Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket review

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The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB jacket is made from Patagonia’s H2NO fabric, a 3-layer waterproof fabric constructed with recycled nylon.

  • Brand: Patagonia
  • Product: Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket
  • From:
  • Price: £300.00
  • Tested by: Hannah for 6 weeks


  • If you want a waterproof half zip, this does the job
  • Nice feeling fabric, outside and in
  • Quality construction with environmental credentials and repair service


  • Not that easy to put on
  • Quite warm
  • Difficult to take off when you’re wet and muddy


I have tried many waterproof jackets but this was my first waterproof half-zip – or smock, as the bit of me that is old wants to call it.

The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket has a slight stretch to the material, and two zips with mesh inserts down the sides make getting it on and off a little easier. Once on, it’s a nice form fitting shape – quite snug and not at all flappy. I wore the women’s Medium – I’m usually a 12/14 in women’s tops, so this sizing seems about right to me.

The fabric is quite breathable, but those side zips provide a little extra venting opportunity – although the mesh prevents it opening right up in the style of a Buffalo smock, for example. The half zip at the front is a two-way zip, meaning you can unzip it for ventilation while still leaving the top of the zip connected – so your hood will stay up. Despite these venting options, if you run warm, I think you’ll find this jacket too hot.

The hood is an over the helmet number with an elastic loop to keep it from flapping when not in use. You’ll probably want to get a friend to stow or release it for you – or take the jacket off – as it’s quite fiddly to do and certainly out of reach once on your body. The whole jacket can be packed away inside the rear pocket – which also acts as a rear, zipped, pocket while you’re riding.

The jacket sits somewhere between a heavy weight hardshell and a splash proof soft-shell. It’s no floaty light ‘just in case’ jacket, and the waterproof zips are quite stiff and heavy, but it packs down impressively neatly. It’s fairly breathable and comfortable to wear, and decently waterproof. In fact, the over-the-head and fitted nature of it means that it’s really the sort of jacket you don’t want to take off until the end of the ride.

Taking it off is a bit of an exercise in wrestling, and inevitably lands you with a face full of wet waterproof. Technically you can get it off over a helmet, but it’s not exactly easy to do and if your jacket is very wet you might find yourself funnelling all that wet onto your dry insides. Make sure you’ve loosened the Velcro straps on the cuffs before you commence this manoeuvre or you’ll have to beat a retreat and try again.

Why would you want a half zip jacket, I’ve been wondering? If you have a rotator cuff injury in your shoulder, you probably don’t. There’s an unavoidable amount of arms up wriggling involved in getting into the jacket. However, in the event the zip failed, you’re not left with a useless, flapping, cape. Which might be quite a life saving thing if you’re a very long way from replacement zips or purveyors of safety pins. But that’s a bit of a niche case.

It makes you look a bit like you’re on an expedition to somewhere adventurous, or a retro snowboarder in the 90s. It does actually make you look quite good – the fitted form is flattering.

But… I don’t choose my gear on form as much as I do function… and I’m really struggling to find a good answer to ‘why a half zip’. Benji is a fan: he finds the bulky sensation of a zip on your front annoying – but I have no such sensory difficulties (and my belly is definitely more bulky than any zip). However, Benji won’t be the only one and maybe you’re with him in wanting a pullover style half zip jacket.

[ It’s not just the zip bunching, I think smocks kind of only make sense as minimalist, fast ‘n’ light jobbers, arguably in just windproof rather than waterproof materials – Benji ]

Being a Patagonia product, it is of course about as environmentally friendly as these things can be, so as well as the recycled nylon it’s got a PFC-free DWR finish. This means it needs more frequent care and washing than one with PFCs in, as the non-PFC finishes aren’t as good at repelling dirt and oils. Once the fibres of your jacket start clogging up with dirt, they start holding water and your jacket wets out. So, while it’s the sort of jacket you want to wear on the sort of rides that are filthy enough that you don’t want to take it off, you should allow some time in your schedule to care for it.


I’m not 100% convinced I want an over the head waterproof. But if you do, then the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket is a good option. Look after it to protect your investment.


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Review Info

Brand: Patagonia
Product: Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket
Price: £300.00
Tested: by Hannah for 6 weeks
Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket review
  • Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    After a wet muddy ride I want a top layer that is easy to strip off taking the filth with it. That style of top is not for me.

