Using the new Primaloft Insulation Down Blend, Sherpa have created a versatile adventure jacket.
We’ve reviewed quite a few Sherpa products here at CGR, we’ve been a fan of how the brand has grown and supports local communities. The range is now pretty big so it’s important for us to focus on climbing specific clothing and the Nangpala jacket caught our eye as a versatile mountain jacket for those cold, damp days out. The jacket is an insulation piece that is suitable as an outer shell when the temperatures take a tumble. Perfect for mild winters, Spring and Autumn.
It’s well featured with a helmet compatible hood (just), three external pockets and the handwarmer pockets double as internal pockets big enough for climbing shoes, hats, gloves, etc. Strangely the zipped chest pocket is on the right hand side of the jacket but it is easily big enough to fit a phone, camera or some food for belaying. The reversed YKK Vislon zip helped keep the wind out on breezy days and the handwarmer pockets were just about accessible when wearing a harness – they were a little too low for the pockets to be fully accessible. All the pockets were lined with soft, brushed jersey so kept my hands dry and warm. The chest pocket has an earphone slot and there is further security provided using the elastic tab so just thread it through and it keeps those pesky wires well hidden for that 2 hour walk in.
The hood cinched using the two side pulls that had gold coloured cord locks which fit in nicely with the improved branding scheme. The pockets have a braided, sewn strip of the now standard prayer flag strip. So when the zip is open the braiding shows, which is a nice touch. The hem also cinched with lock cords on either side of the jacket so it didn’t mater which side was pulled the hem of the jacket cinched tight when that breeze blew or I wanted to keep some extra warmth in. The main body zip worked well in all conditions and has the standard prayer flag zip tag with the mountain tab on the end. All these are improved little branding features that are ensuring that Sherpa are still appealing to adventurers who want to support Nepalese families and children. The back of the Nagpala Hooded Jacket is finished with the now familiar endless knot logo which and the front an embroidered Sherpa logo. The lining is great, I really it had great patterning and felt nice against the skin if you decide to pop it on over just a t shirt.
The insulation in the Nangpala jacket is provided by Primaloft Insulated Down Blend. It’s good to see Sherpa continuing to invest in high quality materials. The Primaloft Down Blend is a mixture of 60% water repellent down and 40% Primaloft fibres. The insulation in the Nangpala jacket is made using the Silver Series, which is the mid range, Performance end of the Primaloft range. The mixture of 750 down and synthetic offers the same warmth as 650 Fill Power down and felt pretty warm. In fact even down at 10 Deg C it was very warm. It’s all beginning to look a little hybrid these days with manufacturers experimenting with ways to preserve the warmth and compact nature nature of down and keep the benefits of synthetic. So trying to maintain both is a tricky balance.
There are several problems to resolve – environment over animal welfare (welfare standards have improved greatly since the Greenpeace campaign, although there are groups who would like to see down banned completely) and compactness over water repellency. Being a climber from the UK synthetic wins every time as it’s rarely cold or dry enough for a full down jacket. And talking of damp – the Nangpala jacket performed as well as any of the water resistant insulating jackets I’ve tested over the years. It’s important to note that they are not water proof and mostly not even water resistant. The Nangpala did manage to shed a very light shower but the tubular baffling soon began to leak. What’s important though is how long it takes these types of jacket to wet through and how quickly they begin to dry out with body heat.
The Nangpala didn’t take long to begin to wet through and I would want something a little more burly for ice climbing on Ben Nevis, but for most activities – hiking, rock climbing, scrambling the jacket performed really well. It retained enough warmth when damp and dried out really quickly with my body heat.
The cut of the Sherpa Nangpala Jacket was generous enough to go over any layers I was wearing including a hard shell. If I needed to wear it to climbing in then it was generous enough to move freely through the arms. It ride up a little but most jacket do in a harnesss. The jacket doesn’t have a intergrated pocket stow, but it does come with a stuff sack and that has a tab big enough to use with a carabiner.
All in all the Sherpa Nangpala Hooded jacket is a well made jacket using quality materials. It looks and performs as good as any down jacket but the mixture of water repellant down and Primaloft fibres means you do get that extra compressibility you don’t get with just a synthetic jacket. It’s suitable for all your mountain adventures and will provide plenty of warmth even on those damp occasions when you need a little extra protection while you drink your summit coffee.
The Sherpa Nangpala Hooded Jacket comes in sizes S – XXL for men and XS – XL for women. Both jackets come in various colours.
Sherpa Nangpala Hooded Jacket Review