Gear Review - Patagonia Women's Stretch Rainshadow Jacket
Nobody loves wearing a rain jacket. They are typically stiff, noisy, unflattering and sticky. It’s very nearly almost better to just suck it up and get wet.
But in comes the Patagonia Recycled Rainwear Collection which feature rain jackets that are not only supple, designed with a clean silhouette and high-performing, but are also made of unique recycled materials.
This Collection comprises of three rain jackets, hitting all skill levels from entry-level to technical.
The Torrentshell is is made from 100% recycled nylon from post-industrial waste. It weighs 343 grams.
The Triolet is made from 100% recycled polyester face giving it durable performance in heavy snow, heavy wind and heavy rain. It’s a 3-layer GORE-tex jacket delivering superior technical capabilities and rugged protection. It weighs 488 grams.
The Stretch Rainshadow is made of 100% recycled nylon from discarded fishing nets, similar to the Torrentshell…but it weighs in at the lightest at 306 grams. I chose this jacket for its packability and versatility; it’s the perfect companion for Queenstown’s renowned fickle weather!
What I Love
There are two scenarios in which you need a packable lightweight rain shell; firstly, when hiking especially for multi-days as the weather can change unexpectedly and secondly, when living in a place like Queenstown where the weather is notorious for, yep, changing unexpectedly.
The Stretch Rainshadow is not only featherlight at only 306 grams, but also packs into itself; it self-stuffs into the chest pocket and has a little carabiner clip-in loop. I can take this rain jacket with me basically all the time, no worries!
The cut of this jacket is graceful and flattering and especially in the Classic Navy colour, it transitions effortlessly from mountain to town. That was one of the most important features for me in choosing the Stretch Rainshadow because in a town like Queenstown, when you can go from summit to street in hours, you want your gear to be multi-purpose.
One pet hate of mine is a hood that’s just there for looks. You know what I mean; a hood that barely covers your head, that keeps slipping off. But the hood on this jacket is THE GOODS. It’s an alpine helmet-compatible hood which means it will fit any sized noggin, helmet or sans-helmet. You can stow the hood away with a single-pull cord and hook adjustment too. I reckon on a bluebird day, I might even take this jacket out on the slopes. You can adjust the hood when not wearing a helmet.
Patagonia boasts not only quality in all senses of the word, including functionality and in my books, a key aspect of functionality is pocket design. This jacket has two zippered handwarmer pockets and a chest pocket. All pockets are sizeable with sealed zippers so you can keep all the essentials dry and at hand. This is so important to me as a photographer as I usually keep my camera batteries in my chest pocket, especially in colder temperatures.
I love a drawcord hem on my jackets. It prevents them from flapping around in the wind and just keeps the weather right out. This one is a dual-adjust drawcord meaning you won’t go to reach on one-side only to feel like a fool ‘cos it’s on the OTHER side! It’s on both sides 😄
Yes, the caps are well deserved. This is, without a doubt, the most supple and comfortable rain jacket I have ever owned - and I currently have three others hanging in my wardrobe, not to mention the countless others I’ve given up on in the past! The material is stretchy so it moves well as I move. The material is also breathable (plus there are zippered armpit vents) so I don’t feel like I’m sweating it up in the tropics all the damn time.
What I Didn’t Love
The pit zips are a little sticky but I wonder if they will ease up with use.
I do love an internal pocket but something’s gotta give when you want a packable, versatile rain jacket!
The laminated hood visor doesn’t work very well if you don’t have a helmet on. It could be slightly larger and more laminated in my opinion. I will continue to wear a cap underneath my rain jacket!
Also available in Beryl Green and Light Violet Blue
H2No® Performance Standard shell: 2.5-layer, 2.2-oz 30-denier
100% nylon ripstop with a waterproof/breathable barrier
DWR (durable water repellent) finish
This gear review was written in exchange for the jacket. Opinions are honest and true to Thuc’s experience.
Thuc is a lover of beautiful words, grand landscapes and meaningful relationships. In addition to manning the She Went Wild digital desk, she is a freelance content creator in the outdoors and fitness spaces. You’ll likely find her in the mountains with her camera and a notebook and pen!
Follow Thuc’s adventures on Instagram at @thuc.creative