The other day I stood in a good Seattle rain for two innings of a baseball game, in my down jacket. In my down jacket. I actually selected that jacket specifically because I knew it was going to rain buckets. No, I’m not crazy, I’ve discovered the best thing to happen to outdoor lovers in rain country. The game was cancelled, but the jacket held up! Sierra Designs DriDown Cloud Puffy jacket is another of their new line of DriDown products. The whole line seems to be made just for Pacific Northwest folks who love to be outside, love to be warm and love to be dry, even in the rain. We did a thorough test of the DriDown technology with Sierra Designs’ sleeping bag and were impressed. The jacket performed wonderfully as well.
First, I spent a month with it in Nepal, in the chilly Himalayas where it was the perfect outer layer. Then I used it as a rain coat in the city, and it is now my go-to jacket for everything from a nip in the air to a frost-covered night. I like the stylish cut and colors available. I like the thoughtful zipper pulls and pocket locations, and the compact size makes it great for backpacking. And it dries in a flash – ask your old down jacket to do that!
-Light, warm, waterproof: A great combination in down that we couldn’t ask for until now!
-Dries fast: After 45 minutes in the rain I was soaked through but the jacket dried on the 10-minute car ride home.
-Stylish: I love the feminine cut – tapered at the waist, wider at the hips, but with drawstrings in case you want to cinch it up. I don’t usually wear a jacket this close-fitting, but it’s cut well enough that I can even throw a windjammer over it in really tough weather.
-Easy zips, smart details: I love when a clothing maker pays attention to the details. The draw cords are pretty, the clips are functional, the pockets are the right size. It even has cuff bindings with thumb holes which I used all the time. I even liked the sassy color choice (fuchsia) on the zipper tape. The inside chest pocket has a earphones cord and is easy to access.
-Down stays put: The quilted pockets are the right size and there was no down clumping or shifting.
-Loses feathers: I know, all down products do this. If you don’t mind occasional free-floating fluff, no worries.
-Wish it was reversible.
If I could change one thing about the jacket, I’d make it reversible because the lining color was as pretty as the outside and I wore this coat enough that I wanted to swap out the color. All in all, the new technology in down is amazing. In Seattle where it’s soggy 10 months of the year, and down-weather for 12, we thank Sierra Designs for making products like this, just for us.
Date available: Available now
Manufacturer’s Website: Sierra Designs
MSRP: US$ 249
Listed Weight: 10 ounces (283 grams)
Actual Weight: 11.5 oz (338 grams) – Women’s large
Materials: 800 fill Goose DriDown™ shell: 100% Polyester Ripstop
Size/Model tested: Women’s Large
Colors available: Gray with turquoise lining, fuchsia with orange lining, lime with blue lining.