Sierra Designs TOV DriDown ReviewFebruary 9, 2013
- Easy to put on and take off at belay stances
- Trim fit, more casual looking
- Handy inside pocket
- Good value
- Water-repellant down—dries much more quickly than regular down
- Not very compressible
- Not as warm as other jackets in test
Because of its trim fit and middle weight and warmth, somewhere between a down sweater and expedition parka, we found ourselves reaching for this jacket all the time, whether it was to run out for a coffee or in the mountains as our warm layers at belays and lunch breaks. It's not as warm as some jackets we tested, but it doesn't feel bulky. It's nice for athletic pursuits, is fairly lightweight, comes in at a good price.
For $260 you get a jacket that can work as a down sweater or a warmer weather expedition parka. That’s the kind of versatile value we love.
While not warm enough for frigid days in the Rockies or high alpine expeditions, the 600-fill down was perfect for quick climbing rest stops. After working up a sweat winter alpine climbing, testers found it the perfect prescription for staying comfortable, even in shady stances. And true to its claim, the DriDown—feathers with a water repellent treatment—held its loft even after multiple pitches of climbing and plenty of sweat. With just a T-shirt underneath it was comfortable down to freezing.
The trimmer, body hugging fit meant there was less room under it for other layers, but also less air to warm, which translated to efficiency. For the same reason, this is a jacket you will want to personally try on. Barrel-chested users may find it doesn’t fit well. At chilly belay stances, the hood fit nicely over a climbing helmet, and with a little fiddling with the toggles, can be fit snug and out of peripheral vision.
One of the testers was disappointed in the compressibility, especially considering the jacket’s low bulk. It packs down to the size of soccer ball—not terrible, but not as small as warmer jackets we tested, like the Brooks Range, Westcomb or Helly Hansen.
At 21 ounces, the Sierra Designs TOV weighs less than some down sweaters. With 600-fill down, four pockets and a liner, that’s pretty impressive
Three exterior pockets provide plenty of room for stashing everything you need close at hand. Inside is a larger mesh pocket for drying and storing gloves and hats. The generous hood easily fit over a climbing helmet.