Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex Jacket Review: Key Warmth

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Choosing your jacket can be a personal choice and for most this will be split between a down puffy jacket or a synthetic based jacket. For years the Torrid Apex Jacket from Enlightened Equipment has been a favorite for most hikers, backpackers, and thru-hikers to keep warm while being super lightweight.

Let’s face it, no one wants to be cold on their hikes out into the wild, choosing a Torrid Apex jacket is a perfect choice to warm you from the cold of winter.

BEST SYNTHETIC PUFFY

EE Torrid Apex Jacket

Less Worry on Rain and Moisture

The Torrid Apex features Climashield APEX insulation that performs better than down in wet and humid conditions, dries quickly, packs small, and is easy to clean. All of this making it a perfect fit for a long distance hike or even a shorter hike in your area.

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Here’s a rundown of what we’ll provide in this Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex Jacket review:

  • First we’ll share the features and benefits that you’ll find useful
  • Next, we’ll take a look at the drawbacks you might need to know about
  • Then, we’ll tell you a bit about the Enlightened Equipment company
  • And finally we’ll provide a sampling of actual customer and Independent reviews to give you better insight into the product.

Sound good? Let’s get started!

Features and Benefits of the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex

  • Quality Insulation – Climashield APEX insulation performs better than down in wet and humid conditions, dries quickly, packs small, and is easy to clean
  • Raglan Style Sleeves – Helps to increase comfort and range of motion
  • Keeps Hands Protected – Zippered insulated handwarmer pockets
  • Useful Closures – Elastic waist and wrist closures
  • Multiple Mylon Fabric Choices – Ultralight nylon fabric has a DWR finish and has been customized for comfort
  • Handmade in Winona, Minnesota.

Special Features (Pros) of the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex

Seams Aren’t Sewn Through – The sewing doesn’t go through the jacket from outside to inside helping to ensure the jacket stays toasty and has no cold spots.

Ultra-lightweight Performance – Can keep you warm even with a low weight of under 8oz! There aren’t a lot of jackets which can perform this well at this weight and price!

Water Durable – Unlike the traditional down jackets you don’t need to worry immediately if it starts raining to cover up the EE Torrid Apex as the dwr treatment is able to maintain and ensure it isn’t compromised.

Drawbacks (Cons) for the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex

7D Material When Wet – When wet the material at the 7D level almost sticks to you which can make it hard to get the jacket sleeves on your arms or to remove it later.

Zipper Snags – There are a few people who said they had zipper issues with snags and having difficulty with getting it free again.

Video: Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex

Check Out the Torrid Apex Jacket

About Enlightened Equipment

Their philosophy is to be smarter and lighter, eliminating useless extra features so you only carry what you need. Enlightened Equipment tirelessly test and update their designs to make them the best and lightest they can be.

Founder Tim Marshall started sewing quilts by himself in his basement in 2007. As demand for Enlightened Equipment products grew, so did the business. Today, Enlightened Equipment has more than 50 employees creating quilts, clothing, accessories, and more in a 50,000 square foot building in Winona, MN.

Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex Jacket Review

Looking at the features and benefits is great, but taking a look at what real-and-actual customers have to say about a product offers a deeper dive of insight. Here we’ve curated reviews that reflect the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex Jacket, providing feedback from product users and reviewers on independent review sites as well as online.

Independent Reviews and Recommendations for the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex

The weight of this jacket speaks for itself.  And while an insulated layer will always be a large investment, the Torrid APEX is competitively priced, costing significantly less than some category leaders.  There are a few small things I would change, but I really believe that this is the best mid-layer jacket on the market for thru-hikers, or anyone, to whom weight and warmth matter above everything else.

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For the extra half ounce or so of weight this would make the jacket an A in my book. And, while the jacket packs really small I wish it would stuff into its own pocket like my Ghost Whisperer does. While I’m wishing I wish it was a reversible jacket to take advantage of the customizable colors available.Overall I give this jacket a B+ and it will be in my pack for our 2019 AT continuation hike.

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Of course, I love this jacket.  There are a few small things I would change, but I really believe that this is the best insulated jacket on the market for thru-hikers, or anyone, to whom weight and warmth matter above everything else.  And the custom colors help it to feel like ‘me’.  I should burn mine for how bad it smells after the CDT, but that’ll never happen.

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What Customers Have to Say About the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex

First impressions are that the jacket is instantly WARM, and barely-there light. The fabric is REALLY thin, but I expected this, owning a Revelation Quilt. Looks are a matter of personal opinion, as I understand not everyone will like the look of a tech fabric without aesthetic baffles, etc. Personally, I think it looks just fine. I plan to layer it when necessary under a OR Goretex shell when needed. Build quality is very good; hood is very nicely proportioned, and the elastic in the sleeves, hood and hip is perfectly tensioned.


This is made in America. EE proves a couple things I’ve written about for more than a decade: many companies moved production overseas not to make a profit, but to fatten their profit margin, because they didn’t pass their manufacturing savings along to the consumers. Some of the biggest names in the business would make this jacket in China or Vietnam and charge $100 more than this custom Torrid costs.


Thanks EE for getting back to work and finishing my Apex jacket! I love it. So light but unlike other half-pound insulated jackets, it’s not skimpy on the insulated part. This jacket is really warm! The no-sew-through construction means no cold spots. The pockets are great because my hands are inside the insulation, the draft flap for the front zipper is excellent, and the hood is just right. It doesn’t restrict vision, isn’t so big that cold air gets in, has adjustable drawstrings on both sides, and it’s warm with room for a hat underneath for really cold days.


Final Thoughts on the Enlightened Equipment Torrid Apex Jacket

Finding that perfect jacket that will help you log miles is something many thru-hikers have issues with. The Torrid Apex from Enlightened Equipment is a perfect match of build and design paired specifically for the purpose of long distance hiking.

The Torrid Apex is a perfect blend of supreme build and quality along with being an ultralight fabric but providing large quality in heat retention allowing you to stay warm even in the coldest temperatures. This is why it is my choice for best overall jacket in 2020 and into the future!

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