Patagonia Storm Jacket
All right, there’s been a lot of talk about this…
Price Paid: $28-325
All right, there’s been a lot of talk about this jacket not being waterproof, some incredibly cheap jackets being bone-dry, etc. So I decided to make a test of three similarly priced but differently constructed shells that I happen to own.
The contestants are:
• 98 Patagonia Storm Jacket
Fabric: 2-Ply Mid Weight Taslanized Nylon
Barrier: H2NO Storm Coating
Lining: Mesh and Nylon Taffeta
No pit zips or reinforcement patches
• 99 Patagonia Super Pluma Jacket
Fabric: 3-Ply Light Weight Ripstop Nylon
Barrier: H2NO StormHB Coating
Lining: Laminated Tricot Scrim
Weight: 18 oz.
No pit zips or reinforcement patches
• 96 Marmot Cervino Jacket
Fabric: 2-Ply Light Weight Microfiber Nylon and Mid Weight Taslanized Nylon
Barrier: MemBrain Laminate
Lining: Mesh and Nylon Taffeta
Weight: 32 oz.
Pit zips and reinforcement patches
OK, How waterproof are these things? This is test drill:
Wear Capilene shirt and pants and wool socks, but no fleece layer that could absorb leakage or sweat. Put on the jacket, a pair of Waterproof pants, waterproof boots, and Marmot Randonee Gore-Tex ski gloves. Batten down the hatches and pull up the hood as far as it will go. Put large hunks of toilet paper in the chest pockets (a place about equal with the hood and back shoulders for potential leakage). Then stand in the shower at full force and let it run until the 40 gallon water heater runs out of hot water (about 20 minutes, and I figure the equivalent of 10-12 inches of rain). If, after this, the toilet paper is dry enough to be lit with a match, then the jacket is waterproof enough for me.
With the Patagonia Storm jacket, the toilet paper was completely dry. The insides of the zipper flaps were wet (to be expected) and there was a bit of wet through where the hood cord came out of the taffeta tunnel near the outside edge of the hood. The exterior fabric was saturated, but the inside was dry. After I hung the jacket up, the taffeta in the sleeves felt clammy (probably because the fabric cooled down and the moisture was my sweat condensing—I think mesh is a better liner for the arms), and the taffeta lower lining was starting to soak through from water running down the outer fabric and then being wicked up by the liner (which makes the mesh drain strip at the bottom a brilliant idea). The jacket air-dried overnight.
Next night, I did the same thing with a Patagonia Super Pluma jacket (H2No and Deluge DWR but no pit-zips.) Again, dry as Natur champagne (interior and toilet paper) except for some wetting of the inside of the zipper flaps. This is a nearly new jacket, but the Deluge DWR does the trick—fabric saturation only on the hood and over the pockets. When drying no wicking of the exterior water into the liner except for the hem tunnel. Air-dried in a couple of hours without shaking.
As for the Marmot Cervino (from the first year it was made), things didn’t work as well. Although in fairness to Marmot, they’ve recently pulled back a little on their statements about their MemBrain laminate, and this has been a fine ski parka (the catalog copy says: “especially suitable for very cold, drier climates like the Rockies where breathability and softness are key.” Because of the considerable number of seams, the zip-off hood, and pit zips, I thought this jacket would at least leak at the hood connection or in the pit zips, but these areas held up well. It seems that the force of the water simply overwhelmed the barrier—one paper wad was drenched, the other was damp; the mesh liner was wet; and one side of my shirt was damp. The Cervino’s microfiber shell was really saturated, and it didn’t air dry overnight. It should be noted that the present Cervino has entirely different fabric than the one I tested—although it still uses MemBrain laminate.
As for the Patagonia Triolet pants (three-layer H2No with smooth nylon shell), it’s a little harder to say—the tricot scrim was a bit clammy in the knees and seat—probably from perspiration (it was, after all, hot water). There was no leak through at the seams or even the side zippers—which I found amazing. Water beaded well except at the knees (I’ve Nikwaxed these), and they dried as fast as the Super Pluma.
Tests with a Patagonia Glade Runner Acitvent/Pneumatic jacket and an old Sierra Designs coated nylon parka didn’t last long about two minutes for the Activent and five for the coated nylon without any seam taping.
