eliteparka4From skiing and hiking to fishing and boating, outdoor enthusiasts everywhere have always struggled to find the balance between insulation and protection from the elements. Staying dry and staying warm hasn’t always gone hand-in-hand, but with Sierra Designs’ Elite DriDown Parka, the days of having to compromise when it comes to the perfect outerwear for all conditions might finally be at an end.

The Elite DriDown Parka ($349) is made from a polyurethane-coated face fabric designed to cause rain and snow to roll off the outside of the jacket. To maintain effective insulation even during more intense downpours, however, the parka features 180g of 800 fill DriDown insulation, which is designed to stay dry significantly longer than untreated down. The DriDown also insulates better when wet and is reported to dry 30 percent faster than traditional down.

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To help maximize the effectiveness of the insulation even further, the Elite Parka is designed with several lateral baffles that create separate chambers for the down, which keeps it from bunching up. This effectively distributes the insulation more evenly throughout the coat, which ultimately means that the person wearing it will stay warmer.

The other compromise that Sierra Designs essentially eliminated with the DriDown Parka is the need to sacrifice weight and packabilty in favor of effective insulation. This jacket weighs on the lighter side of nothing (just 19 oz.) and is designed to fold into its own pocket to make it easy to stuff in nearly any daypack. As an added bonus – and just to prove that Sierra Designs actually was considering the needs of the consummate outdoor enthusiast the DriDown Parka has another hidden feature. When stuffed into its fleece-lined pocket, it actually transforms into a warm, comfortable pillow for use in the tent. How’s that for not having to compromise?

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To find out more check out SierraDesigns.com.

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