Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tour Divide - Stuff That Worked - Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket

Issaquah, Washington, the town where I live, is right at the base of the Washington Cascades. Issaquah gets a bit more rain than Seattle and the spring of 2010 was extra wet. In March I splurged and got myself a Patagonia Torrentshell jacket.

My friend Mark Thomas has observed that any garment that claims to be waterproof and breathable is usually one or the other, but not both. Fabric can only vent so much, so I've learned to look for jackets with big arm-pit zippers. The Torrentshell has such zippers and while the jacket is light (about 12 ounces), it's tough and very well designed.

I've pretty much lived in this jacket since I got it. It's a good wind jacket and a GREAT rain jacket. I rode into Banff in pouring down rain in this jacket. I've weathered snowstorms in this jacket. This jacket has been caked with Montana mud and washed clean by Montana rain. When the weather finally turns sunny, the jacket doesn't take up much room in my pack.

Like all Patagonia stuff, it's not cheap, but it's worth every dime. I'd say the same thing about the Patagonia Capilene Long Johns I bought in Helena. Worth the money and worth the weight in my pack. Yvon Chouinard and the folks at Patagonia make good stuff. Tough enough for the Tour Divide but I know one reason for that. One of Patagonia's product testers is John Stamstad, the original Great Divide racer.


mike said...

I read this as 'Patagonia Tortoiseshell Jacket'

Thanks for the recent hydration report. I'm looking to replace my old Pur pump filter... been debating between the Steripen and an inline or gravity filter. I'll give more thought to the Sawyer now.

Nate J said...

Thanks for including your friend's comment about rain jackets doing one or the other but not both. That's been my experience too. I love big pit zips too.

I was saving up for one of the (manufacturer's claimed) better-than-GORETEX REI-brand eVent jackets but had to settle for something else recently since the washing machine ate up my Helly Hansen jacket :(

alex wetmore said...

Please keep us up to date with how this wears for you. It looks very similar to the Marmot Precip, but I had problems with the waterproof membrane on the Marmot jacket wearing very quickly.

If this can perform well and lasts more than a year then it would be a good replacement for my $40 O2Wear paper-like but very functional rain jacket.

Fakharuddin40 said...

Now I wish to have that jacket with me as I have one jacket along with me and I use it in cold.

Motorcycle Leather Jacket

Kent Peterson said...

Update after some over two years of every day it's raining wear. (I live in the Puget Sound area, that's a hell of a lot of rainy days!) Still going strong. The membrane is worn a bit at the neck and the waist, which I thought was weird, but then I realized it's from helmet strap rub and a the waistband of my pack. I should refresh the DWR coating to have the water bead up better on the surface of the jacket, but it's still doing a good job on keeping me dry.

I still really, really like this jacket. Christine commutes daily in hers as well.

Kent Peterson said...

Heck, I'm lousy at date math. My jacket is still going strong after more than THREE years, not TWO!