I never really expected the gloves to stay dry through this deluge, and they didn’t. I put the glove gauntlet over the jacket sleeves and tightened the draw cord as much as I could. My hands had water on them at the end, but not really running off, and the dri-clime liner was damp but not soaking. After I took the gloves off to dry, the liners really got soaked—proving that they wick like crazy, which is what they are supposed to do. I suspect the problem is that water runs down from the jacket sleeve into the gauntlet (and thus onto your hand) rather than the gloves are inherently leaky. But the gauntlets are too bulky to fit under the jacket sleeve. Gloves are also notoriously difficult to waterproof even with Gore-Tex (although better gloves like Marmot and Black Diamond have either welded or taped seams on the waterproof bladder).
So the moral is, the Storm Jacket is waterproof but not the best choice for extended trips because the outer fabric saturates—thus destroying breathability until the outer shell dries again. As Clyde Soles has said over and over in Rock and Ice magazine, three-ply shells like the Super Pluma and others are the only choice for the big mountains. As Marmot itself says, MemBrain is not as waterproof as Gore-Tex (65+PSI for Gore vs. 45 PSI for MemBrain). Patagonia says H2No is as waterproof as Gore-Tex but not as breathable—which seems to be true. Smooth finishes such as ripstop bead water better than texturized fabrics, and three-layer parkas feel less clammy.
As for durability, I’ve never seen a really torn-up Storm Jacket, I put a big hole in an old Super Pluma Gore-Tex I had by falling on some small rocks, and the microfiber of the Cervino got little pin hole tears near the hem from falling on gravel covering an icy sidewalk.
I have always wanted a Patagonia jacket. I finally…
Price Paid: $154.95
I have always wanted a Patagonia jacket. I finally bought a Storm Jacket. It's very nice looking and fit is excellent.
However the first time in the cold I new I had made a mistake. This jacket is a glorified wind breaker! I was in 40 degree weather and I was cold. I have called Patagonia and to their credit they offered to buy it back.
I guess i'll keep for "cool" days and make it work. If you want warmth you better layer with this jacket!
I returned the Patagonia Storm jacket several months…
Fabric: Patagona's proprietary NoH2o and Goretex on the Northface
Price Paid: 200 dollars on sale
I returned the Patagonia Storm jacket several months ago for good reasons.... Although one of the nicer looking coats out there, The Storm isn't for outdoor use.... Didn't breath well and didn't keep out the wet. A couple of other reviewers (the later ones) have said it all about the Storm. A severe disappointment. Fortuately, Patagonia has a generous return policy and after several monthes of only very light use and building dissatisfaction my supplier gave me a refund with no complaints. What makes me wonder as the buyer at the store also wondered Did Patagonia Change the fabric on this coat.... as the performance seems to be radically different than what older models of the coat claim. I hope Patagonia rectifies this and somehow develops a better breathable waterproof coat than this one coat misnamed a
STORM coat. (the best it ever did was keep me dry in mildly slushy snowfall for Fifteen minutes...before it began leaking through... and also it didn't dry fast either....)
The North Face Katchatna was a great Improvement. Although I am not secure in believing Goretex is superior, this coat is truely an Outdoor coat good for at least a day or two of wet weather...unlike the Patagonia 15 minute Storm Parka.
And I was very lucky to find the Katchatna for about 160 dollars as it probably is discontinued.... and Eastern Mountain Sports occasionally has some incredibly good buys...(this coat has a suggested retail price of close to 400 dollars)...
I love the Pit zips on the Katchatna...which the Patagonia lacked. And much more interior storage pockets for odds and ends including even a largeish Short wave radio I carried along. Even though the Katchatna is a heavy shell (more for winter), at about 2 and a half pounds, its pockets were usefull in carrying odds and ends thus keeping 'em out of the pack.. which in the long run saved weight on my back.
Also, the North face packs more tightly than the Storm... which was fairly useless for backpacking. The only downside is the Large North Face Logo on front and back... I hate being a walking billboard... and I notice that newer models of The North Face are taking Patagonia's cue in making a more appealing, less obnoxious logo for their clothing.
North Face is living so far up to their reputation as a reliable maker of outdoor clothing and gear.
