Review: Women’s ‘Down Puffy’

When I first held my Sierra Designs Gnar Jacket, I was surprised at its weight, or lack thereof, to be precise. At just 8 ounces, I remember thinking “I hope this keeps me warm.” After a winter of testing, the Gnar Jacket has not left me cold.

Light, warm and compact, the puffy down jacket is also flattering — it fits well. The 800-fill goose down is highly efficient (read: warm), and it is so airy that you can pack the jacket down to the size of a grapefruit.

The Gnar weighs 8 ounces and packs to the size of a grapefruit

I wore my Gnar Jacket, which costs $199, for daily use as well as for winter running in Minnesota when it was truly cold. (“Cold” meaning about 0 degrees F to 15 above in Minnesota.) Though not made for running, the jacket performed well enough for aerobic work at these extreme temps.

The Gnar’s rip-stop nylon shell is treated with a water-resistant finish. It’s no rain coat, but for sleet or sloppy winter days, water will bead up on the fabric face.

One caveat: The cut is a little short for me. Two inches longer would have vaulted this coat into “all-time favorite” status.

—Cecilia Garcia-Velez