polyester 50D Polyester 30D Ripstop Nylon 100% Ripstop Nylon
Pockets 2 hand 2 hand, 1 chest 2 hand 1 chest 2 hand
Pit Zips Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Pit Zip Length (in) 11 20 14 N/A 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 Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Torrentshell Jacket Updated
Patagonia is known for being an industry leader in using recycled and sustainable materials. Their latest iteration of this jacket utilizes a PFC-free DWR coating, meaning their water-repellent coating no longer contains perfluorinated chemicals, which are known as "forever chemicals" with potential health and environmental impacts. Our affiliate links point towards the PFC-free version of the Torrentshell.

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 recycled fabrics and ethical practices, and this jacket is Fair Trade Certified sewn with bluesign-approved fabric.

Performance Comparison


patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - the patagonia torrentshell is a great water-resistant layer.
The Patagonia Torrentshell is a great water-resistant layer.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Water Resistance


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.

patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - the torrentshell scored high marks in the water resistance metric.
The Torrentshell scored high marks in the water resistance metric.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Breathability


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.

patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - the 3-layer fabric offers decent breathability, and we loved the...
The 3-layer fabric offers decent breathability, and we loved the dual zippers on the pit vents, allowing the wearer to dial in ventalation.
Credit: Jessica Albery

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.

patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - the fabric on the torrentshell is a bit stiff, but the hood offers...
The fabric on the Torrentshell is a bit stiff, but the hood offers good coverage.
Credit: Jessica Albery

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.

patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - the stiffer fabric makes this jacket a little hard to pack into its...
The stiffer fabric makes this jacket a little hard to pack into its stash pocket
Credit: Jessica Albery

Durability


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.

patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - the face fabric of the patagonia torrentshell is durable, but the...
The face fabric of the Patagonia Torrentshell is durable, but the drawcords around the hood could be a weak point.
Credit: Jessica Albery

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.

patagonia torrentshell for women rain jacket review - testing the patagonia torrentshell on a camping trip in the eastern...
Testing the Patagonia Torrentshell on a camping trip in the Eastern Sierras.
Credit: Jessica Albery

Jessica Albery
 
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