Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket | Tested and reviewed

Carrying a premium price, decent eco credentials, and promising top performance, we test the Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket to see if lives up to expectations.

Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket with hood up

by Chris Williams |
Published on

It’s a real challenge finding a waterproof running jacket. The biggest problems are around comfort and breathability. Let's see if the Storm Racer from Patagonia can get around them.

Over the seasons we’ve tested dozens upon dozens of waterproof running jackets and to be honest only a few of them passed muster. Most were too clammy.

Patagonia has had a go with the Storm Racer, which uses the brand’s own H2No waterproof membrane to keep the water at bay. It’s quite pricey compared to many waterproof running jackets, including some of our favourites. So, what does paying a premium get you?

Pros

  • 3-layer construction
  • Sustainable
  • Excellent fit
  • Impressive weatherproofing
  • Stash pocket

Cons

  • Stash pocket is a tad small
  • Gore-Tex has even higher waterproof rating

Design and features

Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket chest pocket
©LFTO

The Patagonia Storm Racer is made with a 3-layer construction, so things are off to a good start. A 3-layer construction is the most desirable type for performance waterproofs because the membrane is sandwiched between proper outer and backer fabrics. This, compared to 2.5- or 2-layer constructions is considerably more durable.

Depending on size, the Storm Racer can weigh well under 200g, which is also impressive. The fabrics used are pretty lightweight, with the face fabric being 20D nylon, and the backer being a 7D tricot fabric.

Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket elasticated cuffs
©LFTO

It comes with a number of features too, such as an adjustable hood, partly elasticated cuffs, and a chest pocket that doubles as a stash pocket. The zips are water resistant, while the main zip also has a stormflap behind it.

Performance and comfort

We tested the women’s version, and our tester was very complimentary of the fit, which was both comfortable and flattering. Patagonia has deliberately given the Storm Racer a slim fit, and while the fabric doesn't really offer much stretch, the superb cut ensures it’s not restrictive.

Running in Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket
©LFTO

Despite being so lightweight, the Storm Racer’s fabric also feels reassuringly sturdy compared to many rivals and made our tester feel nicely protected in bad weather. We found it’s a very good emergency layer for day hikers and fastpacking as well.

In terms of waterproofing, the H2No membrane works very well. It has a hydrostatic head rating of 20,000mm, and can cope with persistent rain perfectly well. You do get an even higher waterproof rating with Gore-Tex, so if you want the absolute best waterproof rating, the Storm Racer may not be for you.

Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket with hood up
©LFTO

The other big question is around breathability. Is the Storm Racer good enough? We think it is. Anyone who’s used a waterproof running jacket will know they all have their limits, and you get sweaty even in the best of them when working hard or wearing one for extended periods.

Our experience was that the Storm Racer is one of the more breathable jackets we’ve tested but also has those same limitations.

Sustainability

This is one of the Storm Racer’s strong points compared to other lightweight waterproofs. So often the pursit of lightweight performance is at the expense of sustainability efforts. We were therefore very pleased to see the Storm Racer uses a fully recycled nylon face fabric, is PFC-free, and is made in a Fair Trade Certified factory.

Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket
©LFTO

This latter point means a premium is paid for gear produced in those factories, and that extra money goes directly to the factory workers (who are among of the lowest paid and most exploited people in the world), who themselves get to decide how it is spent. The Fair Trade program is also about promoting safe working conditions, environmental protection, sustainable livelihoods, and community development funds.

So, if you’re wondering why the Storm Racer is more expensive than many rivals, that explains a significant chunk of it.

Patagonia also repairs its gear. You can request this through its repair portal, send it off, and the item will be repaired. If it can’t be, it’ll either be returned to you or repurposed and recycled.

Price and competition

Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket and rivals
©LFTO

At the time of writing, the Patagonia Storm Racer costs £270. That puts it in between two of our favourite waterproof running jackets.

The Montane Phase Nano costs £330 – it’s a very expensive jacket but offers excellent comfort, best-in-class performance, and justifiably won a Trail Running Gear of the Year award from us in 2023.

Meanwhile, the Inov-8 Stormshelloffers a better financial proposition at £160. We like its super low weight (150g) and decent weather protection – but is a 2.5-layer build.

And neither the Montane nor the Inov-8 jacket can match Patagonia for sustainability which, frankly, is something that we all need to prioritise alongside performance and price these days.

Verdict

Runner wearing Patagonia Storm Racer Waterproof Jacket
©LFTO

The Patagonia Storm Racer carries a top end price, but it’s not just performance and comfort that justifies it. Sustainability is an area that lightweight outdoor gear seriously lacks. So, it's a pleasant surprise to come across a superlight running jacket that has some decent eco credentials to go with the performance.

How we tested

The author of this review is Chris Williams – one of our staff writers and gear testers – and is based on the field testing and feedback provided by his partner.

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