- Height: 5’6’’
- Shoulder to Wrist: 21.5”
- Spine to Wrist: 29”
Weight: 538 g / 19 oz.
Size Tested: Women’s Large
Front Zipper Length: 28″
- Gore-Tex 3 Layer Pro Shell
- Helmet-compatible, 2-way adjustable hood w/ laminated visor
- Harness-compatible pockets: 2 hand, 2 chest, and one inner pouch
- Pit zips from the elbow to waist
- Microfleece on collar and chin
- Waterproof zippers
Test Locations: Juneau, Alaska; Grand Targhee and Teton Pass, Wyoming; Squamish, British Columbia; Whitefish, Montana
Days Skied / Hiked: 150
Days Worn: ~200
If there were a single word I (and Patagonia) would use to describe the Triolet jacket, it’s durable. This technical shell is designed for the backcountry skier and alpinist who needs a reliable piece of outerwear for protection against wet and raw elements.
In the two years I’ve used this jacket, for everything from Pacific Northwest bushwhacks to glacier ice climbing and mid-winter ski mountaineering, it has exceeded my expectations of waterproofness and durability, even compared to very good jackets like my Arc’teryx Beta AR shell.
Fit / Sizing
When looking at shells, my deciding factor for which size to go with is based on layering. I usually wear a size medium, but have purchased size large shells in the past (like the Arc’teryx Beta AR) just to allow room to layer a thick fleece or puffy underneath.
The size medium in the Triolet would have allowed sufficient layering space in the torso, but I purchased a size large because the arms of the medium were too skinny for me—layering underneath would not have left enough loft space for insulation.
Granted, my arms are thicker than many other women’s arms, but I was still surprised at the sleeve proportion. This isn’t uncommon for me with normal fitted shirts, but was a new issue for me in the world of jackets: the arms of the size large were still a bit skinny for accommodating very warm, high-loft layers underneath, like my Patagonia DAS Parka. But purchasing an XL would have meant I’d be swimming in the torso.
(Note: if you don’t typically layer with bulkier, high-loft mid-layers, then the sleeve width of the Triolet will also be less of an issue.)
I did, however, find that the torso runs true to size—the back dips down to my inseam, and the front is roughly six inches below the top of my hipbones (my iliac crests). The shape of the Triolet’s torso is comparable to the shape of my previous Arc’teryx AR. That is, well shaped for an athletic person who requires full range of motion for anything from ice climbing to navigating rocky alpine scrambles.
The Triolet has gusseted underarm panels, and the arms and shoulders have been ergonomically stitched to mimic the resting angles of elbows and shoulders, which allows for a greater range of motion without hitting resistance from the fabric. I still noticed some movement of the jacket when moving my arms, but no more or less than with my Arc’teryx, and not enough to be an annoyance.
The draw cord cinching systems in the hem and hood are functional. Patagonia replaced the traditional pinch toggles found on many a drawstring with a flat button that is hidden inside of the fabric. This change creates a sleek mechanism (coined the Touch Point System by Patagonia) that functions as well as a tradtional toggle.
I was never able to manipulate the peanut-sized toggles on my Arc’teryx AR shell with gloves on, and I can’t do so with the Touch Point System, either. However, I am not a big fan of using hoods over helmets unless I have to. This means that I rarely ever expand the hood via the draw cord system, instead opting to keep the hood cinched down to use as a general rain jacket.
My favorite component of the Triolet’s hood is the visor. It’s stiff, so it maintains the shape of the hood and facilitates a clear line of sight, even when used over a helmet or when my head is down to hide from driving rain or snow—or both.
The hood is quite large, which is great for those who love to pull up the hood over climbing and ski helmets. Whenever I do pull my hood over my helmet in wet weather, it comfortably fits over my ProTec ski helmet and I feel as though I am invincible to the elements. I have never had a problem with any headwear being too large for this hood to cover while also not choking me.
But because I don’t generally use hoods over helmets, I don’t need such a large hood; I mostly use the hood when hiking in the rain or walking around town. In such cases, the hood is too large for me, and my only complaint is that there are only two directions of draw cords in the hood: one around the edge of the hood that is manipulated at the jawbone on both sides, and one which is manipulated from the center of the back of the head.
On my previous Arc’teryx AR shell, there was a third draw cord that ran from the top of the hood toward the base of the skull. This was very helpful in downsizing the hood for adventures without a helmet or for casual use. With the Triolet, I wear a ball cap to keep the visor of the hood from drooping into my vision.