Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover Review

The cottage gear world’s most beloved puffy jacket just got an update. The Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover retains all the glorious synthetic floof of its forebear while swapping the pesky full-length zipper for a half-length zip plus kangaroo pocket. How does this newcomer stack up to the original Torrid APEX, and more importantly, is it worth your dollars? Let’s dive in and find out.

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover in a women’s medium, 10d inner and outer fabric. Please excuse my grainy early-morning photography.

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover At-a-Glance

  • MSRP: $175*
  • Weight: 7.5 ounces for a 10D/10D women’s medium (my measurement); 8.55 ounces for a 10D/10D men’s medium (company specs)
  • Materials: DWR treated nylon (7D, 10D, or 20D for shell, 7D or 10D for inner lining); synthetic Climashield APEX insulation

*Based on a hooded jacket with 10D inner and outer fabric. Subtract $20 for a hoodless version; add $10 apiece for 7D liner or shell fabric. Weight will vary depending on size, fabric, and hood choice.

How We Tested It

The garment I tested was a women’s medium (10-denier inner and outer fabric). I wore it on multiple icebound hikes in Allegheny National Forest and Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Park trail system from January through April. I also wore it around the house, working outside, and on snowy walks around the neighborhood.

In my testing, I wore it mostly on breaks, around camp, and to ward off the early morning chill while walking—it also got occasional use during heavier activity and light snow and rain. The jacket saw temperatures as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as three degrees, as well as high winds, snow, freezing rain (joy), and hail.

It never really rained during my testing, but I took a shower wearing the Pullover and then walked around outside to test loft retention while wet. (It passed-still puffy and surprisingly warm, even when drenched).

Read next – The Best Synthetic Jackets for Backpacking.

Features

Kangaroo Pocket: A large, insulated kangaroo pocket covers most of the belly area below the half-length zipper.

Raglan sleeves: Raglan sleeves extend all the way to the collar as one continuous unit, rather than starting at the shoulder. This gives you more mobility through the arms.

Synthetic Climashield APEX insulation: Climashield APEX is a top performer in the world of synthetic insulation. It’s a continuous filament insulation that’s known for superior loft, thermal efficiency, and compressibility. Continuous filament insulation is also very durable, enjoying longer-lasting loft and compressibility than other classes of synthetic fill.

Drawcord hood and hem: Also elastic cuffs. These features are crucial to maintaining warmth, particularly in a layer as baggy as this one where cold drafts would otherwise run rampant. Look inside the kangaroo pocket for the hem adjustment. The hooded version costs $20 more and, on average, adds less than an ounce to the weight of the layer.

Customizable, DWR-treated nylon: You can choose the color and fabric weight of the nylon shell and liner. The outer shell can range from paper-thin 7D nylon to burlier 20D and always gets a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment to shed moisture. This isn’t the same as waterproofing, but it will provide adequate protection from light rain and mist. You also have your choice of a hooded or hoodless collared version of the pullover.

Read next – Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt Review.

 

Torrid Pullover vs. Original Torrid Apex

The Torrid Pullover is similar to the full-zip Torrid APEX jacket in most ways. It uses the same insulation and the same range of customizable nylon fabrics in a variety of weights and colors. You still get to choose between the hooded and collared versions. (I vote hood. It adds $20 and less than an ounce to the overall weight of the jacket, fits snugly without drooping in my eyes, and feels like a head hug). Both layers have elasticized cuffs and a drawcord hood and hemline.

enlightned equipment torrid pullover

Zippers are notorious cold spots on any insulated garment, so the Torrid Pullover’s half-zip design makes it warmer than the jacket. The bottom half of the pullover is covered with an insulated kangaroo pocket, essentially adding a second blanket of insulation over your belly area. In contrast, the Torrid APEX jacket has two zippered hand pockets on either side of the zipper.

Both layers have a similarly baggy fit. The addition of the kangaroo pocket makes the Pullover look and feel bulkier around the middle. Still, a loose-fitting layer isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It leaves room for additional layers underneath and makes it easy to pull on and off. And you can always cinch the drawcord waist to block any drafts.

Read our review of the original Enlightened Equipment Torrid APEX jacket.

