Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket

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Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket
Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket



According to Patagonia, the new for 2015 Storm Racer is specifically designed for trail running. Don’t let that statement discourage you from trying this jacket out for other activities, including backpacking and hiking. Basically any activity that gets your metabolism churning while in wet weather could benefit from this jacket. I’m not really sure why Patagonia makes the statement they do. To me, it seems like they could be inadvertently reducing their market size. Even I was skeptical about its use for activities that don’t raise your heart rate as much as running. I thought maybe the lightweight feature and the active venting system may make for a chilly time when my blood wasn’t pumping as fast or hard. But hey…judging from past rain gear experiences this seemed highly unlikely. I have yet to find any jacket that does not leave me sweating on uphill climbs, with or without a pack on. So how did the jacket fair? First, here are the nitty gritty details.

Night Terror doing a poor job of modeling

Feature Summary

  • Weight: 9.6 oz.
  • Meets UTMB requirements
  • 30 denier ripstop breathable, waterproof nylon
  • Durable water repellent (DWR) finish keeps breathable nylon from getting saturated
  • Single-pull adjustable hood that stows inside collar
  • Elastic wrist closures
  • Single-pull adjustable hem
  • Knit collar lining for comfort and wicking
  • Always open rear vents
  • Zippered upper arm vents
  • Inner upper left chest zipper pocket
  • Reflective logo and front and back

Field Test

Being an avid outdoor lover, I tend to field test my gear with a variety of activities. As usual, here are my thoughts for backpacking, hiking and trail running.

Falling Angel and the start of her modeling career

In my experience, backpacking seems to be the ultimate test for rain gear. The ascents get you sweating profusely in your jacket. Then your effort level decreases and that trapped sweat starts to chill you. It never helps that your pack eliminates any breathability on your back and the shoulder straps reduce breathability on your shoulders and chest. Well, backpacking wins once again. There just seems to be no good rain jacket out there that allows me to move swiftly while keeping the jacket’s inside dry. In the end, I wind up just as wet as if I wore no jacket at all (my typical choice anymore). One thing I did enjoy with this jacket was the inner coating that kept the jacket from sticking to my skin. The jacket did seem to dry quickly after the rain stopped. Maybe this non-stick coating helped to promote airflow through the jacket?

Born to model

Trail running is the next demanding activity for me in terms of rain gear field tests. I typically do not wear a race vest while running so I eliminate some of the issues that a backpack creates. Was there a clear difference in performance between the 2 activities? I couldn’t really tell. I was hopeful that the always open rear vents would keep me cool and prevent sweating. However, like usual, I wound up sweaty. I was glad to see that the open rear vent design prevented the rain from getting in. The jacket’s breathability once again shone through as myself and the jacket quickly dried once the rain stopped.

Hiking is the least demanding activity for me and rain gear. No pack = increased breathability. Less effort = less sweating. For hiking, this jacket is 100% awesome. No complaints here!

There are some common, activity non-specific features and non-features I noticed as well.

  • The hood actually fits my small head. It adjusts easy, does not move around and does not fall down over my eyes. The inner collar lining is also very comfortable.
  • The lime green jacket choice is highly visible, especially in the dark. Note however that there are not many color choices.
  • There is only 1 pocket and it is on the inside. I would prefer more pockets. In fact, this is why I do not wear the jacket for more everyday activities like walking to work in the rain. I like to put my hands in pockets to keep them dry. Pockets are also appreciated when taking a break from running or walking.

An inside look

The final verdict? The Storm Racer is a keeper for now. However, I’m still awaiting the next engineering advancement that will make a rain jacket that keeps water out and prevents me from sweating more than I normally would.

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