    Full Member

    When I’m King (it’s only a matter of time etc etc) I’m going to force people who make and sell smocks to stand against a wall while I hose them with mud, rain and cow shite, and force them to repeatedly take them off and put them back on again, until they agree to never make such a garment ever again.

    It’s the only sensible way I think.

    Full Member

    I’m very happy with all the Patagonia stuff I’ve bought, and I know “‘ow much” comments are tiresome and redundant, but I’ve got the equivalent walking jacket (Torrentshell 3L) in the same H2NO fabric, and it’s £180 RRP, frequently discounted to nearer £100, which does make me wonder about the pricing of their mountain bike gear, and whether the extra mesh bits are worth it.

    Full Member

    Ms Bruce and I have both got one of these jackets after an interesting ride across the tops of the hills near Ballater in a thunderstorm.

    The Endura Mt 500 I had was as waterproof as a teabag and Debs Shower pass jacket was little better.

    The Patagonia jackets have been great for us. They are actually waterproof.

    I have not found mine particularly hot.

    The half zip works for me but I used to have a Pace Winteractive, and have a Parramo smock for serious winter.

    I like the lack of superfluous pockets and head phone holes.

    Whatever jacket you buy it won’t suit everybody.

    Full Member

    What’s not to like about smocks, l have two (Paramo, OMM) both excellent and no zip breakage unlike a few expensive jackets I’ve had over the many years!

    Full Member

    The jacket tested looks to be a snugger fit than mine.

    Part of the problem is finding a shop with a jacket you can try on. I thought great there’s a Patagonia shop in Manchester I will try there. No MTB clothing. One of the staff had a medium and let me try his on (thank you for being so helpful). Luckily the NorthWest Mountain Bike centre had quite a good stock of Patagonia clothing so I could get sorted, they even let me take my bike in the shop.

    Full Member

    I have one of these jackets… and I sort of like it…

    One small pocket… I stopped at a market and got some veg. The rear pocket can carry an Iphone, house keys, 3 mushrooms, and a very small courgette. My spring onions came home tucked in my socks.

    My wife tells me I look “hot” in this jacket… as in attractive, rather than sweaty.

    No drawcord round the waist, so it can get drafty if you are standing around for a mountainside faff.

    Really venty.

    I can get in and out of mine by grabbing the hood and pulling it over my head. I am not struggling as much as Hannah.

    Size large… and I am 6 foot 2″ and 97kg. It’s a race’y fit with little room for thick layers. I would normally go XL, which would make pulling it off even easier.

    £300… I am a bit of a Patagonia fan with lots of shirts, shorts and trousers. Their kit is super reliable, and I have never had a seem split or a button go walkabout. I’m OK with heavy weight £90 shirts and £70 climbing shorts…. even the £85 merino long sleeve T-shirt (its brilliant, and worth it), but £300 is £300. Having said that I only ask two things from a waterproof jacket. Be a jacket and be waterproof. The DirtRoamer  ticks those two boxes and has kept me dry.

    Free Member

    Size large… and I am 6 foot 2″ and 97kg.

    How is the length? Especially the sleeves? At 6’4″ I often really struggle with that. Unless I size up to a xxxxxxxxl but at 80kg I may as well but a two man vango.

    Full Member

    The issue isn’t so much smocks as smocks that re hard to take off.  I have a few smocks that re easy to take off and they are great… but I’m old and was brought up using ‘Heros of Telemark’ type windproofs in the hills and kayak cags for doing wet stuff. The Velez is easy to take off and on for example.  A smock that is a struggle to get out of is annoying and I get why.

    Full Member

    What’s not to like about smocks

    As per Hannah’s review, the bit where you undergo Houdini-like contortions to get the thing off without dislocating your shoulders while simultaneously ingesting great mouthfulls of wet trail… Ironically, the more fitted the smock, the less user friendly, which is doubly ironic because a lot of mainstream, men’s at least, Patagonia outdoor jackets have a weirdly rudimentary, boxy cut which would actually work with a smock. Chouinard is on record as saying that the brand’s cut has aged with its users, without apparently factoring in the idea that anyone under the age of 50 would wear the stuff.

    For the minimal weight saving of half a zip, the downsides don’t really seem worth the hassle.

    Full Member

    I can get in and out of mine by grabbing the hood and pulling it over my head.

    This is the way with smocks.

    Full Member

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