Looking for a waterproof jacket that not only sheds water like a duck’s back but is made from recycled materials as well. The Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow will not only keep you dry but let you do your bit for the environment at the same time.
Design, Comfort & Durability (Rating: 95%)
The Stretch Rainshadow jacket is a 2.5 layer fully featured rain jacket from Patagonia. The material system is called H2No® which is made from 100% recycled nylon stretch ripstop with a waterproof/breathable barrier and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The recycled fabric is made using ECONYL® which is 100% recycled nylon yarns built from sources including discarded fishing nets. This is great news for the environment. The jacket is fully featured which makes it suitable for many different activities other than bushwalking.
Starting from the top the Rainshadow has a large hood which is alpine helmet compatible and a laminated hood visor to keep the front of the hood out of your eyes. The hood has a single hand pull adjustment at the back if it needs to be tightened up to improve your visibility and the hood rolls down and can be stowed in the collar if you don’t need it.
The Rainshadow has a front zipper which runs full length making it easy to vent and to get on and off as opposed to parka style jackets which are always a struggle to get on or off. The jacket has two hand warmer pockets and a chest pocket on the left side just next to the Patagonia logo.
Another feature which I really like in waterproof jackets is pit zips. The Rainshadow has two which run about 35-40 cm’s in length from the pits to just about the hand pockets. The zip pits while adding weight make it easy to vent some heat out while still keeping the rain out. The zippers are two way as well so you can vent the top or the bottom depending on your preference.
All the zips are coated waterproof zippers. The pit zips and chest pocket have a small flap covering the zippers and are also treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The hand warmer pockets and main zip are not covered but are waterproof and treated zips.
Inside the hand warmers pockets, you can access the waist drawstring toggles if you need to tighten the waist up. There is one string and toggle in each pocket so you can fine-tune the fit of the waist easily.
I found the arms were longer than most of my other jackets in a similar size and longer than my arms by a bit. Given the slightly longer arms, the sizing would be suitable for someone that might be taller and skinnier than me (5 foot 7 / 78 kgs). The longer arms weren’t a problem for me as both wrists have Velcro cuff closures so the wrists can be tightened up. It also allows room underneath to fit a warm jacket or jumper without the arms being too short but something to note as far as sizing goes.
Inside the jacket, all the seams are taped to assist in the waterproofing. On the back of the neck is a soft patch of material where the jacket rubs against your neck. The same material covers the drawcord on the underside of the hood. It’s a small touch but a nice one all the same.
The inside layer of the jacket is really quite soft and very comfortable to wear straight out of the bag. It has a good amount of stretch and I prefer the feel of it to several of my other rain shells. It doesn’t feel cold or plastic like which I have felt on other jackets I’ve worn.
The jacket stuffs into the chest pocket for packing so doesn’t require a separate stuff sack which is good for weight saving in your pack but also one less thing to lose.
Overall the feel of the Rainshadow jacket is really nice in my opinion. Sizing is definitely larger than other jackets I have in the same size and I am what you would say an average build and height. I felt the Medium I tested would easily fit someone who was a bit taller and skinnier with longer arms. It’s not a large or baggy jacket in my opinion and I like the extra room to move but it’s big enough in medium that I can layer a lightweight sweater or puffer jacket and still feel quite comfortable. Something to think about if you prefer real tight or athletic fit clothing.
The Rainshadow is a lightweight jacket (295 grams tested in medium) and as with all lightweight gear, care needs to be taken to ensure durability. It’s not a paper-thin jacket by any means but I wouldn’t want to be hardcore scrub bashing in it either. With care, it should last long enough to get plenty of adventures out of it and the price is pretty good compared to a lot of other similar jackets on the market.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 100%)
What I Like
- Fit is nice and allows for layering. Drawcords and Velcro also allow the fit to be dialled in further if needed.
- Inside material is soft and comfortable against the skin and has a good amount of stretch in it.
- Venting options including pit zips means it’s comfortable when working up a sweat.
- Full-length zip means you don’t need to be a contortionist to get the jacket on or off.
What I Don’t Like
Nothing of note personally. Some will find the sizing a bit big, but I prefer that as I can layer underneath it easily without feeling like I need the next size up. None the less something to think about if ordering online without trying it on first.
Disclaimer: Patagonia provided a jacket for review. This has no influence over the opinions presented here.
Have you tried the Patagonia Men’s Stretch Rainshadow Jacket? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.