Remember when waterproof jackets were insulated, before we all got in to layering? Well, from Patagonia at least its back in the form of the brand new Insulated Torrentshell. Patagonia’s Torrentshell waterproof collection has been around for a couple of years, but new for Autumn/Winter 2014 designers have added 60g ECO PrimaLoft insulation, and blimey it’s warm.
The outer is Patagonia’s own two-layer H2No Performance Standard waterproof material that we’ve found isn’t the most breathable fabric on the market and is generally used in Patagonia waterproof jackets under £250. This combined with the insulation means the Insulated Torrentshell is a very warm jacket indeed, one Patagonia prescribe for ‘sideways precipitation’ – you know the kind. Its also reasonably long.
There are two cosy handwarmer pockets that are partly cut off by a hipbelt, plus a smaller chest pocket big enough for phone and snacks, but not a map. There are two pockets inside the jacket. All the zips are watertight and the main zip has an interior storm flap.
The hood is helmet compatible and also insulated. The volume adjuster works well and there’s a stiffened hood, but a jacket built for terrible weather really needs a wired peak. The peak could do with being bigger too. There are two drawcords around the hem and Velcro cuffs.
I’ve worn this a few times when there’s been quite a bit of ‘sideways precipitation’, and it kept me very dry, but more often than not, too warm. This is a jacket for those bitterly cold, wet days high in the Lakes, but not designed for days when you’re moving fast, it’s just too warm. As a result, it’s quite a specific jacket, but perfectly good for what it is.