The previous reviewer trashed the classic Patagonia…
Fabric: Patagonia's propirietary H2NO Storm
Price Paid: $299
The previous reviewer trashed the classic Patagonia Storm, so I'm going to stand up for it. I have a 6 year old Storm that has been all over the world with me. A few weeks ago, my son and I travelled to Newfoundland to camp in that province's MAGNIFICENT Gros Morne National Park. On the day we left the States, we were confronted with a HEAVY, constant driving rain. My son's Gore-tex jacket leaked through almost immediately, so we stopped at the Patagonia Outlet in Freeport, Maine, and I bought him a Storm Parka on the spot.
Well, the rain continued as a heavy drenching rain for the next thirty six hours, but we trusted our gear and our Patagonia Storms kept us bone dry, except for the sleeve-ends which quickly got soaked unless we sealed them down using the velcro cinch-straps, even though the fabric of the parka saturated almost immediately. However, no water got through the membrane at all, and we stayed dry for those first 36 miserable hours of or trip. We travelled across Nova Scotia and then had another 36 hours of constant HEAVY rain, so hard that fish were falling from the sky, and again, our Storm Parkas kept us bone dry. They saved the trip for us (along with our wonderful Mountain Hardware and Sierra Designs tents).
Now, my Storm is over 6 years old, and in anticipation of this trip, I re-Nikwaxed it on the advice of Patagonia. My son's Storm was brand new on the first day of the trip, and both seemed to perform the same; that is, the fabric would seem to saturate almost immediately in a heavy rain. But the mesh lining did its job and we never felt clammy, had NO condensation on the inside and the H2NO Storm membrane performed flawlessly keeping us comfortable in the face of "extreme wet weather!!!"
I have just bought a Northface Aconcagua 2-ply goretex that I am looking forward to using as a winter shell. But my Patagonia Storm is still cherished and is my shell of choice for 3 seasons. Its simply NEVER let me down!
I bought my first Storm Jacket in 1990. At the time…
Price Paid: $300
I bought my first Storm Jacket in 1990. At the time it was what I found to be the best waterproof available. It was for a couple years. Then the jacket started to have flakey stuff peel off on the inside. Sent it back. They sent another. Wore it a while, zippers broke, was getting wet in it. Sent it back. They sent another.
Well this jacket as some reviewers have noted works well at first. Then it is like wearing "wet toilet paper" in the rain. The garment is a total piece of junk. Patagonia claims it needs to be cared for properly. Well if they made it better it would keep you dry and not cling to you like wet saran wrap after getting wet.
I used to be a die-hard Patagonia buyer and swore by their gear. But it seems that they are not as interested in making gear for those of us who work and live in it in the wilderness for weeks at a time as they are making stylish clothes for those hanging in soho.
Patagonia should be ashamed of themselves allowing their quality to deteriorate as they have. If they would spend as much on making a good bomb proof shell, as they claimed this was...well they spend lots of bucks making their little boutiques, like the one in Chamonix look real cool.
Sorry, Patagonia...I'll never trust your shells again. And we bought a lot from you and you got a lot of exposure from our people wearing your stuff. No more.
Junk. I have bought Patagonia gear since 1974, but…
Fabric: Nylon w/H2No coating
Price Paid: $289 USD
Junk. I have bought Patagonia gear since 1974, but the absolute and total failure of this product indicates that the fine folks in Ventura are more concerned with designing politically correct jeans that will save the world than they are producing an "iconic" product that works.
I recently spent a week in the Cascades where we got 3.5 feet of snow in 4 days, 50 mph steady winds at the treeline, etc -- basically what I would call a "storm" -- and I was soaked throughout. I found snow between the liner and the shell, the chintzy little velcro cuffs refused to work after the first encounter with snow, and the hood, while fine when on my head, was a drift magnet otherwise. It took almost a full day to dry it out after the trip!
