Fully waterproof, breathable and built specifically for the trail, the Sierra Designs Women’s Ultralight Trench weighs just 8 ounces and offers for hikers and backpackers extended coverage from wet or windy weather.
The Sierra Designs Women’s Ultralight Trench is a waterproof, breathable piece and, as the name suggests, it is very ultra lightweight. There are a lot of innovations that Sierra Designs has put into this jacket and we are going to touch on all the key points at what makes it so great for backpacking, traveling or every day use.
The first thing to talk about with any rain jacket is the material used and how it keeps you protected from the elements. So you do have a completely waterproof, breathable material here. And it is an ultra lightweight 20D polyester and nylon blend fabric. So on the outside here you can see that you have got a lot of protection. On the inside of the jacket you have almost like a brushed, really nice next to skin feel. So it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a plastic-y, trash bag or something like that. It actually feels really comfortable on the inside of the jacket.
There are some additional innovations that Sierra Designs has put into this piece to make it even more breathable than that ultra light fabric. So just want to touch on those. First of all this is a trench style jacket. So it is longer cut than most traditional hiking or backpacking style rain jackets. And that is going to really protect your legs and the top of your pants from getting wet as you move and as you hike. So really great length on there. I am a big fan of longer rain jackets, provide a little bit more protection.
On the sides here you have vents. So there is a little bit of Velcro and this is great for when you are wearing a back pack and you have got those back pack straps, those hip belt straps. You can actually route those hip belt straps underneath of this flap and that way this can hang over top of the strap and you are able to have that movement of warm air out of the bottom of the jacket.
If I were to wear a backpack over top of this area, it would basically create a seal and none of that warm air would be able to escape. So it would be trapped in the torso. But with this very innovative vent right here, you are going to be able to vent that really well.
You have two higher set pockets and they are right here. Again, if you are wearing a back pack, you are still able to access these pockets. So they are set up a little bit higher. And these are just lined with really breathable mesh. So this can also be another vent. It has got a flap over top of that zipper, so that is going to protect water from getting in through these zippers. And then under the arm you have an always open awning style pit ventilation. So there is not a zipper under there. You are not going to, you own, have that bulk of the zipper. You don’t have to zip and unzip it. But your ... this flap is protected by your arm. So it is a really good innovation there. It allows warm air to escape and it really keeps you cool. It keeps you dry from the inside as well.
You do have a full length zipper with this piece, so easy on and easy off. There is a storm flap in front of that zipper and the way this is designed you have kind of a stiffer material here. So the flap is always closed. You don’t have any excess Velcro or anything like that, that weighs down the jacket. And on the inside of the zipper there is a storm flap, but you also have a really innovative gutter on the inside there. So if water were to make its way through that zipper it would get stuck in that gutter and just run down the rest of the jacket. It wouldn’t make its way inside.
Here on the cuff you do have a pretty trim fit on the cuff, but you also have adjustability with some Velcro there. So half of the cuff is stretchy and the other half of the cuff is Velcro.
You have a head sized hood. So this isn’t meant to necessarily be a climbing piece. It is not meant to be worn with a helmet. So really great style hood and you have adjustability around your head. So pretty light weight, stretchy draw cord there.
If I zip that up, you can see that you don’t have a lot of bulk in the hood. So as you are hiking, back packing, you don’t need a really big bulky hood. I am a really big fan of Sierra Designs hoods. And here on the front of the hood you have also a stiffer material. So it gives a little bit of a brim and that really helps with rain.
The overall fit of this jacket is really great. It is kind of a trim fit. I normally wear size small in most outer wear pieces in other brands. And this does fit pretty trim. If I were wanting to wear heavier layers underneath of this, I would probably size up to a medium, but this being an ultra lightweight piece, it is meant to be worn with very light weight layers. So, you know, a really great fit there.
As I said, with this long length you have a lot more protection than you would have with a regular lightweight jacket. And the hem in the back is actually cut down to be a little bit lower. So if you are wearing a back pack or something like that that might bring that up, you have got a lot of protection on the back as well.
All in all this feels really lightweight. I can stuff it down to be really small, throw it in my pack when I don’t need it, but it is going to offer a lot of protection and a lot of breathability with all those different features and the different ways to use the jacket.
It is the Sierra Designs women’s Ultralight Trench.