For the past several years, the Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket has been our best-selling rain jacket on rockcreek.com, consistently given high marks by those customers who have reviewed it on the site. That’s no surprise; the Torrentshell is Patagonia’s take on the budget-friendly waterproof jacket, and at $130 it’s a huge bang-for-buck value.
Rather than leave well enough alone, though, Patagonia has chosen to expand the Torrentshell line, and we’re excited about it. In addition to the existing model, the Torrentshell Plus adds waterproof zippers & abrasion-resistant panels on the shoulder and sides; the Torrentshell Stretch adds waterproof zippers & a stretch fabric in the shoulders and arms.
Here’s a quick breakdown of these features:
The classic. Versus competitive $100-$130 rain jackets, this one has fewer seams, more thoughtful details and Patagonia’s unbeatable iron-clad guarantee. Utilizing an H2No 2.5-layer waterproof/breathable barrier, this rain jacket is simple, effective, packs down small and is ready to keep you dry in seriously awful weather. Fit revised for 2013.
Two hand pockets, internal pocket, microfleece-lined collar. Available in no less than 10 men’s colors, & 10 more for women!
The most technical version of the Torrentshell, with waterproof zippers throughout, additional chest pocket and helmet-compatible hood. Underarm gussets and strategically-placed stretch panels allow you to climb on (or bail safely) when the bad weather lands.
The rest is just like the regular Torrentshell: pit zips, drawcord hem, hood stows away and the whole jacket packs into its own pocket. Think of it as a n upgraded version for climbing & backpacking.
This one is for those of you who are especially tough on your gear — you know who you are. With a tough, abrasion-resistant fabric on the sides and shoulders of the jacket, the Torrentshell Plus is ready for your heaviest pack and your burliest off-trail shenanigans.
The watertight center zipper features an internal storm flap, as do the pit zips. Like the other two jackets, this is the H2No Performance Standard shell fabric, which is a 100% nylon ripstop with a heavy-duty Deluge DWR treatment; it’s reliably, consistently waterproof.
Here’s a bit more on the H2No Performance Standard, which is Patagonia’s benchmark for waterproofness and durability. Patagonia tests their products after an infamous “killer wash” test that simulates years of heavy use; the required test result is 10,000 mm/24. That’s a waterproof standard that many competitors rate their products at BEFORE a test like the killer wash, not after it.
The same rules apply to $500 alpine shells and the $130 Torrentshell; if a fabric doesn’t pass this test, Patagonia won’t use it, period. What does that mean for you? That means if Patagonia says a jacket is waterproof, you can trust that it’s truly waterproof.
Likewise, when a style like the Torrentshell is expanded and improved upon, you can be certain these are real improvements, not just new colors or change simply for the sake of change. Looking for more durability, or better range of motion, from your waterproof/breathable? These new Torrentshell rain jackets are for you.
You may follow these links to view details for the Patagonia rain jackets discussed in this article:
Looking for a Torrentshell style not discussed here, like rain jackets for the kids or waterproof pants? No worries! You can view the entire Torrentshell collection here. Rock/Creek carries the full Patagonia catalog online, with a core offering — including the Torrentshell — available in our brick-and-mortar stores as well.