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Sierra Designs Elite DriDown Baffled Parka Review

Down Jacket:
Philip Werner
Version:
1
Price:
299.00

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On February 25, 2015
Last modified:September 11, 2016

Summary:

The Sierra Designs DriDown Baffled Parka is puffy down jacket that will keep you warm in the most frigid winter conditions you encounter, above treeline on a frigid crag, or at your kid's lakeside hockey game.

A smiling Section Hiker melting snow in camp wearing the Sierra Designs DriDown Baffled Parka
A smiling Section Hiker melting snow in camp wearing the Sierra Designs DriDown Baffled Parka

The Sierra Designs Elite DriDown Baffled Parka is the quintessential puffy down jacket that’s equally appropriate for winter camping in subzero temperatures or standing on a windy subway platform. This is a seriously warm down jacket made to keep you toasty in the coldest conditions imaginable, above treeline on a frigid crag, or at your kid’s lakeside hockey game.

Filled with an impressive 200 grams of ultra-warm 800 fill power DriDown, this parka has a box baffled construction, found on much more expensive coats, that eliminates cold air from penetrating the coat along the seams.

The outer shell fabric of the parka is a 10 denier nylon / polyester ripstop that’s been coated with polyurethane on the inside to help prevent the transmission of moisture through the jacket where it can wet the down. This internal PU coating is key because it avoids the abrasion that breaks down external DWR coatings when a jacket is repeatedly stuffed and unstuffed.

The Sierra Designs Baffled Parka has an extra layer of waterproof fabric on high abrasion areas under the forearms and around the hem
The Sierra Designs Baffled Parka has an extra layer of waterproof fabric on high abrasion areas under the forearms and around the hem

The Sierra Designs Baffled Parka has two fleece-lined, zippered side pockets, large enough to carry bulky winter gloves and spare head wear, Two large inner pockets, one mesh-backed, provide a place to dry off ski goggles or keep damp gloves from freezing. The parka can be stuffed into the other inner pocket which acts as a stuff sack, with a soft fleece face that can be used as a camping pillow.

With a spacious cut to accommodate bulky winter layering, the hem of the DriDown Baffled Parka reaches to the top of the thigh to add warmth and protection from the elements. A two-way zipper, backed with a storm flap prevents snagging while providing venting flexibility, and an elastic hemmed hood and sleeves provide a hands-free fit.

The overstuffed hood on the Sierra Designs DriDown Baffled Parka provides excellent warmth in frigid conditions.
The overstuffed hood on the Sierra Designs DriDown Baffled Parka provides excellent warmth in frigid conditions.

Fully zipped, the hood of the DriDown Baffled Parka covers one’s face, providing excellent wind protection, with a fleece backed zipper guard and zipper garage to prevent chin chafing. A down-filled draft tube built into the neck of the jacket, reminiscent of sub-zero winter sleeping bag design, further seals in the warmth and prevents drafts from entering in through the hood.

Weighing 21.8 ounces in a men’s XL (a women’s styled version is also available), the Sierra Designs Elite DriDown Baffled Parka is puffy down jacket that will keep you warm in the most frigid winter conditions you encounter. If this parka didn’t have arms, it would be the top half of a cold weather sleeping bag: that’s how warm it is.

Disclosure:Sierra Designs provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a sample DriDown Baffled Parka for this review. This post contains affiliate links.

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10 comments

  1. I just cannot do cold weather without my Goosedown. I have never been warm in Fleece and with my dry skin I like to keep some moisture next to my skin, so it is Goosedown and Wool for me. This is a very nicely built jacket. I like the addition of heavier materials in certain areas, but mine never wore out on the butt, just the Shoulders from Straps and the Elbows. I like that they extended the material down the back of the entire sleeve which should help in Cross country excursions when pushing aside brush…. When my current one wears out this will be on the top of the list…For those who are afraid of Goosedown and the wet,,years ago I started spraying my Goosedown Vest and Parka’s with that Silicone based Camp Spray and it has not failed me yet nor apparently has not damaged the coat and vest material either… I wonder why Moosejaw can afford to sell them $75. cheaper than the other companies…Very Interesting…

    • It is a very nice parka. I’ve used it to beef up the warmth of my sleeping bag and as a camping pillow on winter trips, as well as standing around in camp. Super warm. I’m also surprised that Moosejaw has it listed at such a low price.

  2. Have you found the PU coating on the inside of the jacket to prevent sweat from wetting it out? I always notice the back of my jacket is damp after using it stay warm during the descent and wonder if that would really help.

    • The PU coating in on the inside of the outer layer of fabric facing the down, so it won’t prevent the transmission of sweat into the down.

      Regardless, you can’t wear this jacket for any vigorous activity. It’s just too warm.

      • The PU coating seems like a bad idea to me. Down bags and garments already have enough trouble with body moisture condensing on the outer shell without adding an additional (semipermeable) vapor barrier. And in the conditions that this jacket is likely to be worn, any precipitation that falls is going to be frozen, so there is no requirement to make the shell waterproof. I guess it would make it a little more windproof.
        A baffled jacket at that price is quite a good value!

      • Ah I misread it. A PU coating on the inside of the jacket would be neat but most people might find it clammy.

  3. How small does it compress down in your pack? I imagine this would be a great jacket in camp during cold winter excursions.

  4. I’m going to be ordering this parka from Sierra Design, I was wondering if you can help with the sizing, I am on the higher end of a medium (41″ chest) should I order large so I have room for layering or the medium would give me enough room for layering. Thanks

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