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Patagonia Rainshadow Jacket

rated 3.50 of 5 stars
photo: Patagonia Rainshadow Jacket waterproof jacket

It was a great rain coat while it lasted, but I was disappointed with how the waterproofing held up over a few years.


  • Great colors
  • Smooth zippers
  • The hood tightens nicely during high winds


  • Lost waterproofing after a year

I've had the Rain Shadow for a few years and loved it for the first year. After about a year it completely lost its waterproof quality and the inner layer started shedding. It started to feel sort of like a moist baggy, holding in moisture instead of keeping it out.

I wish the waterproofing had lasted longer because it was great while it lasted. You can cinch it down on the hood and waist really well during high winds.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150

If used for the intended purpose, this is a very fine rain/foul weather jacket if properly maintained. In my mind, this jacket is a lightweight windproof, waterproof, and reasonably breathable shell with some features that make it appropriate for three-season hiking and sports, and moderate winter conditions.

I would feel some hesitation using this in the worst four-season weather or hardcore mountaineering, but I don't think it was intended for that. I have owned this jacket for a few years and rotate it with a more robust North Face shell that I use for hard winter conditions.

This is an un-insulated shell made from Patagonia's H2No fabric, a coated polyurethane with tiny pores that allow condensation to escape. I have found this works pretty well so long as you treat the jacket occasionally with a wash-in DWR coating like Nikwax, so rain beads on the outside of the fabric. The jacket is extremely lightweight, a plus in most conditions. It sizes large, so it might be vulnerable to extreme conditions and tends to flap hard in strong winds, one of my reasons for disliking it for extreme cold and high winds.

It is not reinforced in areas that tend to wear like elbows and shoulders. In a few years of use, no seam tape delamination, no loose stitches, no tears despite a lot of hiking - it's pretty well constructed, and the quality is very good. without the Nikwax, it doesn't breath nearly as well and tends to feel a little like a wet baggie.

The front zipper is waterproof and backed by fabric but leaks air in high winds. The jacket has two large front pockets which are very handy, and two substantial pit zips. The zippers are initially quite stiff and a little hard to open, but they tend to work more easily with some use.

In terms of features, it has some nice touches but does not have a lot of bells and whistles, which I think is a good thing. There is an adjustable elastic shock-cord along the bottom hem, and the hood is adjustable with elastic cords on either side and around the back.

I particularly like the hood pull setup, which allows the hood to be tightened by simply pulling down. The hood is very adjustable, and when pulled in, works in a downpour and provides good visibility. The cuffs of the sleeves are very loose but close with a plastic velcro strip. It took me a while to get accustomed to this, but i have grown to like the simplicity of it.

In addition to some of the shortcomings identified above, I think there are fabrics that breath better, and this fabric doesn't have the best 'feel,' it's kind of slick.

Then again, this is a bargain compared to high-end shells.

Fabric: H2No
Fill: none
Price Paid: gift

Fit is relaxed, not athletic like Patagonia's climbing stuff, so it will layer well over almost anything but tends to feel baggy and is not long enough in the hem.
Nice light weight but this doesn't help when you want to use the stiff waterproof zips and end up using two hands to open a pocket or the pits.

Plastic cuffs do not work very well in closing and staying open and should open a bit wider.

Hood is ok, visibility is ok, drawcords for the hood front are not so great, being a Patagonia special foam design using friction.

Front zip is starting to peal away at the waterproof cover, and again is too stiff for one handed use. It could use a breast pocket on the outside but then the idea of lightweight design would begin to be compromised.

Good for around town or carrying in a pack on a summer mountain hike.

Price Paid: GBP 100.00

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Price MSRP: $179.00
Historic Range: $14.90-$199.00
Weight 12.8 oz / 363 g
Fabric 2.5 Layer, 2.5 oz 100% Nylon, Waterproof/Breathable H2No® Barrier / Deluge® DWR Finish
Price MSRP: $179.00
Historic Range: $35.80-$189.00
Reviewers Paid: $150.00
Weight 10.9 oz / 309 g
Fabric 2.5 Layer, 2.5 oz 100% Nylon, Waterproof/Breathable H2No® Barrier / Deluge® DWR Finish
Price Historic Range: $45.59-$119.00
Product Details from Patagonia »

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