To their credit, I called Patagonia's customer service folks, shipped it back, and got a check in a week (I now have a very functional North Face jacket). But the idea of spending three hundred bucks on a product that this company calls one of their core products says a lot about where their priorities are these days. Given that it was such a categoric failure, I can only assume that Patgucci's definition of a "storm" means "protecting yuppies from the grim harshness of the rain falling in the mall parking lot" rather than saving someone's butt in the mountains
There appears to be a lot of reviewers out there unimpressed…
Price Paid: �$180-ish
There appears to be a lot of reviewers out there unimpressed with the Storm Jacket. Mine was the best jacket I ever had. Good fit, light and flexible for everyday wear. Also tough, I'd trashed gore-tex jackets by berghaus and north face in a single scottish winter, but the storm jacket coped with over four years climbing/backpacking abuse, as well as the odd bicycle crash. I am unconvinced of the need for "robocop" style jackets even for hard mountain use. Light can still be tough.
Design wise it was near perfect, and I found the front pocket vents much more efficient than pit zips, as well as being more windproof when you don't want vented. It could have done with a meatier front zip flap closure than patches of velcro, high winds could openn that up. One thing I agree with, it doesn't breath as well as goretex, but in really shitty (typical) scottish weather nothing does. The same applies I suspect for the american northwest, Patagonia and other areas.
A great jacket, which was still in good condition when some **** stole it.
Sorry, this is the best rain jacket I have. It's three…
Fabric: H2No Storm
Price Paid: cheap
Sorry, this is the best rain jacket I have. It's three years old and I have used it hard. Because of its weight I don't use it skiing, but the other three months this thing rules. My Arc'Teryx Sidewinder get eaten by this (both in the olive green:-). It's incredibly well designed and it shows. The zip off hood and adjustable collar is tops. Perfect for people like me, who wear hats... The cuffs are a work of art. The North Face and Arc'teryx have some catching up to do...
The thing is waterproof, watertight!
If you're trashing this jacket, you're using it in winter or bought one that doesn't fit. Size runs big, mine is a large, I'm usually more to the XL. If you can find one on ebay or such don't hesitate.
I picked this jacket up at the Patagonia outlet in…
Price Paid: $80
I picked this jacket up at the Patagonia outlet in 2002 and it's been the most amazing jacket I have ever had. It's so waterproof I could swim in it and stay dry. I have left it for months on end thrown in the back of vw dirty and wet. I pull it out throw it in the wash and it's good as new again.
It beats every other jacket I have bought hands down. It's not a ski jacket - but a hard working daily jacket for everything else.
DURABLE! The Toyota pickup of outer shells. I've used…
Fabric: h2no storm
Price Paid: $285
DURABLE! The Toyota pickup of outer shells. I've used this jacket in downpours, as a picnic blanket, a shell for skiing-camping-cruising around town, even tied it around my waist and used it as a sled for sliding down Mt. Superior, UT. It's as wp/br as any shell you'll find, and twice as rugged and durable. the supplex nylon holds up to abrasion in a tough, dependable fashion.
I'm on my second jacket in fifteen years of brutal use and look forward to buying a third when this one finally wears out. I only hope Patagonia has some cool colors to choose from at that time.
I have owned a Storm Jacket for over eight years and…
Price Paid: $285
I have owned a Storm Jacket for over eight years and apart from the outdated color scheme, the jacket is in fantastic shape. It has taken me through drenching rain and freezing cold from climbing trips in West Virginia to weird western atmospheric fluctuations. I love it so much that I was blind to the early '90s flash until a comment from a co-worker opened my eyes. I guess I will buy another and religate it to the emergency kit in the auto. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Like any other piece of Patagonia gear this jacket…
Price Paid: $550
Like any other piece of Patagonia gear this jacket is excellent. It does not breathe as well as some other fabrics but is outstanding in quality. Mine was replaced under warranty with no hassle from the company. What an excellent company to deal with but some of their prices have got a bit high if you compare similar products against other manufacturers. ie The Das Parka verses LL Bean Primaloft Jacket.
This jacket is the nicest jacket I have ever had.
Price Paid: $315
This jacket is the nicest jacket I have ever had. It can protect you from any type of weather that the earth has to offer. It does not protect against the cold, but when wearing a Patagonia fleece inside it is perfect.
This is a great jacket. It keeps out all water and…
Price Paid: $320
This is a great jacket. It keeps out all water and it's very lightweight for long backpacking trips. The ventilating pockets are a good substitute for the underarm zips