Read Chris Townsend’s review of the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L – a well-priced waterproof jacket that makes a good choice for backpacking.
Patagonia has beefed up its Torrentshell jacket this year by changing from a 2.5 layer to a 3-layer fabric that is more durable and handles condensation better. The nylon fabric is a little slicker than polyester ones but still feels pleasant. The breathability of the Patagonia Torrentshell 3l is not up with much more expensive waterproof jackets but still okay most of the time.
Like the Berghaus Athunder the Torrentshell has a standard front zip covered by double flaps. Two jackets with this design in one review! Maybe this style really is coming back. The flaps are quite narrow but there is an inner flap as well and so far I’ve had no leakage.
The hood isn’t a helmet compatible one. It closes round the head well, providing protection without cutting side vision. It doesn’t come quite as far round the sides of the face as some hoods, but this should only be noticed in severe weather (I had to protect my face with a hand in a hailstorm). At the base of the hood there’s a patch of microfleece that feels pleasant against the skin.
The Torrentshell has two pockets but these are cut off by a hipbelt. There are underarm zips for ventilation. As these curved I found them a little awkward to use.
The weight of the Torrentshell is quite low, making it a good choice for backpacking (more tips on lightweight backpacking), and the price is excellent.