Last Updated: September 30, 2020

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket Review: Wet Weather Winner?

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Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket

Patagonia Torrentshell is a lightweight rain jacket that boasts excellent weather resistance. With DWR coating on the fabric and the zippers, not even a storm will ruin your day on the trail. View Latest Deal

Thinking about getting the Patagonia Torrentshell jacket? It’s an excellent rain jacket, but are you entirely sure that it is the right option for you? 

If you want something incredibly durable, weatherproof and comfortable to wear, then it certainly is. Especially if you spend a lot of time exploring the great outdoors. But if you were hoping for a jacket that will keep you warm on chilly evenings; you might want to look at something else. 

This detailed review of the Torrentshell jacket will help you figure out whether it’s the right option for you. We’ve covered everything, from the lining of the collar to the coating of the zippers!

Pros

  • Lightweight and packable
  • Excellent weather resistance
  • Tough and durable fabric
  • Microfleece lining on collar

Cons

  • Only two pockets
  • Not plus size options
  • No insulation whatsoever

Product Information

  • Material: 3-layer H2No Performance Standard fabric; DWR coating
  • Weight: 13.9 ounces
  • Fit: Regular
  • Size Variety: XS-XXL
  • Pockets: Two external

Materials And Durability

Patagonia’s Torrentshell jacket is made from 3-layer H2No Performance Standard fabric. The brand’s in-house material boasts excellent waterproofing and breathability, and it often makes an appearance in Patagonia’s most popular jackets. But what exactly is H2No?

Well, it is a mixture of a few different things – in this case, the H2No fabric has three different layers that contribute to its amazing weather-resistant features. The basis for H2No is 50-denier recycled ripstop nylon, which has excellent water resistance without any additional coating. Then there is a polycarbonate PU membrane that has 13% biobased content, for outstanding performance in wet weather.

It is also worth noting that polycarbonate is one of the toughest plastics out there. It is often used in luggage for its amazing durability and flexibility. And it is because of that polycarbonate that you can be certain this jacket is going to survive pretty much anything you throw at it, including getting caught on tree branches and close contact with sharp rocks.

The final layer of the H2No is the tricot backer (lining) that promises next to skin comfort. It’s what allows you to wear this jacket over a simple T-Shirt, without feeling scratchy or uncomfortable.

Overall, the main fabric of the Torrentshell jacket is durable, waterproof and breathable. It performs really well in different weather conditions, but its performance in rainy and windy weather is just off the charts.

Is It A Warm Jacket?

Not really. The Torrentshell doesn’t feature any insulation, so it’s definitely not something you would want to wear during a chilly winter evening. At least not on its own – this Patagonia jacket is designed to be worm together with their warmer mid-layers like the Nano Puff.

There are some redeeming qualities on this jacket though. The front pockets are lined for hand warming, and there is micro fleece on the collar. The latter really helps with windproofing, since it pretty much creates a warm and fuzzy seal around your neck.

However, those are the only two warm things about this jacket. You will have to wear it over a fleece hoodie or an insulated jacket if you want to be warm. And I’m not even counting that as a downside – this jacket is designed and marketed as a waterproof outer layer, not a warm winter jacket. It performs exactly how it should, so there’s no reason to take off points for a feature it wasn’t supposed to have in the first place.

Waterproofing Features

The Torrentshell is Patagonia’s most elaborate rain jacket, and it’s one of their best sellers. But what exactly makes it a great option for wet weather, other than their waterproof in-house fabric?

For starters, there’s DWR coating over every inch of this jacket, including the zippers. The treatment creates a barrier that repels water, ensuring that not a single drop can get inside the jacket. And there’s also the adjustable hood with a laminated visor, which is perfect for keeping your hair out of the rain.

I must point out that, in this specific case, it’s a big plus that the hood is not removable. If you were to get caught in the rain without a hood, water would stream down you neck and collect in the fleece lining of the collar. Eventually it would start leaking into the jacket, and you would be wet, cold and miserable in no time. Thanks to the hood, rain can’t get anywhere near that fleece collar.

How Breathable Is It?

One thing that really bugs me about cheap waterproof jackets is poor breathability. There’s no point in the jacket being dry on the outside if I’m sweating profusely in it. Fortunately, breathability is just another thing Patagonia has done right with their Torrentshell jacket.

The H2No Performance fabric is very breathable on its own, but there are some added features. This jacket features underarm vents that you can unzip whenever you start feeling like you are in a sauna. This is great for hiking and climbing – sometimes you need to cool down a bit but can’t really afford to take off the jacket entirely. The Torrentshell allows you to let some air in briefly for easy temperature regulation.

Plus, the zippers of the vents are coated with DWR for water resistance. As long as you don’t leave the vents unzipped in heavy rain, they should be able to easily repel any water.

It’s Also Windproof

Another great thing about this jacket is that it is entirely windproof. You have the ability of sealing every single opening of this jacket, which is excellent for keeping the wind out.

