Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L Jacket Review: Performance and Technology

Three-layer fabric have a third layer of lining that is bonded to the membrane that is waterproof, shielding it from body oils and dirt. They provide better moisture control and durability over two-layer fabrics however they also carry more expensive prices.

The Patagonia Torrentshell 3L (PS160) is one of the best examples of a durable three-layer jacket that features a durable 50D ripstop fabric for the face and Gore-Tex Paclite Plus technology. It does not have the lining that is typically found on 2.5-layer jackets, and also reduces weight.

Waterproof and Breathable

Waterproof-breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex and eVent create jackets that are very protective in stormy weather. They let sweat escape however they also keep out water by adjusting the tension between body heat and cold air that is outside of the jacket. The most breathable models include an outer layer which absorbs sweat, and gives a comfortable skin-like feel. The layers inside protect the membrane’s breathable from dirt as well as body oils and wear therefore they need more frequent washing to stay as airy as they can be.

Aristino jacket

Historically 2-layer jackets used to have an exterior face fabric bonded to a waterproof-breathable membrane and a loose (typically mesh) liner hanging on the inside. These types of jackets have been largely discarded since more budget-friendly 2.5 layer jackets are taking the market by the storm. Each of them should be waterproof and have a long-lasting water repellent (DWR) finish that keeps rain from the outer shell. However, over time the finish will begin to deteriorate and require retreatment.


A lot of jackets have two-layer membranes. However, a handful take it a step further. The budget-friendly XeroDry GTX from Co-op ($169) comes with a GORE-TEX PACLITE two-layer membrane that provides a strong protection against wind and moderate rain, while also allowing sweat to out. The polyester mesh liner helps protect the membrane, and can help to reduce the clammy sensation it’s common to feel when wearing a waterproof, cheap jacket during continuous rain. In order to keep the jacket functioning at its peak, you’ll require an DWR treatment (either spray-on or wash-in) when you’ve used it enough.

Three-layer jackets include a third fabric layer for wicking to the membrane that dramatically improves airflow and humidity management. The jackets that are constructed with this technology like Patagonia’s Torrentshell 3L jacket ($179) can be able to withstand the rigors of all-day rain.

The most efficient three-layer membranes are polyurethane and ePTFE films. Polartec’s NeoShell is a popular choice for its high-elevation, trail-running-friendly balance of water resistance and breathability at 20,000 g/m2. The Gore-TEX Pro membrane is made up of multiple ePTFE membranes that are bonded to provide exceptional resistance to water (RET 13.3)) as well as breathability (24,000 grams per square meter). Based on the intensity of your activities and the weather outside the right jacket that has pit vents is likely to be essential for your needs.


Most jackets can be able to withstand moderate rain. However, only jackets that are water-resistant and breathable technologies ensure you stay dry in heavy downpours and click to read more Brands that make jackets use a range of fabrics that face outwards and advanced laminates for layered structures There’s no standardized industry-wide standard for water resistance. Therefore, the comparison of claims for water resistance between various brands can be difficult.

The most commonly used waterproof fabrics comprise coated fabrics as well as an elastomer that is slid between interwoven layers of fabric. Coated fabrics are commonly employed in jackets that are budget-friendly, as they’re not as breathable as the layered ones, but they provide adequate waterproof protection.

If you’re in a particularly wet environment you should consider wearing a jacket that has three layers or an alternative 2.5-layer style. The layer inside of the majority of three-layer jackets do a better job of protecting the outer membrane from dirt, oil and scratches as opposed to the outermost layer of the 2.5-layer jacket. However, they’re generally larger and heavier than two-layer designs.

Lightweight and Packable

In contrast to old oil- or wax-coated jackets, which had regular reapplication and were heavy, the membranes in the modern 2, 2.5-, and three-layer designs allow water to stay out and aren’t stiff or heavy. They’re light enough to fit to a compact bag or backpack which makes them ideal for backpacking.

A majority of 2-layer jackets have the bonded membrane and an outer fabric that is used to guard against abrasion as well as wear. Certain of them, such as Columbia’s $85 Watertight II and women’s Arcadia II are equipped with an attached liner which adds the weight and bulk, but also helps to shield the membrane from skin oils, and the clamminess.

The jacket by REI utilizes Gore-Tex Paclite or Paclite Plus and is an excellent choice for front-country and casual use. It’s also dry and machine washable since it restores DWR (durable water-repellent) and breathability. Just follow the washing directions of the company. It’s also fair-trade certified and is made from sustainable materials.