Keela's Sherpa jacket uses PrimaLoft synthetic insulation. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Keela's Sherpa jacket uses PrimaLoft synthetic insulation. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £109.95
Colour: red
Weight: 548g
Material: shell, 100 per cent nylon
Insulation: PrimaLoft Gold 100g
Country of manufacture: not stated
Sizes: XS-3XL

Say insulated jacket and thoughts immediately turn to winter and those cold days on the hill or in the countryside.

But anyone who has spent longer than a fleeting moment on a windy summit on a summer’s day will know a warm top is a useful addition to the rucksack whatever the season.

While down as an insulating material has led the field for years because of its light weight, packability and unbeatable ability to retain heat, its downside, if you’ll pardon the pun, is its cost and the fact it doesn’t perform well when wet.

Recent improvements in hydrophilic down have gone some way to allaying fears of using the material in wet and damp conditions, but synthetic fillings have also seen technological advances.

Keela’s Sherpa jacket uses PrimaLoft Gold, formerly known as PrimaLoft One 100g fill. This uses ultra-fine filaments to trap the air within the insulating layer and provide warmth. Unusually, the Sherpa jacket has a zip in its lining to let you view the PrimaLoft within the garment.

Despite being heavier than a down jacket, the Keela still tips the scales at a respectable 548g and costs probably about half as much.

There’s no hood on the jacket, but the collar has an adjustable neck baffle. The jacket hem also has spring-toggle adjustment, and there are two zipped handwarmer pockets, plus a smallish zipped chest pocket, easily big enough for your smartphone and energy bars, but not for a map.

The pockets have good-length puller tabs, so can be worked while wearing gloves, as has the top puller on the main double zip.

The Keela Sherpa jacket

The Keela Sherpa jacket

The sleeve cuffs have Velcro adjusters to keep out the draughts.

The face fabric is soft-feeling ripstop nylon which kept out the wind and turned a little showery rain, though it won’t keep you dry in prolonged or heavy precipitation.

It is a good bet, though, for wearing as a midlayer under a waterproof shell, as the insulation keeps its properties well as it inevitably gets damp while undertaking strenuous activities and the moisture builds up inside the shell, something you couldn’t rely on with a down garment.

The Keela jacket had good breathability when used as an outer layer, and the sleeves of the Sherpa zip off so you can cool off a little while keeping your core insulated.

The zips have baffles covering them, to help keep wind and showers out, and the sleeves have left and right labels inside them to help when re-attaching.

The Keela Sherpa might not win any prizes for cutting-edge design, but it’s a useful, straightforward piece of kit that works well at keeping you warm. The main drawback, if it’s important to you, is the lack of a hood.

Performance 22/30
Breathability 21/30
Packability 6/10
Features 7/10
Quality 7/10
Value for money 8/10
Total score: 71/100

  • The Sherpa jacket was supplied to grough by Keela

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