Are you pack-weight conscious, yet don’t want to sacrifice warmth and comfort? Then read on! Because this is the jacket for you. Most ultralight gear has you sacrificing luxuries while backpacking, which might be one of your first steps on the journey to UL, but the Enlightened Equipment Torrid APEX Synthetic Jacket breaks this trend. Yep, you read that right, synthetic! So this jacket can keep you warm even if it gets damp. The jacket is extremely light and the material is silky smooth against your skin. After wearing this jacket around town and on a backpacking trip in the Utah desert, I was very impressed by its ability to keep me toasty, block the breeze, and pack down.
Enlightened Equipment has done it again, bringing you an extremely warm and light piece of gear. This jacket weighs in at 8.4 oz with a hood and 7.5 oz without the hood. As with most EE gear, the Torrid is fully customizable on Enlightened Equipment’s website or ready to order on Garage Grown Gear.
The jacket is soft and sturdy because it is made from your choice of 10D or 20D custom blend nylon. The insulation is Climashield APEX, which is synthetic, keeping you warm in a damp and humid environment, and is much easier to clean than down. I enjoyed wearing this jacket in 30-50˚F during low-effort activities.
- Weight: 8.4 oz based on a size medium with 10D liner and exterior fabric .
- 2.0oz (65 gsm) CLIMASHIELD™ APEX synthetic insulation that keeps you warm, even when wet.
- Hood includes an adjustable shock cord pull string to lock in heat.
- Raglan-style sleeves to increase comfort and range of motion.
- Zippered insulated hand warmer pockets.
- Elastic waist and wrist closures.
- Full length zipper.
- Zipper garage keeping the zipper off of your chin.
- 10D fabric made of a customized, lightweight, and durable nylon with a DWR finish that offers breathability and comfort.
Things I Like:
Weight: 8.4oz. That is very light, especially for a synthetic jacket that will keep me warm when wet, if I get into a bad storm or stream crossing while thru-hiking. In the past, I have used the Arcteryx Atom LT (14.6oz/synthetic insulation) and the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 (9.2oz/down insulation) which are both great jackets, but aren’t noticeably warmer. This jacket is lighter and performs just as well if not better than its closest competitors.
Bang for Your Buck!: The Torrid is very affordable at $170 (compared to the Ghost Whisperer 2 at $325 and the Atom LT at $259).
Close Fitting Hood: The hood fits tight to your head making it move with your head when you turn your neck. It also has an adjustable shockcord, so when the wind picks up you can cinch it tight. The hood is snug enough to fit under a climbing helmet for chilly morning belays.
Packsize: Very compressible and can fit into its own pocket. The Torrid takes hardly any space in my pack and packs as small as my down jacket.
Comfortable: This jacket is so light and soft that several times I forgot that I had a jacket on at all, until I looked in a mirror or caught a glimpse of my sleeve.
Simple: No extra pockets or features to get in the way. A simple jacket that stores well and is ready for action when needed.
Wind Resistant: Does a good job of fending off a breeze.
Things to Note
Cuff and Waist Elastic: At times I noticed that the elastic band in the cuffs and waist were twisted, which can make the wrist uncomfortable until you unfold it.
Snug Neck: When the jacket is fully zipped the neck is pretty snug. I found this to be surprisingly comfortable as it seems to fit perfectly, but if you have a thicker neck it may be something to consider.
Material: As with all lightweight jackets, the material is thin and may rip when in contact with rough or sharp objects. I wouldn’t take this jacket or any other nylon-shelled jacket on a trot through a briar patch.
Warmth: That jacket is extremely warm for what it is and finds its place as an ultralight standalone jacket during spring and fall and a nice layering piece in the winter.
Sizing: I typically wear a size large in jackets, but based on the sizing chart I picked a medium, and it fits perfectly. The jacket is made with room to wear extra layers underneath, so even in a medium, I have room to add a fleece.
If you are looking for a jacket that keeps you warm but doesn’t break your back or the bank, the Torrid is the one for you. With a high warmth-to-weight ratio and good compressibility you can take this jacket with you wherever you find a cool breeze. The Torris Apex jacket is the warmest ultralight jacket I’ve tried out and it may have earned itself a spot in my pack for the CDT!