Headed to the hills, or just headed to the office?  With Merrell’s Darrien jacket, it may be hard for folks to tell – but you’ll be equally prepared for both options.

Merrell Darrien Jacket Features

  • 100% polyester fabric
  • Merrell Opti-Warm synthetic insulation
  • DWR finish
  • Dual hand pockets
  • Internal zippered storage pocket
  • Taffeta lining
  • Adjustable drawcord hem
  • 4 color options
  • MSRP $119

Merrell Darrien Jacket Review

Merrell specializes in making highly functional outdoor apparel that is also very stylish for everyday casual use.  The Darrien is a perfect example, as illustrated by the following conversation I had with my wife as I was headed out the door to work one morning:

Wife:  I really like that jacket.

Me:  Yeah … it’s a new one.  I’m testing it for hiking.

Wife:  But it looks too nice for hiking!

So I guess one downside of the Darrien is that people on the trail might mistake you for someone who wandered away from the office for a while … but that’s not such a bad problem to have.

(And come to think of it, I am someone who wanders away from the office to hit the trail … only I usually change clothes first.)

On the trails ... or off to the rat race

The Darrien is constructed as a bomber-style jacket, with warmth provided by 100g of Merrell’s proprietary Opti-Warm insulation, and a very soft taffeta finish on the entire interior surface.  The external surface has good tear-resistance and a comfortably coarse finish, along with DWR coating that is sufficient to hold off light rainfall.

Silky taffeta interior lining; interior zip pocket

Fit of the jacket through the torso is slightly bulky, providing plenty of room for layering underneath, but which might be a problem if you’re hauling a day pack over the top of it. I’d love this jacket much more if it were just a little bit thinner, or if the torso cut was trimmed down just slightly.

Nevertheless, the combined comfort and warmth of this jacket is outstanding, and during a fall camping trip, the Darrien became an ideal “Wow, it got cold once the sun went down – I need to throw on something warm!” solution for whiling away the evening hours before climbing into the tent.

Good Darrien

  • Very fashionable styling for trail or casual use
  • Excellent insulation
  • Comfortable overall feel

Bad Darrien

  • Feels bulky underneath a backpack

Bottom Line: Merrell Darrien Jacket

Equally suited for winter hiking or cool-weather casual wear, Merrell’s Darrien jacket is an attractive choice, whether you’re headed to the office or escaping from it.

Buy Now: Visit Merrell.com

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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