Patagonia makes far more technical and expensive jackets than the Torrentshell, but we’re delighted that the company has submitted this one for our review – it proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a lightweight jacket that will keep the rain out while hiking.
Patagonia says the jacket is aimed at conditions like those found on Greenland’s ‘Banana Coast’ – hot springs, icebergs, lush landscapes and a lot of rain (I imagine that the only one I’ll encounter regularly is a lot of rain).
It’s made from Patagonia’s H2No fabric which is waterproof and breathable; the fact that it’s made from the company’s own waterproofing technology helps keep the price down too.
There are two large pockets, and the jacket can stuff away into one of them, with a clip to hang it on a carabiner or similar once it’s folded up. There’s no extra chest pocket though, which is a shame. There are large pit zips for ventilation and the Velcro sleeves are nice and wide so you can easily roll them up to keep cool as well.
The hood is spacious and is easy to tighten and adjust. It has a slightly stiffened peak although we’d perhaps like to see more protection here for the worst weather. The main zip has a double storm flap and a large zip pull, to make it easy to use while wearing gloves, although we’d like to have seen a soft patch inside the jacket at the chin, to make it comfier when zipped all the way up.
The hem is easy to adjust with one hand and I really like that the jacket is nice and long at the back. Looks-wise it isn’t particularly exciting, but then again you don’t need a waterproof to be – it’s nice enough, and it comes in a wide choice of colours. A nice coat at a great price.