Sierra Designs Gnar
Fabric: 100% nylon ripstop shell on the outside,
Fill: 800-fill down
Price Paid: Free sample provided by Sierra Designs for testing
New for the 2010 fall line is the Sierra Designs Gnar, a weightless 800-fill down jacket in its finest form. I got a sneak preview of this jacket at Outdoor Retailer in January and could hardly wait for the chance to test it because, frankly, it’s an incredibly attractive jacket (sweater).
The Gnar has an adjustable hem to keep out cold air, elastic cuffs, and, best of all, thumb loops! Thumb loops keep the jacket sleeves down over your hands to keep them warm when you don’t have gloves.
Because the Gnar has such a trim and fitted design (even though my sample size was a little bigger than I normally wear), I wore it as an insulating base layer under a soft shell jacket.
It comes with its own stuff sack and packed down to the size of a bag of Starbuck's. This summer, I won't hesitate to add this to my backpack on mountaineering trips. If the weather turns suddenly or the winds pick up—as weather and winds are want to do in the mountains—it will be easy to remove put it on under my softshell. The 100 percent nylon ripstop shell is treated with a DWR finish to shed light rain and melting snow just in case.
Its packable size also makes it easy to bring along on airplanes. I took this jacket to Banff National Park in February and stashed it easily in my suitcase along with my ski jacket. When I took it from the stuff sack after the flight, it lofted instantaneously and didn't look like it had been smashed under ski boots for 4-hour flight.
For cargo, the Gnar has two zippered hand pockets and one zippered chest pocket on the outside and two dump pockets on the inside stash money, keys, phone, etc.
Will the Gnar keep you toasty when it's -10 outside or atop a fourteen thousand foot peak in January? Probably not on its own. If you're doing winter mountaineering, you'll want a jacket that's designed for that purpose.
A word on sizing. My sample was a medium and I normally wear a small. If you normally wear a small (or medium or large), get a small (or medium or large). The better it fits your body, the warmer you'll be, and the nicer it will fit under a softshell jacket.
Where to Buy
The Sierra Designs Gnar is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these Sierra Designs retailers:
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
Retailers: Do you sell this product? List your site here.
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Sierra Designs Gnar Down jacket is a go-to choice for cold-weather outings. Durable ripstop nylon fabric stands up to wear and tear; soft polyester taffeta lining easily slides over base layers. Premium 800-fill-power goose down is extremely compressible and offers exceptional warmth for its weight. Sierra Designs Gnar jacket features an interior zip pocket, 2 interior drop-in pockets, a zippered chest pocket and zippered handwarmer pockets. Closeout.
- REI refers to the men's version
On the mountain, on the street, under a shell or as a stand-alone, the Sierra Designs Men's Gnar Down Jacket does it all. All YOU have to do is slide your arms into the convenient sleeve-holes, operate the handy zipper mechanism, and BLAMMO! Warmth. 800 fill goose down coddles you like a warm fire and a mug of spicy cider when the wind is whipping around outside, and the elasticized hem and cuffs (with thumbholes) lock out the cold as securely as a Nebraska farmer slams the storm cellar door with a tornado approaching.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version
The Sierra Designs Men's Gnar Jacket will keep you warm on cool nights or crisp days. This versatile coat with down insulation makes a great layering piece. Stylish and lightweight, grab the Sierra Designs Gnar Jacket for men as temperatures cool and fall creeps in.
- Altrec Outdoors refers to the men's version