This week, Chris tests out a warm PrimaLoft jacket by Keela that’s ideal for winter weather
It’s been the weather for warm jackets the last few weeks and I’ve been trying a few. One of the warmest synthetic ones is the Keela Sherpa, filled with 100g PrimaLoft Gold and with a water-resistant ripstop nylon shell.
The design is conventional except for one feature – the sleeves can be zipped off to make a gilet. The jacket weighs 560g, which isn’t high for this weight of fill, lighter garments usually have a 60g fill. Remove the sleeves and the weight drops to 367g.
The bulk is much lower too. In really cold weather I’d always carry the whole jacket but if I just wanted something in case it was a bit chilly I can well imagine saving weight and just taking the gilet. Partly unzipping the sleeves can be used for ventilation too. The sleeves can be easily removed and attached.
The Sherpa is warm enough for all but the coldest winter weather. I’ve worn it in camp and at rest-stops. It would have to be extremely cold before I could walk far in it without overheating.
Apart from the zip-off sleeves the Sherpa has two uninsulated lower pockets, a chest pocket that is fairly roomy but won’t take a map, a snug adjustable collar, Velcro-adjusted cuffs, a hem drawcord, and a reversed front zip with an inner flap. The sizing is reasonably roomy – I can wear the Medium over a fleece jacket.
The Sherpa Jacket doesn’t have a hood but there is one available as an extra. The Sherpa Hood is a helmet-style hood that comes well down over the jacket collar. It fastens at the front with a long Velcro flap and has front and back drawcords and a wired peak. This isn’t a hood to pull up when your ears are a little chilly but one for wearing in severe weather. It can be used with other garments as well of course. It’s very warm as it’s also filled with 100 gram PrimaLoft Gold. Weighing a hefty 138g it’s a hood I’d carry instead of a warm hat in winter.
The price of the Sherpa Jacket is low for a PrimaLoft garment, making it good value for money. Most 60g PrimaLoft ones cost more. If you’re looking for a warm synthetic jacket it’s well worth considering. The hood I’m not so sure about. I suspect that much of the time it would remain in my pack as it’s so warm. For some people that may be an attraction!
Jacket £109.95 Hood £31.95