EE Torrid Pullover Pros

My pullover weighs 7.5 ounces. Side note: you can smush it into its hood and cinch the shock cord to make it packable.

Lightweight: My women’s 10D/10D medium weighs 7 1/2 ounces. That’s more than the 6.8 ounces reported on EE’s site, but still within a realistic margin of error. Either way, it’s among the lightest puffies available. This is remarkable considering a) how warm it is, and b) the fact that it’s synthetic.

The Pullover weighs within a few grams of the jacket, so if you’re stuck between the two, weight won’t be your deciding factor.

Customizable: Like the full-zip jacket, you can decide whether you want a hood and pick the color and weight of your inner and outer fabric. Note that you’re customizing not only the color, but also the weight (7d, 10d, or 20d), of each. Different colors correspond to different fabric weights, so pay attention.

Pullover design maximizes warmth: Zippers = cold spots, so the half-zip design boosts the warmth of this layer. Also, the kangaroo pocket functions as a secondary insulation layer over your belly. Draft-cutting design features (drawcord waist and hood, elasticized cuffs) carry over from the original jacket to lock in warmth.

Synthetic insulation: Down is wonderful, but it’s also expensive and vulnerable to moisture. The Torrid Pullover is my first synthetic puffy, and I loved the added confidence it gave me. It retained warmth and loft when wet and the fibers felt similar to down in terms of softness and compressibility.

No baffles: Climashield APEX won’t sag or clump, so there’s no need for baffles or sewn-through channels. That eliminates a lot of seams (aka cold spots, aka weak points where the garment could eventually begin to fail).

Made in the USA: Manufactured in Winona, Minnesota.

EE Torrid Pullover Cons

Fit: It’s baggy and won’t keep your ass warm if you’re curvy. The women’s medium fits me well in the shoulders and chest, but it’s saggy around the middle and too short/tight to effectively cover the hips. I don’t mind cinching the hem above my hips anyway since it improves mobility.

Note: According to our reviewer, the men’s Torrid APEX jacket does a better job covering the hips, and I presume this carries over to the men’s Pullover.

Also, as Owen noted in his review of the Torrid APEX jacket, the lack of baffles means the sleeves do this weird, annoying thing where the liner fabric follows your hand through the cuff.

The inner liner tends to migrate to the outside when you pull your hands through. Photo: Owen Eigenbrot.

Lead time: Custom jackets currently ship in four to six weeks, so plan ahead and have patience.

Harder to get on and off: I’m pretty good at pulling a jacket on and off while wearing my pack, but getting the Pullover over my head requires taking my pack off. The loose fit and slippery fabric admittedly make the process relatively smooth.

The Pullover is also less ventilated than the jacket, so you have less temperature control.

No zippered pockets: The kangaroo pocket is great for keeping your hands warm but not very useful for storing things because it lacks zippers. The wide openings, pouchy fit, and slippery nylon liner ensure that whatever you put in there will fall out posthaste. Zippered hand pockets would be more functional.

The Verdict

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover

You won’t find a synthetic puffy that’s as lightweight and as warm as Enlightened Equipment’s Torrid collection. These jackets are among the best puffies on the market. If you loved the Torrid APEX but want more warmth for virtually the same weight, go with the Pullover.  If zippered pockets and/or the ease of use and superior temperature control of a full-length zipper are higher on your priority list, stick with the jacket.

For people who run perpetually cold, the added warmth of the  Torrid Pullover is a game-changer. It doesn’t get full marks due to the lack of functional pocket space. Also, pullovers are inherently less convenient than full-zip jackets. Still, this layer will be a backcountry staple for me going forward. If EE ever offers zippered pockets as an alternative to the kangaroo pouch, this pullover will be nearly perfect in my books.

Shop the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover

Comparable Jackets

Rab Xenon Jacket

  • MSRP: $195
  • Weight: 12.7 oz

Arc’teryx Atom LT

  • MSRP: $259
  • Weight: 13.2 oz

Nunatak PCT Pullover

  • MSRP: $270
  • Weight: 14.7 oz

The Enlightened Equipment Torrid Pullover was donated for purpose of review.

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