Sure, everyone has a rain jacket. But what do you do when you need extra insulation under your rain jacket or a versatile lightweight jacket to throw on in the summer? Well, our quick answer would usually be a lightweight down ‘sweater’ as they are called, but Sherpa Adventure Gear has come up with something even better. The Om Jacket ($130) from Sherpa looks and acts mostly like a thin, lightweight down jacket, but it’s actually insulated with PrimaLoft Eco, a synthetic material that is a great down-alternative for wet climates. If you’ve ever been stuck in a downpour with a soaked down jacket, you know that those cozy feathers lose just about all effectiveness when wet. PrimaLoft Eco does much better in a rain shower, retaining heat where down fails. It’s also extremely light and compressible, both key features for this type of jacket.
We tested out an Om Jacket ourselves and we couldn’t have enough good things to say about it. Be forewarned, this is not what you would usually consider a ‘down jacket.’ It’s a very thin layer of insulation, making it great as a layering piece in the colder months or as a lightweight jacket in the warmer seasons. It’s made from 100% recycled mini-grid ripstop polyester, and the PrimaLoft Eco does indeed hold up through a rain shower or two. Thumb loops at the cuffs help keep your wrists and hands covered and are a great help when layering the jacket under a heavier layer. Because the Om jacket is so compressible, we found that it was a great piece to just thrown in our everyday bag just in case we needed something extra to throw on for warmth. This is also a great feature for backpackers or hikers who want to keep their packs as light as possible but still have an extra layer available. While we wouldn’t have necessarily thought that we would ‘need’ a super-lightweight PrimaLoft Eco jacket, it’s such a versatile item that now we can’t imagine not carrying one with us. It’s not a bargain item, but for the four-season use that this jacket offers, you will definitely get your money’s worth. The Om jacket is available in several different colors and also a slightly more fitted style for women.