Hurtta Torrent Coat

Hurtta America sent over a few items for us to test out, including this lightweight, full-coverage Torrent Coat in their brand new hi-viz orange!

Price: $75

Sizing and colors: 9¬†sizes from 8″ – 35″ back length, in raven (black with teal trim), cherry (pink), and hi-viz orange (only available for size 12″ and up).

This is Robin’s fourth raincoat, and the first one we’ve been happy with. His Ruffwear Sun Shower sagged in the chest and trapped his front¬†feet, his discontinued-style red Hurtta raincoat had minimal hip and shoulder coverage, and his Hurtta Chill Stopper bunches up on his narrow chest. Enter the full-coverage Torrent Coat, which came out this fall¬†in Robin’s signature orange- it’s been the perfect lightweight fall jacket to keep him warm and visible during the changing season.

20161030-dsc_6060-sunshine-dr
Surveying the city at sunrise (Torrent collar folded back)

Design: 4/5

The (admittedly steep) price tag feels¬†justified when you pick one of these up – the Torrent Coat is made¬†like human grade tech clothing – or better. The shell is¬†a smooth, not-too-crinkly breathable and waterproof nylon layer, and it’s fully lined with¬†a¬†thick,¬†¬†soft fine mesh. The two layers¬†together give it a nice heft and drape without being heavy. There’s a stretch insert at the neck (see photo above) and at the back of the belly panel to allow a close, non-constricting¬†fit.¬†This coat (unlike the Ruffwear one and the old Hurtta raincoat) has a snap-open harness attachment point.

Like all Hurtta jackets we’ve tried, it features leg loops to keep the hip area¬†in place, and they’re very helpful on the Torrent¬†because it has a lot of material to be shaken around. The neck and top of the hood¬†are adjustable with bungees, it has¬†shoulder flaps to keep rain off the legs without restricting movement, and two “butt flaps” wrap around the hips and snap under the tail.¬†Disappointingly, the butt flap snaps don’t have mates underneath the jacket to clip them back the way our Ultimate Warmer does. I can’t imagine why Hurtta would do away with the feature, but I hope they bring it¬†back – except in really heavy rain or high winds, I’d prefer to snap them out of the way.

20161002-DSC_3518-whitingwoods.jpg
Chilly fall sunrises in the Torrent Coat

Hurtta jackets come in three fastener styles:

Fastener Example(s) Notes
Zipper Slush Combat Suit, Chill Stopper The jacket zips up the side. Least adjustable – if the sleeves, chest width, or belly size don’t fit, the jacket won’t work. There’s usually a waist bungee but it can only do so much.
2 buckles Ultimate Warmer One buckle on each side of the belly panel clips into the side of the coat. Fairly adjustable girth-wise but if the jacket is too big or small in the chest, the buckle can’t be moved forward or back to accommodate.
Belt & single buckle Torrent Coat, Summit Parka A single belt wraps around the waist and clips on top. This is the fastest to adjust and also the most adjustable – the belt can be placed anywhere behind the front legs, the belly panel can be overlapped over the jacket body, and the girth can quickly be sized as needed.

My main gripe with this jacket (aside from the missing butt flap snaps, which I will probably try to fix myself) is that the belly panel just isn’t long enough. On Robin, the belt is almost right behind his armpits, and it gets worse when he’s wearing a harness underneath, as that takes up extra space in the chest. He is not a very chesty dog, and I almost wonder if mine is cut wrong, as I don’t such a¬†dramatically short belly panel in others’ photos. Aside from the potential for chafing, too much of his belly gets wet in rain.

One downside of the snuggly mesh lining, particularly for small dogs, is the fact that it¬†isn’t waterproof. The shell takes care of that? For sure, until your¬†dog does¬†zoomies¬†through tall wet grass –¬†as the edges become exposed to moisture, it’ll slowly wick through to the rest of the lining. We haven’t had wet enough weather to experience this, but our friend Crystal at @crystaloutdoors¬†had this problem with her Ultimate Warmer last year, and one stray Camelback leak in my pack soaked the entire lining of¬†Robin’s Torrent, so it’s something to be aware of. Use this jacket as a cool-weather windbreaker and for trail hikes, and¬†for trekking through wet meadows or wet snow, get a full-coverage jacket like the Slush Combat Suit, or use an unlined jacket.

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No camouflage when you’re wearing bright orange, pup!

