ProView – Sierra Designs Women’s Hurricane Jacket
Unlike the rest of the western United States this fall, Alaska has seen ample precipitation. This jacket has come along for many adventures “around town” from hiking in the alpine and exploring glaciers to cross country skiing and ice skating across frozen lakes. Living in a valley between two mountain ranges, weather changes quickly here and I need a jacket to keep me warm and dry. This jacket has also turned out to be a great outer shell when I’m layering up for colder temps.
Sierra Designs Women's Hurricane Jacket
Product Description: The Hurricane jacket is built with our 2.5L 10k/10k waterproof/breathable fabric that stands as the barrier between you and the elements. Fully featured with an adjustable hood with storm collar, underarm zips for ventilation, and articulated arms and a drop tail for comfort, the Hurricane goes beyond a minimalist shell. The best part, the Hurricane is made with PFC free fabrics and DWR.
Offer price: MSRP: $129.95
The Sierra Designs Hurricane Jacket is a lightweight, waterproof jacket that will keep you warm and dry during backcountry adventures when the weather changes or running around town on a dreary day. With its sleek look and easy packability, it’s a no-brainer to have this jacket with you whenever there is a chance that conditions will deteriorate.
- Runs slightly small
- Hood is hard to secure
- Interior pockets do not zip
This jacket runs ever so slightly small. It is a bit snug across my shoulders and in the hips, but I still have room to wear a puffy coat underneath when the temperatures drop. The sleeves are the perfect length for me, but I do not have long arms. The jacket is lined with a soft mesh material that helps prevent the sticky raincoat feeling and is very comfortable. The inside of the storm collar has a layer of soft material preventing the seams of the jacket or the zipper itself from rubbing against your skin.
Where the fit falls short is in the hood. I have long hair and often wear it pulled back. The hood depth is too shallow to accommodate the extra space taken up by my hair. The small bill barely extends to the end of my head with my hair up, which leaves my face unshielded from the rain. A helmet or even a bulky winter hat will not fit under this hood. It is hard to enjoy your surroundings when you need to keep your face down to keep the rain out of your eyes.
While not form-fitting, the jacket is tailored to have a flattering fit. I never hesitate to wear it around town. The back length is generous and provides protection from the elements as well as a flattering touch. The colors available for the current model are black or powder blue. I have worn this jacket to work and received compliments on how nice it looks.
This jacket has many features that allow for adjustability. The exterior pockets are generous enough to fit my keys and cell phone in one pocket with room to spare. The interior pockets are also large but do not have any kind of secure closure. Underarm zips are always appreciated and useful. The zippers are sturdy and easy to operate. The Velcro at the wrists is strong and thick, with ample room to adjust down to a smaller fit. The hip cinch is easy to operate, but not necessary for me with the fit already being snug.
The hood features fall short of my expectations. The hood is designed for quick adjustment by simply pulling the cord ends. (The cord locks are sewn inside the hood.) While it is easy to shorten, it is not easy to release the locks. The hood does not integrate into the storm collar, but, instead, comes down over the outside of it. I found it impossible to tighten the hood enough to stay on during a wind event. This proved to be a real problem while scrambling across a windy glacial scree field on a rainy day. Not able to hold the hood in place while scrambling, my head got very wet. There is an adjustment cord on the back of the hood to shorten the depth, but this feature was not necessary with the hood being shallow to start with. I also could not find an intuitive way to tuck the hood securely away when not in use.
Weighing in at just 14oz, this coat is an easy addition to my pack. Though it does not include a stuff sack or a designated stuff pocket, with minimal effort, it is possible to stuff the coat into one of its pockets. When compressed, the jacket takes up little more room than a water bottle.
The tag on the jacket I received listed it at 15k/15k waterproof/breathable. (The information listed on their website describing the jacket as only 10k/10k waterproof/breathable). The first time I tested this jacket out was on a short hike in a steady rain. I was out in the rain for a couple of hours and the jacket exceeded my expectations. The rain was easily shed by the jacket and never soaked through. It also retained a lot of my body heat when zipped up tightly. As cold weather has settled in and the rain changed over to snow, I have started wearing this jacket over a puffy coat. I love having the option to shed layers during the shoulder seasons. With the storm collar not zipped up and the underarm zips open, the breathability is good for aerobic activities.
These are two areas where the jacket excelled. All seems are fully taped and there is a flap that sits over the front zip. My only complaint is there is no way to secure this flap, which easily flips open when adjusting the zipper or occasionally during high motion activities. This jacket has proven to be very durable. One hike I went on while wearing the jacket included a bush whack through dense alders and devil’s club. The jacket came out without a mark, while I spent the next week pulling thorns out of my legs and hands.
Friendliness to the Earth
This jacket along with many of Sierra Design’s other waterproof products are now PFC free. PFC’s are chemicals often used to treat fabrics to help improve waterproof capabilities, but the chemicals break down over time and build up in the environment. Sierra Designs also has gear created from recycled materials and contribute to many environmental organizations. It is also worth noting their website talks about a commitment to ethical treatment of their workers and protection of the worker’s human rights.
The Final Word
This jacket will be my go-to for days with changing weather and when an extra shell might be needed for warmth. The Hurricane jacket is a great option for anyone who needs a just in case coat to keep in the car or your pack.
About the Gear Tester
Michelle currently resides in South Central Alaska and works as an environmental technician for the Native Village of Eklutna performing fish, wildlife, and habitat surveys in an effort to restore their historic lands to their traditional bounty. When not at work, you can fine her hiking, skiing, climbing, horseback riding, running, biking, hunting, fishing, or trying out new ways to explore the outdoors. She can be found on Instagram under michelle_ventures. To learn more about the river restoration project, visit eklutnariver.org.