Sierra Designs Jive Jacket
New for Spring 2011, look for the Sierra Designs Jive…
Price Paid: Free sample for review from Sierra Designs
New for Spring 2011, look for the Sierra Designs Jive jacket with Cocona Xcellerator fabric to help maintain a dry interior while out in the elements. The Jive is a highly waterproof and breathable three-season hard shell.
The Jive is another example of how Sierra Designs lives to design outdoor gear that is innovative and useful for a variety of outdoor pursuits. While Sierra Designs may have intended for the Jive to be a highly breathable, fast drying jacket compatible with backpacks (and it totally is) it is also compatible for wearing under a cycling hydration pack whether you are on remote mountain bike trails or an urban bike commute. It is also stylish enough to wear around town on rainy days.
Two large chest pockets store items that you need quick, easy access to, and sit well above where a backpack’s waist belt would sit. This reduces bulk and discomfort. Extra long pit-zips let you regulate airflow through the jacket when you are hot. Adjustable wrist cuffs keep out wind and rain and even fit snug around your gloves. The zippers are waterproof, the seams are fully-taped PVC free seams, and the hood’s bill is exceptionally large. If you are a biker, the hood will cover your head even with a helmet.
I wore this jacket all summer through rainstorms light and torrential, on hiking trips, around town, sea kayaking on Lake Superior in inclement weather and on my bike commutes to work. The conditions may have been wet and ugly outside, but I was dry on the inside. When not in use, it packs into a small stuff sack or a backpack’s outer pocket.
The Jive’s construction materials set it apart from all others. It is made with Cocona, a soft shell fabric made from coconut husks. Cocona fabric works by spreading water and moisture (like body sweat) over a larger surface area for faster evaporation and to accelerate drying. Much like cotton and wool, the natural coconut material once woven into fabrics and yarns also provide odor adsorption and UV protection.
If you are on an extended-day backpacking or camping trip, or even a bike commuter, can you see how a quick-drying, odor-resistant rain jacket with UV protection could be beneficial?
My only complaints? The lack of hip pockets are great for when you're wearing a backpack but when walking about town, it's nice to stick your hands in pockets. Also, the hood's bill could be stiffer. It was a little on the floppy side. It kept my face and head dry but when the winds picked up, I had to prop it up with my hand to see where I was walking.