Our verdict: Patagonia’s Torrentshell Jacket offers 3 layers of protection from the elements, keeping you dry during a long hike or on a rainy day in the city. We love its versatility, the reasonable price, and the use of eco-responsible fabric. If you’re looking for a waterproof jacket that will last for years (I’ve had mine for almost 10 years) and won’t break the bank, it’s hard to beat this one.
What to Consider Before Buying a Waterproof Jacket
Before buying a waterproof jacket, consider whether you need an urban jacket, for work or city activities, or if you need a more technical, shorter jacket that doesn’t limit your movement.
For an urban coat, you’ll want to opt for a slightly longer model that hits below the waist and offers optimal protection against the wind and bad weather. In general, technical jackets are made shorter and hit at the waist so they don’t get in your way while you’re walking, running, or climbing. Keep an eye out for these important features: harness or helmet compatibility, pockets that are accessible even while you’re wearing a harness, a zipper with a storm flap (which will really keep the weather out), lightweight, moisture-wicking lining, etc.
The Torrentshell is incredibly versatile. While it is above all else designed for the trails, it does equally well in a crowded subway as it is very breathable.
Why You Should Choose the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L
1. Resistance to the Elements
The Torrentshell 3L is a new take on one of Patagonia’s older models and it now features 3 layers of weather protection, which is definitely an improvement. It is made with the brand’s patented H2No waterproof membrane and has microfleece lining inside which is breathable and repels excess heat. The storm flaps at the main zippers as well as those at the pockets are treated with a water-repellent DWR coating, which completely prevents any water from getting in.
Inside the Torrentshell 3L is a lightweight microfleece lining (similar to fleece, but lighter) that repels excess heat and keeps you nice and dry. Additionally, the outer membrane is designed to allow air to pass through and prevent the accumulation of humidity. It may not be the absolute best in its class in terms of breathability but, for the price, you can’t do much better. You should also note that a fully waterproof coat like this will always have to sacrifice a bit of breathability to allow for complete water resistance.
If you get too hot, just unzip the underarm zippers, which are specially designed to let air pass through and remove moisture.
3. The Cut
The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L has a fairly classic cut. It is neither too tight nor too loose. Some people have noted that the sleeves are made quite long, however, they are adjustable and can be rolled up if necessary. If you plan to wear it over a chunky sweater for winter hikes, you may want to consider sizing up.
This jacket is particularly well thought out. The zippers are equipped with storm flaps, the pockets are treated with a water-repellent coating, and the cuffs are adjustable for protection against the wind. The jacket can be self-stuffed into the left pocket, which also contains a carabiner. While this is a versatile model, it does not have many ultra-technical features. Rather, it is simply a good outdoor or everyday jacket.
While not the most packable jacket in its class (some are lighter and more packable, albeit less waterproof), the Torrentshell 3L packs down into its left pocket for easy storage.
This is where the Torrentshell particularly shines. Like everything Patagonia makes, it’s incredibly durable, high-quality, and designed to stand the test of time. In general, it is much more durable than the other rain jackets in its class. In addition, the 3-layer design makes it more resistant to abrasion and wear and tear than the older 2- or 2.5-layer versions. We find that it’s strong enough for trekking or canoe-camping.
There’s not much to complain about when it comes to the style of the Patagonia Torrentshell. This is a classic waterproof jacket, similar to the previous models. It comes in several colours, some bolder and some that are more classic and will still be trendy in 10 years.
8. About Patagonia
Patagonia is a champion of eco-responsibility, a term it’s not particularly fond of, so instead, we’ll say sustainability. The brand uses recycled materials in its designs and is bluesign certified and ethical. Patagonia offers a new way of doing business. Yvon Chouinard, its founder, recently donated the company to organizations fighting climate change. In other words, Patagonia’s profits will no longer be reinvested in the company, instead, they will be used to protect the environment.
Other brands make similar waterproof jackets. Let’s see how the Torrentshell compares.
While the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L is comparable to others in its class, in general, it is more durable and more waterproof.
Q: How waterproof is the Patagonia Torrentshell?
A: The Patagonia Torrentshell is made with the brand’s patented 3-layer H2No membrane, which offers optimal resistance to the elements. It will even keep you dry during long treks in the rain. Its DWR water-repellent treatment and its storm flaps prevent any rain or snow from seeping in.
Q: Can I wear the Patagonia Torrentshell for running?
A: Yes! This is an all-purpose technical jacket that wears well while running. While it does offer quite good freedom of movement, it is not the best in its class. However, it does move decently well and its adjustable hood stays in place.
Q: Is the Patagonia Torrentshell warm?
A: It’s made with a lightweight microfleece lining, which repels excess moisture and provides minimal warmth. For mild fall days or physical activity, it can be worn as is over a simple t-shirt. For colder days, be aware that it is not an insulated coat so be sure to wear a warmer layer underneath.
The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Waterproof Jacket is a great investment. The adjustable hood and cuffs, the waterproof 3-layer design, and the affordable price make it a great raincoat for the city or for outdoor activities. Strong and extremely durable, it is lightweight and packable enough to take on both short and long hikes.