Designed for active cold weather sports, the Capiz Jacket is part of a new line of DriDown apparel that will be available from Sierra Designs in Fall 2013. Having worn the Capiz almost every day since mid-February, I’m excited that Sierra Designs is starting to use DriDown for more technical cold weather apparel, particularly in mid-layer garments, where waterproof DriDown provides many advantages over technical fleece mid-layers, including:
- Better compressibility
- Lighter weight
- Dries more quickly
- Effectively waterproof
Take the Capiz Jacket, which is an excellent example of a lightweight hydrid jacket insulated with 600 fill DriDown in the body and tops of the sleeves, combined with a stretch knit gusset on the sides of the torso and under the arms to increase mobility and vent perspiration. Unaffected by moisture, the hydrophobic down in the Capiz is great for people like me who like a little bit more insulation when they’re hiking in winter, but chill off quickly when they take a short rest break or stop exercizing.
I’ve been wearing a pre-production prototype of the Capiz under a technical shell in snowy New Hampshire and more recently as an outer layer on cool spring hikes in Massachusetts. When combined with a wicking base layer, the Capiz provides a much warmer alternative to the technical fleece sweater I’ve worn in previous seasons as a mid-layer, so much so that I’m convinced that I’ve been hiking too cold these past few years!
The Capiz is cut quite simply with two zippered side pockets and two large open pockets on the inside of the jacket that are good for keeping snacks warm and drying off hats after they wet out from exertion. An extended rear hem adds extra length under a backpack and provides plenty of coverage in cooler weather. Weighing 12.7 ounces in a size large, the Capiz weighs about an ounce more than my normal winter hiking fleece but compresses much better and provides far more warmth.
The model I’ve been testing fits snugly, almost like a sweater, but without a reduction in loft under a shell. With an outer 30 denier polyester ripstop shell and a good DWR, the outer fabric of the Capiz can also withstand being worn as an outer layer in cool spring weather, something that I am experimenting wth now during shoulder season.
With preliminary pricing set at $199, the Sierra Designs Capiz Jacket is competitively priced with other lightweight down jackets and down sweaters that are not made with hydophobic DriDown. I really like this jacket and I am intrigued by the potential for using DriDown in mid-layer garmets. Waterproofing down changes everything.
Disclosure: Sierra Designs provided Philip Werner with a sample Capiz Jacket for review.
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