Toren Technical Apparel has released their first outerwear piece, the Fundamental Shell. A breathable, lightweight jacket equipped with functional features, the shell is built to weather the wilderness, while appearing at home on city streets. The company’s founder, Ethan, grew up in the great outdoors and ended up on the east coast after college to pursue a professional career, yet his heart was still with the wild. Wanting to provide versatile products made to withstand the demands of the wilderness, but stylish enough for the streets, Toren was born.
Toren caters to a new community of explorers: those who love the outdoors, but want their performance-wear to blend effortlessly into their urban lifestyle.
I had the chance to review and put the Toren Fundamental Shell to the test recently both in the outdoors and in the city during our recent storm here in LA.
Available for both men and women, the slim cut of the jacket provides a nice style and fit. Its waterproof and windproof, breathable 3-layer fabric construction makes it a versatile garment. The adjustable velcro on the wrists of the arms make it easy to size as needed especially for someone with shorter arms such as myself. The draw cord waist adjustment provides secure tightening for fit and function.
I found the Fundamental Shell to be lightweight and great for rain and windy conditions providing ample comfort and protection. It was great in the Kawasaki Mule PRO-FXT and zip lining through wine country and definitely did its part while walking through LA in the rain.
The hood also adjusts for a better fit and protection and is compatible to wear with a helmet for those wanting to mountain bike or snowboard with it, although it’s a bit on the light side for boarding and additional layers would be a must for cold conditions. There is room for layers despite the slim design. The hood also has a shield visor for extra protection.
Keeping with the sleek and slimline design are taped seams that prevent the elements from coming in contact with the body for added comfort.
The Fundamental Shell comes equipped with three external pockets that can easily fit a plethora of items such as a wallet, keys, and other daily essentials. Two side pockets and one upper left arm pocket (which can be used for items such as lift passes or even small items like lip balm.) I found the zippers to be easy to use and accessible. The additional underarm zippers provide temperature control if it gets a bit and you want to cool down the body.
The midnight color is classic and easily pairs with many outfits. I also appreciate the minimal branding on the jacket with only a small print graphic on the left arm wrist and a Toren logo on the back neck area, which is hidden when the hood is down.
By far my favorite feature is the technology integration of the smart internal phone pocket located inside the left chest area. Not only does it fit a majority of smart phones (I don’t think an iPhone 6 Plus or Galaxy 4 would fit – however would fit on the side pockets), I tested it with an iPhone 5S with and without my Mophie case, but also allows you to quickly see the screen and wait for it…also the ability to use your touchscreen while still in the pocket. This nice little touch (sorry bad pun) of detail came in handy when I was riding through wine country backroads in a side by side with dust and slight rain coming down and I didn’t want to get my phone wet or even worse risk dropping it in the terrain. It also came in handy while I was in a museum recently that does not allow cell phones, so I simply opened my jacket and discreetly responded to text messages and emails without anyone knowing. The internal pocket also has a small hole in which you can fit your earbud / headphone cord through.
Overall, it’s a great styled jacket at an affordable price point. The functionality is there for light to moderate conditions and definitely good for urban environments that don’t require ultra-protection such as that for say backpacking through the Himalayas. I look forward to seeing new products from this brand.
The Fundamental Shell is available exclusively via Toren.is for $245.