Sierra Designs Elite DriDown Baffled Parka Review

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 headwear, 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 a 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.

SectionHiker is reader-supported. We independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.