The hood is adjustable and can easily be tightened around the neck. The center front zip is not only water resistant, but it also has internal and external storm flaps. This alone is enough to keep out the wind for the most part, but the Torrentshell jacket doesn’t stop there.

The drawcord at the hem allows you to adjust the lower end of your jacket. This is great not just for keeping the wind out, but also for getting a better fit of your brand new Patagonia rain jacket.

On top of all that, the cuffs feature hook and loop closure for ultimate windproofing. And with the seal on the collar, there’s no way you will feel even a dash of wind inside your cozy Torrentshell jacket. Well, as long as you remember to zip up those pit vents, that is.

Hand Warming Pockets

Patagonia Torrentshell jacket features two zippered hand warming pockets on the front. Both have DWR coating and exterior storm flaps to keep the weather out, and the jacket stuffs into the left pocket. And that’s everything worth saying about them.

This is a phenomenal jacket, but it seriously disappoints with the lack of pockets. The two hand warming ones are the only kind of storage space you get on this jacket, and they’re not even strategically positioned. Depending on your build, you might or might not be able to use them while wearing a backpack with a waist belt and a sternum strap.

Packable & Portable

On of the things that makes the Torrentshell jacket a bestseller is its portability. Not only is it incredibly thin and lightweight, but the jacket also stuffs into one of its pockets. And that is exactly what makes it a great option for backpacker and hikers who need something they can carry everywhere.

When packed down, the Patagonia jacket can fit into any pocket of your favorite outdoor backpack. You can also attach it to the exterior of the bag, thanks to the carabiner loop that is exposed when the jacket is stuffed into the pocket. The best part of it all is that you don’t even have to worry about exposing the jacket to different weather conditions – the excellent waterproofing means that rain drops will slide right off the jacket.

Size Variety And Fit

Patagonia could be giving this jacket away for free, but it wouldn’t mean anything if they didn’t make it in your size. I’m usually not a big fan of their size range because it is not very inclusive. That’s actually why I prefer Columbia’s sizing – they often include petite and plus size options, in addition to dozens of different sizes of the regular fit of the jacket.

But we’re talking about Patagonia here and not their competitors, so let’s get on with it. The Torrentshell jacket is available in sizes that range from XS to XXL. It features a regular fit that’s neither tight nor roomy. Also, this jacket runs true to size, but you might not want to get it in the size that you normally wear.

Here’s the thing – your usual size will fit perfectly over T-shirts, lightweight sweaters, thin hoodies and even shirts. But if you want to pair this with a thick fleece hoodie or an thin insulated jacket, you might want to consider going a size up. Especially if you don’t want it to feel restrictive – you might be able to fit your usual size over the Nano Puff, but there’s no guarantee you will still be able to bend your elbows.

Pricing And Value

The Torrentshell jacket retails for some $150, which I think is okay considering the quality. It is pricey but not ridiculously expensive, which is exactly how Patagonia usually prices their products. But is the value there?

If you specifically need a packable waterproof jacket, then it is. Especially if you already have a good insulated jacket you can wear under this one – combine the Torrentshell with a warm down-jacket and you have yourself an amazing 3-in-1 jacket for extreme weather.

It also depends on how often you plan to wear this thing. If it’s almost every day, then the value is definitely there. But if you need something just for the occasional hiking trip, you might want to consider some other options – you’ll find plenty of other rain jacket if you scroll down some more.

Who Is The Jacket For?

The Torrentshell is an incredibly durable jacket designed to keep you dry in extreme weather conditions. If you’re looking for a lightweight rain jacket you can wear around the town, it can certainly do the job. But that’s kind of like paying for a large checked bag and only packing half of it.

Don’t get me wrong – the Torrentshell is an excellent option for wet weather, but you will get more out of it if you take it out on the trail. This is an excellent waterproof outer layer for backpackers and hikes who need something exceptionally tough and durable for their adventures. It won’t get torn, it doesn’t leak and it’s breathable enough you never have to take it off.

Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket: Final Thoughts

The Torrentshell is one of Patagonia’s best-selling jackets and for good reasons. It is remarkably lightweight and surprisingly durable. It performs incredibly well in wet and windy weather, thanks to the DWR coating on the fabric and zippers and all the different windproofing features.

This jacket packs into its left handwarming pocket, and it weight only 14 ounces. It is something you can put in your bag and carry everywhere, without ever feeling weighed down by it. And if that’s exactly the type of jacket you need, then the Torrentshell might just be the perfect option for you.

But it doesn’t have any insulation whatsoever and it only has two pockets. It won’t do much in terms of keeping you warm, at least not until you wear an insulated layer under it. It’s also pricey for a glorified raincoat, and not everyone will get the same value for it. Those who spend most of their days exploring hiking trails and mountains will enjoy the breathability and protection it offer. But those who are looking just for rain jacket might want to consider some other options first.

Go to Patagonia’s website to see if the Torrentshell is available in your size and favorite color. And check out our related posts if you’re still searching for the perfect waterproof jacket for you!

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