As you consider your choice in outerwear, do you stop to think about the company behind the logo? While I’m not going to get into the details of what some of the big brands do or don’t do with their profits, I will say that Sherpa Adventure Gear has quite an inspiring business model that might make you think more about your choices in outerwear.
This past Summer, I had a conversation with president and founder, Tashi Sherpa, and he outlined some of the great programs they have in place to benefit Nepali Sherpa’s and their families. That conversation has stuck out in my mind and continues to give me warm fuzzies every time I put on the Varun jacket.
Sherpa Adventure Gear Varun Jacket Features:
- Recycled polyester outer shell
- Nylon lining
- Nylon/Polyester softshell side panels
- PrimaLoft Eco (40 gsm) insluation
- Laser-cut hand pockets have zip closures (with garages)
- Concealed interior chest pocket will hold a music device
- The recycled polyester shell fabric has an eye-teasing, variegated grid pattern
- Colors: Kharani, Suntala, Tibetan Coral, Num Blue
- Weight: 12.7 oz
- MSRP: $140 USD
Sherpa Adventure Gear Varun Jacket Review
Perhaps the warm fuzzies I’m feeling are not only from the feel-good story of SAG, but also from the PrimaLoft Eco insulation that keeps things toasty. While I’ve tested a slew of synthetic insulated jackets over the years, this one has some unique features that puts it into a category all its own.
The difference boils down to the softshell underarm and side panels. This allows the Varun to breathe better than other synthetic puffies on the market. While it does encourage breathability under pressure, at the same time it does allow some wind penetration — a worthwhile trade-off in my book.. The recycled polyester exterior sheds moisture well, but isn’t supremely waterproof in a full-on downpour. The nice thing with synthetic insulation is that it won’t lose as much insulative properties when wet.
Slipping on the Varun, this jacket just feels well-built and comfortable. PrimaLoft Eco is light, warm and cozy and is a great choice for this piece. The sleeve cuffs and hem are welded for reduced bulk and improved fit. This is important as I’ve worn other similar jackets that are bulky and uncomfortable — not so with the welded Varun. I dig the efficient fit with articulated elbows for an extra glove-like feel. The fit isn’t completely athletic, but it’s by no means relaxed. I’d call it a good mountain fit with just the right lengths and coverage all-around.
Zipping it up, I loved the zipper backing as it provides solid wind protection yet it stays out of the way for easy zipping. It has some sort of stiff layer sandwiched in there… I like it. Another great feature are the simple, grippy zipper pulls with Tibetan prayer flag-esque colors. Just another reminder of the source of this jacket.
- Excellent overall quality and feel
- PrimaLoft Eco insulation is light, packable and warm
- Love the softshell underarm/side panels for breathability
- Comfortable collar height and diameter
- Nylon lining makes for easy on/off — even with long-sleeves
- It feels good to support Sherpas and their families
- Hard to find
- Softshell panels do allow some wind penetration
Bottom Line: Sherpa Adventure Gear Varun Jacket
The Varun has continued to hold up as both an outer and mid layer in a variety of conditions. You’ll now see several hybrid Primaloft/softshell jackets on the market, but give this one a shot for its solid price, feel good story and great function.
Buy Now: Sherpa Adventure Gear at REI