Scouting Report: This rain jacket replaced any umbrella I've ever tried. It's completely waterproof and breathable enough to wear even on especially humid days.
For years I opted to get wet instead of dealing with raincoats. If there was rain on the forecast, I would be confined to my car if I wanted to get anywhere. Knowing that waterproofing is one of those technologies where you really get what you pay for, I decided to go for Patagonia’s torrentshell rain jacket and was delighted to find that a jacket did actually exist that had reliable waterproofing but didn’t make you feel like you were in a sauna.
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket
Patagonia has been making rain jackets for decades now, and all that practice has resulted in a jacket that can be stuffed into itself while still qualifying as the longest lasting and most breathable waterproof layer I’ve ever owned. The rain jacket is reliable enough to be taken into the backcountry, but it does just as well on rainy days in the city. The jacket's simple, lightweight design makes it a piece of your wardrobe you’ll want to wear regardless of the weather. The hood, a feature which on most other rain jackets is almost always too big, can be adjusted to cover more or less of your face depending on whether you’re trudging through a soaking forest or walking to get coffee on a slightly overcast day. A few other features like pit zips for when you need extra venting during hard exercise and a front zipper specially designed not to catch round out the jacket. Best of all, the fabric itself is waterproof without being insulatory and actually keeps you cool when it’s humid during a downpour.
With each use I find myself appreciating the carefully thought out design even more. Mostly I marvel at how this jacket allows me to stay dry without overheating. Patagonia has eliminated that particular trade off. The bottom line is that the more you wear this jacket, the more you start to realize that it may be impossible to make a better waterproof layer that can follow you into the mountains or be worn on a rainy walk to get a coffee.
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