Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket Review
Value | The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket is likely the best value in a fully-featured, durable 3-layer rain jacket that will do it all. For just a few dollars and a few ounces more than a budget 2-layer jacket you get a 3-layer rain jacket that will handle anything you throw at it. And it’s backed by Patagonia’s lifetime guarantee. In short, we think it was a brilliant move by Patagonia to upgrade their Torrentshell to 3-layer fabric. In doing so, they moved up a significant level above the mid-tier, 2-layer rain jacket competition like the Marmot Precip, Columbia Evaporation, and others.
Overview | Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket
So let’s go through the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket’s many virtues. First is value, at $179 it is literally hundreds of dollars less than most 3-layer hardshell rain jackets with the same features. It actually costs less than many 2 layer jackets. It looks great with classic Patagonia style — so no boxy unflattering fit. Obviously, the most important feature is the upgrade to 3-layer H2NO Standard Shell Fabric, which adds to the jacket’s durability and gets rid of the cold, clammy feeling of 2-layer fabric. It has a well-sized 2-way adjustable hood with a stiffened brim and two handwarmer pockets. Best of all it sports 12-inch pit zips to help vent out internal moisture — a feature getting rarer these days.
We’ve been using our Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket in late winter to early spring in the mountains of the Mid-Atlantic and along the California Coast. Conditions have been wet, damp, cold, and humid. The jacket kept us dry and warm. And it does not show any indication of wear, even during long days with a pack on. Recently we’ve has stretches of warm and humid weather in the Mid-Atlantic and have been better able to assess the breathability and comfort of the 3-layer H2NO Standard Shell Fabric, as well as venting with the pit zips.
How it Compares
Be sure to check out our: Best Lightweight Rain Jackets of the year for a complete overview of the best rain jackets on the market including the competition for the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket.
Overview | Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket
WEIGHT: 14.1 oz
Fabric: 3L H2No® ECONYL® recycled ripstop nylon
Pros: Eco-friendly. Great value for 3-Layer construction. Pit zips. Durable.
Cons: Relatively Heavy.
We love when sustainable gear performs as well as unconstrained designs, and the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket leads the pack for rainwear. Not only is this one constructed with recycled materials, it’s also manufactured with fair trade certified sewing and produced by the only brand owned by a environmental non-profit. And when it comes to performance, the Torrentshell is no slouch and a great all-purpose option. This is a fully featured rain jacket with pit zips, hand pockets, adjustable hood, hem/collar/cuff cinching, microfleece neck liner. The full 3-layer design (difficult to find for under $200) includes a tricot backing to protect the interior from oil and abrasion. It also adds comfort compared to a 2L jacket by reducing the wet plastic, clammy feel when bare skin touches the inside of a humid jacket. The H2NO membrane isn’t pushing any performance boundaries when it comes to waterproof breathability, but it keeps you dry about as well as expected, and is comparable to the other best rain jackets. Our only quibble is that, at 14.1 oz, it’s the heaviest jacket on our list, and weighs more than double some of the other top picks. Toss it in your pack for day trips, but look elsewhere for long distance backpacks when every ounce counts. Nonetheless, the pros easily outweigh that con and makes this an incredible value for $179. The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L rain jacket is a well priced, high performance garment that is manufactured to minimize harm to the environment and we’re proud to recommend it here.
What We Like
- Do-it-all Jacket. The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket is up to just about any situation the weather can throw at you.
- Great Value. At $179 it’s hundreds less than most fully-featured, 3 layer, hardshell jackets.
- New 3 layer fabric. Increases durability and the backer (soft liner on fabric) reduces that clammy, cold feeling that 2 layer jackets have.
- 12″ pit zips. Improve ventilation and reduce moisture buildup during strenuous activity. And these are getting rarer on rain jackets
- Nice 2-way adjustable hood. Good size and great adjustability.
- Fully featured. It’s got handwarmer, pockets, everything is storm flapped, and the wrists have nice velcro adjusters, etc.
What Could Be Better
- Weight. At 14.1 oz it’s about double the weight of higher priced ultralight rain jackets — albeit they have thinner fabric and are more delicate.
- Breathability. While it’s very waterproof, the 3-layer H2NO Shell is middle of the pack on breathability. As such, it’s not as breathable as top-tier & far pricier Gore-Tex or eVent fabrics, or even the new super breathable 3 layer PU fabrics used by Zpacks and Enlightened Equipment. But the the Torrentshell’s pit zips go a long way to compensating for this — especially since may of the UL jackets lack pit zips.
- No Napoleon Pocket. We find this pocket, which is easily accessible even with a pack on is our favorite way to carry our phone in the rain.
- Packability. While some people found the fabric a bit stiff we had no issues and found it perfectly fine to wear. Our only complaint is that it is a bit bulky to stowe, and not as packable as many UL rain jackets.