Fit: 4/5

Hurtta jackets are sized based on back length. This Torrent Coat¬†is 14″ and Robin’s back is 14.5″ long, but even so, the coat¬†is just a tiny bit long on him because of his high-set curly tail (it’s slightly bunched up in the photo above). Some Hurtta coats¬†have a back-shortening¬†toggle at the base of the tail (including the Summit Parka, the insulated sibling of this coat) and I miss that feature, but the length isn’t a problem and it stays in place with no problems. Robin’s very slim¬†for his length and we have trouble finding jackets that fit length-wise without¬†being hugely baggy in the girth; the belt fastener on the Torrent Coat gives it a great range of adjustment and makes it quick¬†to change¬†to fit over a harness. The belt on this one is much¬†easier to adjust than on the old-style raincoat – the buckle slides very easily, but doesn’t move once clipped, and the female side of the buckle is fixed.

Either we’ve been lucky, or there’s¬†something magic¬†about the butt flaps on this jacket – when Robin squats to poop, the jacket somehow¬†seems to pull slightly up and away. He obnoxiously tends to wait¬†to poop until I’ve put his tail through the snaps, but so far, it’s somehow stayed clean. The only time it got dirty was when I left the flaps unsnapped. Most of the time, I just leave them snapped and above his tail – it doesn’t look as nice, but¬†it’s safer. Inner snaps are DEFINITELY a need.

20161030-dsc_6157-sunshine-dr
Butt flaps and leg straps Рneither bother Robin most of the time (he occasionally gets annoyed by the butt flap)

Function: 5/5 

I admit it. We live in Los Angeles and we haven’t had any torrents¬†since we got this jacket – only a few days of drizzle. However, it’s been great for the crisp fall weather we’ve been having, especially in the mountains, and during rainy days it kept him warm and dry except for on his exposed belly.

The coat is ultra visible – the orange stands out even when it’s very dim outside, and the reflectors are very bright. I wouldn’t mind seeing a line of reflective piping around the neck, but from above and from the side, the piping, printed reflectors and reflective belt are plenty visible.

The 14″ size squishes down to about the size of a medium or large¬†orange, around the same as Robin’s old Sun Shower, but considering that this jacket has significantly more hip and shoulder coverage as well as a full lining,¬†the material is quite packable.

20161023-dsc_5743-torrentrain

Build Quality: 5/5

The jacket is impeccably constructed; all of the stitching is even and well-finished, there are no loose ends, and all of the various sections are pieced together symmetrically.¬†However, the stretch trim, soft lining and lightweight nylon shell are going to be a less-durable alternative to your typical heavy denier raincoat – take care of it the same way you’d take care of your own tech wear. That’s the tradeoff for lightweight, low-sound material.

I’d prefer to see contrast nylon trim instead of the black stretch trim, which is more susceptible¬†to abrasion (especially from Velcro, the bane of my existence) – I keep it rolled up when it’s stuffed in my bag to make sure it doesn’t come in contact with a stray boot fastener.

Overall: 4.5/5

This has been our go-to jacket this season – every time I tried a different jacket, I ended up going with this one instead. It’s versatile, warm but not too warm, and easy for Robin to move in.¬†I wish the belly panel came a bit farther back on Robin, but the full coverage elsewhere mostly makes up for it. Highly recommended.

Best for: Rain, cool weather, wind, nighttime/daytime visibility, hunting, all shapes and sizes (especially hard-to-fit dogs like Robin and opposite body types).

Not ideal for: Tall grass (lining will get wet), cold weather (minimal insulation)

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Keeping warm on a chilly Big Bear morning

 

For those who already have the discontinued raincoat, here’s a quick comparison between the¬†two:

Torrent Discontinued Raincoat
Sizes 9 sizes from 8″ – 35″ 15 sizes from 9″ – 33″
Colors Raven, Cherry, Hi-Viz Orange Red, blue, black
Harness opening Yes, with snaps No
Coverage Full coverage on shoulders, hips and tail area, minimal coverage on belly Good hip coverage, no tail area/shoulder coverage, great belly coverage
Belt Single buckle with female side fixed; includes strap keeper Single buckle with both sides adjustable, no strap keeper
Reflectors Piping on both sides of back, stripe on left side and right chest, belt Piping on both sides of back, writing on both sides, belt
Lining Smooth, soft mesh Rougher, loosely wovem mesh that collects hair and lint
Collar high collar with bungee at base of neck and top of hood Medium collar with bungee at base of neck
Overall feel Feels high-end, well made and durable Feels durable but lower-end and more basic

 

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