Gear Review: Montbell Torrent Flier Jacket

Over the past so many years I have bought a new rain jacket pretty much every year.  I typically spend about $100 on a lightweight waterproof rain jacket.   Thinking I have gotten my moneys worth out of it by the end of the year once the waterproofing has worn off.  I have tried to revive them by using products like Camp Dry with little or no success.

Many of you have probably been down the same road I have, time and time again.  Hopefully your jacket lasted longer than mine all did.  Hiking, fly fishing and everyday use my rain jacket is literally always with me.  I wear it as a shell over my insulating layer in the fall.  It’s also what I wear over my down puffy jacket through the winter.  I am hard on my gear and I use my rain jacket year round.  So each year for $100 I felt I got my moneys worth.  But those $100 years add up.  By now I could have paid for more than one QUALITY waterproof jacket.  Enter the Montbell Torrent Flier GORE-TEX Jacket.

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Circumstance of the review

I’ve had this jacket for months and I have worn it hiking in the rain and fly fishing on the bitter cold weekends in Pulaski NY chasing steelhead.  I also wear it daily as my shell layer.  Sometimes I wear it as a stand alone and other times it’s over my Montbell Down Anorak.

Features

Smart Sewing Technology for weight savings
Fully seam taped
Single 7in.(16cm) zippered chest pocket
16in. (42cm) pit zips
2-way adjustable hood
Draw cord hem adjustment
Adjustable alpine cuff
Weather resistant Aqua-Tect ™ zipper
Slightly articulated arms
Stuff sack included

Description

“By combining 2.5 layer Paclite® technology, lightweight 12 denier nylon, and holding true to a “no frills” design ethic we are able to bring a sub 9 ounce GORE-TEX® rain shell to market. The Torrent Flier Jacket offers generous pit zips and simple cuff and hem adjustability. This one pocket, semi-fitted piece is great for the old school minimalist who revels in the quest for backcountry solitude.” Montbell.com

Specs

Weight: 8.6 oz

Fabric: 2.5-layer GORE-TEX® PacLite technology
12-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon

Compressed size: 3″ x 3″ x 5.8″

Pros

GORE-TEX brand 2.5 layer Pac-Lite waterproof membrane.  GORE-TEX the absolute leader in membrane style waterproofing.  The jacket also has a 3 point multi adjustment hood.  Oversized pit zips for increased ventilation.  Storm proof zippers to keep the wind and rain out.  The additional waterproofing to the shell material has continued to bead rain off.  The wind resistance of this jacket was absolutely surprising for it’s weight.  I could easily tighten up the waist, cuffs and hood during heavy wind and rain.  Weighing in at just 8.6 ounces it truly sets this jacket apart from other minimalist jackets.  The zippers are also surprisingly ruggid for their size and weight.  I could feel them closing solidly as opposed to some ultra light zippers on other brands.

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Cons

There is one thing I dislike about this jacket.  I honestly didn’t realize at the time when I ordered it was the lack of hand warmer pockets.  It truly is a minimalist jacket.  It has one single breast pocket but no hand warmer pockets.  For hiking I feel like this isn’t really much of a downfall since I prefer not to hike with my hands in my pockets.  This is more of an operator error than an issue with the product.  It is exactly what it says it is in the description.

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Value

For an ultra light GORE-TEX jacket this thing is right on the money.  You will be very hard pressed to find a sub 10 ounce GORE-TEX rain jacket for under $200.  For reference the $200 Marmott Minimalist jacket weighs in at 15 ounces, nearly twice that of the Montbell .  If you truly need the hand warmer pockets and don’t mind the added weight or cost the Montbell Storm Cruiser is another great option by Montbell.  The Torrent Flyer Jacket is a true minimalist jacket and an ultra light hikers dream come true.  I absolutely love it and I wear it constantly.  Their service and staff are great to work with and beyond helpful with all of my questions.  Montbell has created a lifetime customer with this product.

Disclosure: this product was donated for the purpose of review

 

 

 

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