Louis Garneau Torrent RTR Review
- Reflective features
- Packs into its back pocket
- Stretchy fabric
- Left-handed front zipper
- Heavier rain soaked through
- Marginal durability
The Louis Garneau Torrent RTR Jacket is clean and simple with excellent breathability and solid protection against the elements. It became a favorite in the test group, primarily due to its lightness and breathability, although it did not fair as well as others in providing protection from the rain. Riders preferred the RTR semi-form fitting cut over others in the test due to its overall comfort and capacity to stretch without compromising protection against the elements.
The Extenz membrane, reinforced sealed seams, and waterproof zippers on the Torrent, provided acceptable protection against wet conditions. Some small drawbacks were its ability to resist wind and protect against rain. The Torrent RTR didn’t do as well on cold descents, especially on cold mornings before riders had increased their body temperatures.
The Torrent RTR was one of the better jackets in the test in terms of breathability. The fabric enabled a consistent body temperature through changing outside temperatures and increasing/decreasing body heat, due in part to the the back-vent and draft-flap. As mentioned, it may breathe too well against cold wind.
Louis Garneau puts a premium on safety and the Torrent RTR comes with more reflective features than any other in the test group. A chest clasp ingeniously prevents the jacket from billowing when unzipped, which riders loved. Front and rear waterproof pockets provided protection beyond just water resistance. This was the only jacket in the test without a hood, which became a plus for the RTR, as most riders in the group preferred to do without the bulky extra fabric, especially since mountain biking relies on dry conditions more than road riding.
Cut for layering, the Torrent RTR is semi-form fitting but loose enough to wear sub-layers and pads. The polyester material was stretchy enough to give easily without sacrificing coverage. Articulated elbows and velcro adjustable wrists maintained fit.
The Torrent RTR packs tightly within it’s own pocket and stores easily within a jersey pocket. It was however the heaviest jacket in the test by 2 ounces.
Sometimes comfort in a jacket means you’re sacrificing strength, which was the case with the RTR. Though sealed, the seams are not reinforced, where others in the test were. The fabric did show some wearing in the elbows as a result of abrasion against sandstone.
Blend: Extenz: 4-way stretch 3L fabric. 2.5-ply. 100% polyester
How We Tested It
The jackets in this test were used in rain, high winds and sunny days on asphalt, hard pack dirt, sand, granite and sandstone in Southern California. Temperatures ranged from 48 to 75 degrees and distances ranged from 10 to 40 miles with big climbs and descents.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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