Patagonia M10 Jacket Review
The Patagonia M10 Jacket is a fantastic rain shell for any lightweight adventurer. It has quickly become my all-time favorite backpacking jacket, and I expect you’ll feel the same. It’s incredibly light, comfortable, and compactible. It breathes ridiculously well for a rain shell, feels soft against the skin - not plasticy like other jackets - and will keep you bone dry, even under the harshest conditions. If you spend a lot of time in the backcountry (backpacking, climbing, trail running, biking, etc.) you’ll quickly fall in love with the Patagonia M10 jacket.
- Weight - 8.1oz
- Function - Waterproof Rain Shell (full-zip w/ hood & watertight zippers)
- Material - Ripstop Nylon H2No + DWR
Weather Protection - The M10 is completely waterproof and windproof. It’s built from Patagonia’s patented H2No fabric - a combination of three layers that provide water repellency, breathability, and comfort against the skin. It has sonically welded seams and watertight zippers. It also has a DWR (durable water repellent) finish, which makes water bead up and run away. All those fancy words really mean one thing: The M10 is built to withstand some seriously nasty weather.
Weight - This is the lightest 3-layer waterproof shell Patagonia makes and one of the lightest waterproof jackets on the market. If keeping weight down is a priority for your backcountry adventures (thru-hiking, backpacking, climbing, trail running, etc.), this coat will be an excellent fit.
Comfort - The inside layer of this coat is comfortable against bare skin, which is uncommon for lightweight rain shells. Patagonia also put in microfleece neck and chin patches for comfort in critical areas.
Functionality - The hood of the M10 is helmet-compatible, but works great without one too. The laminated visor keeps rain away from your face. A simple drawcord on the hood and hem make adjustments quick and easy. Minimal velcro patches on the cuffs are also ideal.
Breathability - Controlling perspiration is a critical skill in the backcountry, especially when the weather is bad. Many rain shells hold moisture in, so you end up getting soaked from the inside out. One of the best parts of this coat is that’s it’s thin fabric breathes ridiculously well for a waterproof layer. There are no pit-zips on this coat, but you won’t need them because the fabric breathes so well.
Packability - There is one zippered chest pocket on this coat. The chest pocket reverses to make a stuff sack, which is convenient for stowing the jacket, throwing it into a backpack, or clipping it onto a harness.
Durability - This jacket is surprising durable, especially for how light it is. I’ve been hammering mine for two years on the trail now, and it still looks/works just like new. I expect to get several more years of use out of it. A very solid investment.
Fit & Style - I love the fit of Patagonia clothes and jackets. Patagonia uses a slimmer fit that doesn’t look frumpy and is good for technical use over other layers. This coat is also built with arm flexibility in mind, so lifting up your arms won’t won’t show the world your belly button (or let cold air in).
Cost - There’s no getting around the fact that this is an expensive piece of equipment. It’s all about value when considering top-notch gear though. I spend a lot of time in the backcountry and I get a ton of use out of my M10 jacket. I wear it just about every day on the trail, even when the sun is shining. I use it as a windbreaker on pass climbs and to add another layer for warmth when the sun goes down. For me this coat is completely worth the price tag because I use it so much and it works so well.
If the M10 is too much jacket for your outdoor adventures, have a look at the Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket - men’s & women’s. The Torrentshell is a downgrade from the M10, but it’s still a solid lightweight rain shell. It comes with pit-zips and hand pockets, which are nice additions for use around town. It’s not as light or watertight as the M10, but for the average outdoor adventurer, it’s still a good fit.
No hand pockets or pit-zips - The M10 has been designed to be as minimal as possible. That means cutting out unnecessary extras like pockets and pit-zips. I thought not having front pockets would bother me, but it really doesn't. All my pants have pockets, so I don’t miss coat pockets at all. As for the pit-zips, this coat regulates moisture so well that pit-zips are unnecessary, which was also a surprise.
Quality rain shells require a wash and re-application of DWR for water repellency every now and again. I usually do this about once a year with my jackets. Washing and rejuvenating the repellency of your jackets will keep the outer layer of your jacket from saturating, which prevents it from breathing properly. For the best results, use products that are made for high quality jackets. I recommend using Granger’s Performance Wash and following up with their Xtreme Repel.
The Patagonia M10 Jacket is fantastic. It‘s a nearly perfect shell for any lightweight outdoor adventurer. I absolutely love mine and get a ton of use out of it. If you spend a lot of time in the backcountry and place a premium on lightweight gear, I highly recommend picking one up.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.