Sitka branched outside of its hunting market with its Train, Travel, and Work line. We reviewed the Sitka Nimbus Jacket, a lightweight and windproof option for travelers and outdoors people.
In 2018, Sitka introduced a new line of apparel dubbed TTW, or train, travel, work. Across the line, the brand kept consistent with its technical hunting pieces. The TTW line boasts an array of performance shirts, bottoms, and jackets that are designed to take you from the gym to the field.
The brand’s windproof option in the line, the Nimbus Jacket, is super lightweight, water-resistant, and uses Gore-Tex Windstopper shell. It’s designed to withstand wind and light rain while staying comfortable and costs $199.
NOTE: The TTW line from Sitka Gear is currently only available for men and designed with an athletic fit. However, I am able to easily fit into the small sizes and have found the Nimbus Jacket to work with my female frame without any major setbacks.
Sitka TTW Line: What You Get
The Nimbus Jacket is one of two jackets in the TTW line.
The core of the Nimbus is a Windstopper membrane that breathes very well. It prevents overheating and perspiration build-up by allowing moisture vapor to easily escape.
The other jacket, the Vapor SD, $299, is built on the same ideas but uses Gore-Tex Shakedry lightweight, waterproof technology.
In use, I feel the Nimbus has a leg up on the pricier Vapor SD in the area of durability with its brushed DWR finish.
Review: Sitka Gear Nimbus Jacket
The jacket’s mantra is that it’s built to be packed down, withstand light precipitation, and totally block the wind. I used it during farm chores, outdoor photography sessions, casual hikes, and camping trips.
I found this to be true when I packed it inside a tool bucket on my way out to the fields to chainsaw up some fallen trees from a storm. The weather hovered in the mid 50’s with a strong breeze and spits of rain.
If you’ve ever chainsawed anything in the brush, you know that it’s humid. I always try to avoid shells that keep the heat in and make you sweat. That’s not the case with the Nimbus.
I was happy to not feel like a sauna inside that jacket, with wind blowing that could cause steady chills. Instead, it felt as if I was vented and kept the wind from slapping my neck and arms when it would gust a little.
One surprise feature of the jacket was how flexible the fabric was. The brushed outer textile didn’t have that super annoying swooshy or crunchy noise most windbreakers have. The fabric stretched with me while I started the chainsaw and didn’t pull my clothes underneath.
Work, Breakdown, and Stowaway
At first look, the Nimbus looks like a simple jacket. But upon closer inspection, there are some awesome yet subtle features that were invaluable in the moment.
During my deadfall chainsaw massacre, I employed the hood. This kept the sawdust from flying down the collar and the rain off my head.
Sitka designed it with an easy adjustment on the back of the head to keep the three-panel hood in place. That’s important because if a hood is uncomfortable or ill-fitting, it’s never going to get used.
Lycra material surrounds the cuffs and hood. This gives a little extra stretch. It comes in handy if you want to put on or take off the jacket while wearing work gloves and a hefty GPS or exercise watch.
It also makes putting on and taking off the jacket quickly, in case of strong, sudden winds.
There’s ample room to store your keys, money, or cell phone inside the interior chest pockets. When you’re on the move, it breaks down into a little ball that is practically weightless. The chest pocket holds the whole jacket when you want to store it.
Sitka Gear Nimbus Jacket: Final Thoughts
I will continue to test the Nimbus throughout the year, but I feel it has already proved itself to me.
When chainsawing in light rain, a few cool camp nights, or using it as a protective shell while photographing in misty conditions, the jacket performed as advertised.
The Nimbus Jacket’s materials and technology make it a versatile piece in my outerwear arsenal. It’s true to its brand in form and function. Many other shells are loud and trap in your body heat to the point of sweating. The Nimbus is soft and breathable while still durable.
I’d say the biggest hurdle in the purchase is the cost at $199. But the value is in the technology and details. At this price, it competes with brands like The North Face. REI Co-op offers similar jackets for about $30 less. It’s available in three colors and available from Sitka’s website and retailers.