Dry Heat


It’s funny how much waiting happens at the crag: Belaying, spotting, gawking, sharing beta—these don’t require a ton of energy. What’s not funny is how far your core temperature can drop on cold days during inactivity. Solution? The Sierra Designs DriDown Gnar Lite jacket ($229; sierradesigns.com). While at first glance it looks like any other 800-fill down jacket (and indeed its weight and warmth are comparable to most in that category), it’s the invisible treatment to the down itself that makes the difference. Each plume is coated with a hydrophobic polymer (aka water repellent) that is purported to keep down dry up to 10 times longer than untreated down, which should translate to a down jacket that can perform in wetter conditions. “I stood in the talus fields of Rocky Mountain National Park during an unexpected afternoon shower in this puffy,” one tester said. “But it still kept me warm while my partner’s lesser jacket suffered, and it dried completely in less than an hour.” DriDown claims to retain 2.7 times more loft than untreated down, and while we couldn’t measure those numbers accurately in the field, our conclusion was clear: This jacket will dry faster, stay loftier, and keep you warmer longer. —Alex Biale