Aside from stunning landscapes, Southern Patagonia is known for one thing: wet weather. For trekking and hiking in drenching conditions, our Torrentshell Jacket provides H2No® Performance Standard protection that's durable, lightweight and versatile. The 2.5-layer nylon jacket has a waterproof/breathable barrier, a DWR (durable water repellent) finish and stuffs into one of two zippered handwarmer pockets (with a carabiner clip-in loop). The hood rolls down, stows away, and has a laminated visor, the center zipper has minimal welt exterior and interior storm flaps and the ventilating pit zips have storm flaps and DWR-treated zippers. With a microfleece-lined neck, hook-and-loop cuff closures and a drawcord hem.
The Patagonia TorrentShell came very highly recommended by a good friend of mine, who works in an outdoors store during the week, and explores the extremes of Tasmania’s wilderness on the weekends. If there's any recommendations to take, its hers! She said “Richelle, this jacket keeps you dry in the toughest conditions, looks great, and best of all, it never rides up at the back when you are hiking or running with a backpack!”. I was sold. I then passed on specific purchase instructions to Shane, who was buying it for me as a “secret” birthday present!
Adventures So Far:
To the top of Mt Bogong (highest mountain in Victoria), in freezing, and very windy conditions. Wind chill was around -3 degrees on top. With 2 very thin base layers, and plenty of sweat (as a result of a hard slog climb through the lower sections of the trail in very mild conditions), I added the TorrentShell after reaching the exposed high plains. It immediately cut out the majority of the wind, (more than enough to stop my sweat from freezing), and was quite comfortable. The hood blocked out all of the wind from my head, and the neck covered up my nose and mouth, to ensure that my cheeks were the only part getting frostbitten! I felt slightly chilly, but at no point cold, however due to the sweaty cold under-layers, I doubt I would have wanted to stop at the top for long. Not that Shane would have let me anyway!
Part way up Bungalow track from Harrietville, in mild temperatures, with constant rain. Very happy with the waterproofness, without sweating underneath, in such mild conditions. The water seems to bead on the fabric, without creating a constant run-off. The hood design is unbelieveable, the tightening toggles, combined with the adjustment toggle at the back of the head work together to make the hood sit just perfectly on my head. I don’t find the hood falling down over my eyes, and I have good peripheral vision in the jacket. The little visor also kept my face dry. I was also wearing my salomon daypack, and at no point was the jacket riding up my back, like many of my previous jackets.
On a Cross-Country Skiing and snow running race, at Mt Baw Baw (Seasons of Pain). After propelling myself into the snow more than 10 times, sometimes even face first, and sweating profusely from the exertion of climbing hills on skis, the Torrentshell proved breathable enough to get rid of sweat, and waterproof enough to keep me from getting wet, even when immersed in snow. By the end of the race, with 20 mins or so of recovery, all of my underlayers were dry enough to leave them on after the race. There was also minimal condensation on the inside of the jacket when I took it off.
Excellent – so far I haven’t had any water permeate through the jacket, so I can’t fault it to date. I haven’t worn it in torrential rain just yet, but if my experience thus far is anything to go by, I'll be trusting it 100%.
Breathes pretty well, on warmer days when walking/running uphills and heating up Ive opened the underarm vents, which seems to help with getting too warm. At no point thus far have I sweated more than just a little bit when working hard. . On warmer days, I tend to get damp in my forearm/wrist area, but I put that down to sweat.
I love the microfleece neck cuff, very smooth and silky fabric against my neck. The underarm vents are very practical, the velcro cuff fasteners are functional and the stuff pack pocket very convenient. But my favourite parts by far are the hood that just sits on your head perfectly, without decreasing your peripheral vision, and the longer back on the jacket to ensure greatest coverage.
Comfort and Mobility
In terms of comfort and mobility, when im hiking and running, I don’t even notice I have this jacket on. And the true test was the XC Skiing, and again, didn’t even notice I had it on! The awesome thing about this jacket is that it doesn’t ride up even with a backpack on!
I bought 1 size bigger than my usual size to allow for the possibility of wearing my puffy jacket underneath.
Weight and bulk
At 320g it’s a lightweight jacket. I'm sure there are plenty lighter, but this was the lightest I found with multiple waterproof layers.
At $159.00 (AUD), I think for such a high quality lightweight jacket, this is great value for money. As an added bonus, its a Patagonia product, which I've always associated with great quality!
This jacket was purchased for me from Paddy Pallin in Launceston, Tasmania, in April 2014.
Colour: Tobago Blue
Size: Size XL