It looks as if Sierra Designs is trying to clear inventory from past seasons and from its spring/summer line, and yesterday began offering 50 percent off its apparel. That’s a damn good deal — about equal to the price paid by a retailer like REI, which then doubles the price and sells it on their floor.
A few products I would highly recommend:
The Long-Sleeve Pack Polo is my favorite 3-season hiking shirt for the Mountain West. It has off-the-charts airflow; it’s shockingly durable and it dries very quickly; and it protects my arms and neck from the sun without needing to constantly apply sunscreen. Read my long-term review. Normally it’s $80; now it’s $40. It tends to run small, so size up if you’re an “average Medium” or “big Medium,” or similar. In my case, I’m a “small Medium,” and the Medium is tailor-made.
If sun is not a concern where you backpack, there is a short-sleeve version, the Short-Sleeve Pack Polo now for $34, as well as a non-collared version that does not have the same good looks. My S/S was stolen a few years ago in a smash-and-grab, but think I recall it fitting more loosely than the L/S. Check with Customer Service to confirm.
The Elite DriDown Hoody is my go-to insulated jacket for 3-season conditions in the Mountain West. In the Southeast, it would be suitable for the non-summer months; and in the Northeast, more of a Spring and Fall product.
At 12.5 oz in size Large and 11.2 oz in my size Medium, the DriDown Hoody is a few ounces heavier than a standard-setting piece like the Mountain Hardware Hooded Ghost Whisperer. However, it has 105 grams (3.7 oz) of 850-fill water-resistant DriDown, which puts it more in line with the Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash Jacket at 10.25 oz. The DriDown Hoody has more durable fabrics than both of these other jackets, mostly 20 or 30 denier rather than 7, 10, or 15d. Finally, right now it’s only $125, versus $350 for the Whisperer and $375 for the Flash.
When temperatures exceed the limits of the DriDown Hoody, which is generally the case in Colorado from November through April, I reach for the warmer Elite DriDown Parka, which has baffled construction (not sewn-through) and 180 grams (6.8 oz) of 850-fill DriDown.
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I work with Sierra Designs on product development and a brand ambassador. It’s in my long-term interests — and theirs — to not let this relationship taint my public views. If I didn’t believe in the products featured in this post, I would simply not have not mentioned them.