Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Waterproof Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Waterproof Jacket | Review

Find out how the new iteration of the Patagonia Torrentshell went down with the Outdoors Magic gear testers

Why We Chose The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L: Great value, good protection, eco efforts

The last Patagonia Torrentshell proved a hit with the Outdoors Magic gear testers when it was released in 2019. ‘A sturdy, no-nonsense jacket at a great price,’ were the exact words used. Now for 2020, Patagonia have brought out a new variation of it, switching it up from a 2.5 layer waterproof construction to a 3 layer. How much has changed then? Read on…

Who Is The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L For?

Last year’s Torrentshell will probably be a better choice for the lightweight backpackers out there, simply because it’s lighter. This new version, is a touch heavier but it does have a much, much tougher build, so it would be the better choice for any climbers or scramblers.


That previous Torrentshell, like all 2.5 layer waterproof jackets, featured an outer fabric, a waterproof membrane underneath it and then a backer layer that was laminated or sprayed on. 3-layer constructions like this new update, use an extra layer of fabric for the backer. This not only adds to the overall durability of the jacket (particularly when wearing a heavy backpack) but it also helps to prevent the membrane from getting clogged up by your sweat and lovely natural body oils.

As was the case with the previous jacket, Patagonia have taken a number of steps to try to lower the impact the Torrentshell 3L has on the environment. For instance, the face fabric is made from 100% recycled fabrics, the sewing is Fair Trade Certified, the membrane uses 13% bio-based content and PU rather than the harmful ePTFE that the likes of Gore-Tex use. Finally there’s bluesign approval, meaning it conforms to a number of strict standards when it comes to environmental health and safety. There is a bit of a PFC issue however. Read Will’s Tester’s Verdict further down below to find out more on that.


All the right stuff here. You get a reliable, storm-proof and helmet compatible hood with a toggled cinch at the back and a slight peak. There’s a toggle on the hem and Velcro tabs on the cuffs. There are two-way pit zips as well – always useful to have.

As for the pockets there are just two handwarmer ones here, one of which doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket. If you’re wearing a climbing harness or a backpack with a hip belt you can’t really access these, which is a bit of a drawback. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if there was another pocket you could use on the chest but there isn’t one.

The main zip doesn’t have any fancy waterproof coating but you do get the protection of internal and external storm flaps which both do their job well.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic editor

“I’ve used this for a few big days out in the hills and also for a bit of day-to-day wear and I’ve liked it. The waterproof construction is good – it’s certainly very protective. The breathability is OK; it’s not anything to write home about, but, you can get plenty of airflow going around if you open up those pit zips.

“They’ve essentially made something that’s twice as tough but still not drastically heavier.”

“It’s not the lightest of jackets, but that’s not to say it’s heavy either. It’s interesting that this version only weighs 80g more than the previous 2.5 layer version. They’ve essentially made something that’s twice as tough but still not drastically heavier. So that’s good.

“There’s just one question mark I have, and that’s regarding the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment Patagonia have used. Most of the main outdoor brands have now switched to DWRs that are PFC-free, which means they’re free from the types of chemicals that have been found to be harmful to the environment. Patagonia still haven’t done that, and it’s not just the case with the Torrentshell but all of their waterproof products that use their H2No membrane.

Will enthusiastically testing out the Torrentshell during a wild camp at the start of March.

“There is the argument that the PFC-free alternatives out there at the moment aren’t quite up to scratch yet, and I’d tend to agree with that, but then again, I’ve had my PFC-free Fjällräven Keb Eco Shell jacket for about five years now and while the original DWR has worn out, I just reproof it with Nikwax. I just can’t help seeing the DWR thing as something that Patagonia are falling behind on and perhaps are staying a touch quiet about as well. At least they state they’re aiming to be PFC-free by the end of 2022, but that still feels like a long time away.

“It is a nice jacket though. Pretty good value as well considering you can pick it up on Webtogs for less than £150 at the moment.”

Patagonia Torrentshell 3L

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