An athletic shell is key to 4-season trail running. Even in the dead of winter, a variety of thin layers is much preferred over anything thick and heavy. The Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket is a great option for cool, windy weather and can be layered for even colder temps.

About the Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket

Built lightweight for athletic pursuits, the Kenosha Jacket is ready for windy and cool conditions year-round. The 100% polyester exterior with DWR keeps wind and water at bay while remaining breathable. Add on top of that a Cocona Lite wicking liner for moisture management and you’ve got more than a simple athletic jacket.

Features of the Kenosha Jacket

  • 100% recyclable polyester exterior with DWR
  • Cocona Lite liner for moisture management
  • Three pockets: handwarmer and upper-chest
  • Drawstring waistline
  • Elastic sleeve cuffs
  • Breathable stretchy inserts in underarm
  • Colors: True Blue/Granite (tested), Paprika/Granite, Granite
  • MSRP: $100


Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket Review

Just in time for some cool weather, the Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket has been on several trail runs and mountain bike rides in temperatures hovering around freezing. When venturing out in the cold, it’s always best to be a little chilly when starting because once your blood gets flowing, you heat up and will achieve the perfect comfort level.

I wore the Kenosha with both short-sleeve and long-sleeve base layers–depending on conditions. The Cocona Lite liner does a fantastic job of distributing the moisture for faster evaporation times. Never did I feel like the sweat was pooling in one area, but instead it spread across the entire back of the jacket. After exercising, I could wear the jacket without feeling like it was a wet sponge.

The only downside to the Cocona liner is when putting it on when the sleeve lining gets bunched up and pushed out the cuffs (see pic below). After getting it on, it takes a little bit of finagling to finally get in place comfortably. I’d suggest the sleeve lining being attached to the outer shell to avoid this. While I’m on the topic of the sleeves, the shoulders are a tad tight as well, so until you get the lining/sleeve combo situated properly, it may feel a little uncomfortable. Once up and going, it’s no big deal and feels great.

Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket Review

I really appreciated the lightweight and breathable nature of the polyester outer shell. It’s much quieter than nylon fabric and is also more environmentally-friendly.

The size Medium gives me both the perfect sleeve and hem length without being restrictive on my 5’11” 175 lb frame. The extra sleeve length is great for pulling over your hands when running in colder weather and also maintains coverage on the mountain bike.

The lined collar is comfortable and maintains warmth when needed, but could be 1/4″ shorter for my tastes. The zipper isn’t of the one-handed variety either, so when ventilation is needed, it’s a two-handed affair–nothing that really detracts from the excellent function of this jacket.

Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket Review

Good Kenosha

  • Inner lining wicks moisture well and provides a comfortable feel
  • Very breathable outer fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Collar is just the right height and diameter for mid or outer layer
  • Usable pockets
  • Perfect sleeve length for extra coverage in a pinch
  • Built-in underarm ventilation
  • Just enough DWR to shed light rain (did not test in downpour, but light rain beaded up nicely)
  • Sierra Designs always gives you good bang for the buck

Bad Kenosha

  • Lining in sleeves tends to grab long sleeve under layers
  • Fits a bit tight around shoulders
  • Requires two hands to zip/unzip
  • Front zipper is unbacked and allows some wind penetration
  • A hole in the chest pocket already

Bottom Line: Sierra Designs Kenosha Jacket

Once you give the Kenosha some time to settle down after first putting it on, it is a sleek wind jacket capable of shedding light rain and maintaining proper moisture control.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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