I've had many different Gortex (and Gortex wannabe) shells over the years and have always had to put up with some degree of inside moisture build-up due to physical exertion and/or ambient temperatures. So, that's what I expected with the Theta SV but was I wrong! I really tried to work up a sweat by putting on a liner jacket underneath and wearing a hat and gloves in relatively mild (48 deg F) temperatures, but it just wouldn't happen. No sweat even though I felt a touch too warm after about an hour. Given the conditions and the hilly terrain I hiked, I should have been swimming in perspiration. Instead I remained dry and comfortable. I don't think I'll ever get another Gortex shell again unless I manage to trash this one and need to replace it.
I really liked these pants at first. They were very comfortable to hike in and I experienced no leakage when sitting on wet rocks or in drizzle. However, this morning I went out hiking in a moderate rain. The temperature was 40 deg.F and there was a 2 to 4 mph wind blowing. After 1-hour, the right pant leg - just below the top of the stretchy lower section - started to leak cold rain water down my leg. The rest of the garment remained dry.
These pants are not sufficiently water resistant for use in even a moderate rain.
The Good: Two large main burners plus a grill in between. Grill has self-igniter. Grill does a great job on steaks and has a nice bottom removable grease tray. Easy to adjust flame. Easy cleanup. Lots of cooking room.
The Bad: Plastic knobs stick out enough to potentially break. Gas connection on stove sticks out the side opposite the carrying handle leading to inevitable damage. Main burners are NOT self-igniting. No storage bag - you have to buy your own and you'll need one with this baby.
The Ugly: Center grill held in place with 4 flat prongs allowing the grill to slip out with the slightest movement while cooking (then it's too hot to push back into position). The grill self-igniter pin is dangerously easy to stab yourself with when cleaning. There is no easy way to store the propane tube assembly inside the closed stove. If you place the valve end under one of the burner grate corners and weave the tube end diagonally over and under the bars just right - you can close the stove and store it. Figuring this out takes anywhere from a few minutes to several hours depending upon your proficiency at solving 3-D puzzles.
The Torrentshell pant is perfect for carrying in a pack, along with the jacket of course. The jacket and pants weigh so little and crunch down into such a tiny bundle that there's loads of room for everything else you might want to carry. Both garments do their job, that is preventing you from getting soaked in the rain. They are not for keeping warm as there is no insulation, so think under-layers when using the Torrentshell system. Quality is first rate as you would expect form Patagonia.
I've tried the pant both with and without regular pant underneath and it works well both ways.
It seems to be almost impossible to find a 3/4-length rain/wind shell but the Patagonia Torrentshell fits the bill. That extra length nicely covers your rear, unlike all the shorty rain/wind shells currently being sold. The construction quality is first rate - as you would expect from Patagonia. It's roomy enough to use with a fleece vest or light jacket and feels comfortable with regular walking around even without the zipper pits opened. I haven't yet tried it during rigorous hiking but feel confident that the fabric's breathablity plus those pit zips would do just fine. It packs down to almost nothing in size and weight yet provides excellent protection from the elements. The zipper is very substantial and the extra Velcro tabs are easy to engage and disengage as you zip the front. It has two outer pockets that are positioned low enough for comfortable hand-level access. The only improvement I can see is to have two inner zipper pockets instead of the single open one provided. Otherwise, I liked this shell so much I bought two more for my wife and son.
The jacket arrived with a noticeable and large blemish on its black inner lining. It looked like they spilled some sort of liquid seam sealant during manufacturing and just left the excess stuff all over the inner lining. It did not affect its functionality, but does indicates a willingness on the part of North Face to allow this sort of flaw to pass through unflagged to consumers. Not a good sign. Now for the bad part: this jacket is cut way to tight for practical layering. I purchased it for my wife who normally takes a size small woman's. I got a size small man's, just to ensure extra layering room. However, even this extra precaution was insufficient The shell was way too tight. No room for layering at all. So, what do we have here? How about a nice fashion statement from North Face, but a rather less than useful shell in the real world of winter sports.
Like all North Face products, it's well made. However, the sizing runs small. It's very tight fitting allowing little room for interior liners or sweaters. Since this is supposed to be a shell it should be cut large enough to fit such liners. Also, it's very short providing less protection than is optimal. Great looking but not practical.
These are the only mittens that my wife felt her hands to be warm in. That's at temperatures of -5 deg. F. Snowshoed in rough hilly country.
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