Sherpa Adventure Gear Vajra jacket

Sherpa's Varja jacket is warm, weatherproof, attractive and the perfect piece for times when a big, puffy jacket is a little too much.
Author:
Publish date:
Sherpa.jpg

Big, puffy jackets are wonderful things, but when air temperatures are cold, and not frigid, it’s great to have a thinner piece, such as the Vajra jacket from Sherpa Adventure Gear.

This fall, members of the SNEWS® team tested a women’s and men’s version of the Vajra, which is made of ripstop nylon and is filled with synthetic Primaloft One insulation. From the remote corners of Montana to the mountains of north Georgia, our reviewers tested the Vajra in temperatures ranging from the upper 30s to the mid 50s, and came away very impressed.

First of all, our male and female testers gave glowing reports concerning the fit of the jacket, and noted that it has a low profile and fits close to the body without being too snug. It’s not boxy, but also not overly fitted -- a perfect balance between the two, really. As a result, the jacket offers a good range of motion and never feels restricting. Plus, our testers were able to wear a couple of layers beneath the Vajra, with room to spare.

The overall look of the jacket is very clean, with subtle stitching and thin, soft bands of elastic Lycra at the neck, cuffs and hem of the jacket. Our testers said the elastic material did a good job of blocking cold air from entering, and they liked the low-key elastic cuffs versus those with bulkier hook-and-loop closures. “It provided a nice air-draft seal, but the elastic didn’t pinch the wrists,” said one tester. “I also liked the elastic on the waist, which allowed for a custom fit when zipped.”

The jacket is also lightweight (women’s medium: 10. 9 ounces, men’s large: 14.3 ounces), and compresses down to the size of a football. “I was able to stuff the jacket into one of its inner pockets, so it was easier to stuff in a backpack,” noted our female tester.

The two pockets on the interior of the jacket are large and made a great place to store gloves and a hat. The zippered hand pockets on the exterior are lined with fleece, so they are soft to the touch and help warm your hands.

Our testers found that the Vajra is well suited to handle windy conditions and even light rain. The full zipper at the front covers the neck well, and there are no edges or scratchy materials to irritate your neck. Also, the DWR coating on the jacket stood up to light and moderate rainfall, and the ripstop nylon effectively blocked wind. While we wouldn’t wear this jacket in a deluge, it’s nice to know that the jacket is outfitted with synthetic insulation, so it will dry quickly and retain some ability to insulate if soaked.

Of course, one way to measure the value of a jacket is simply how often you go to it, whether you’re headed out for a hike or a trip to town. And our testers said they’ve been wearing their Vajra jackets consistently since they first put them on. “Overall, I just really liked this jacket and it has become my go-to piece for hikes and on the street,” said one tester. No doubt, the Vajra has claimed a center spot on the coat rack.

SNEWS® Rating: 5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $130

For more information:www.sherpaadventuregear.com

Related

orwm15_adventuretravel_thumb

Gear trends: 2015/16 Adventure travel gear

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 20 – 24. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update ...read more

ORWM14_AdventureTravel_Thumb

Gear trends: Adventure travel for 2014/15

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 21 – 25. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update ...read more

Marmot_Reyna_jkt.jpg

Marmot Reyna jacket

As winter tried to hang onto its last bits of wind and snow in some parts of the country, the SNEWS® editors took Marmot's Reyna women's jacket out into some of the elements. Part of the company's M1 series, the soft shell jacket is made of Polartec Windbloc fabric made for ...read more

Tau Jacket by Arc'Teryx

The ultimate mid layer insulation or just perfect on its own, the new Arc'teryx Tau Jacket is a highly versatile insulated sofshell that combines a wind resistant shell and insulation - all in one layer. Extremely durable with excellent stretch characteristics, the Tau Jacket ...read more

TNF_Hydrogen.gif

The North Face Hydrogen Jacket

This wisp of a jacket at first appeared to be little more than a brightly colored garbage bag. But upon further inspection and testing, SNEWS® discovered that The North Face Hydrogen is an ideal lightweight windbreaker for running and high-intensity sports. The Hydrogen is ...read more

Scapegoat_standard.jpg

Scapegoat Standard jacket

A relative newcomer to the outdoor market, Scapegoat turned our heads with its women's collection that made its debut in 2008. This winter we asked two testers to try out Scapegoat's fashionable Standard jacket, and both women gave it high marks. They reported that the jacket ...read more