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Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review

A very attractive multi-purpose down jacket suited for a wide variety of outdoor activities... does that include backpacking?

Overall Rating: Above Average

My rating is given in the context of multi-purpose use, rather than a jacket used just for backpacking or other hard-core activities. The Pangboche is an elegantly designed jacket well suited for a wide variety of activities in cool weather. It does have a lightweight feature set, but overall the jacket is on the heavy side for lightweight backpacking, and it’s a little too nice for rough use.

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by Will Rietveld |

Introduction

Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review - 1
The Sherpa Adventure Gear Pangboche Down Sweater is available in men’s and women’s versions. The manufacturer weight is 14 ounces (397 g) for size Large.

This separate review provides additional descriptive and performance information on the Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater. Read our article Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 for a state-of-the-market analysis and comparative specifications and performance for a range of ultralight down jackets.

This is the first time I have worked with Sherpa Adventure Gear, and the name of the owners is (you guessed it) Sherpa. The Sherpas are one of the original mountain people of Nepal. Part of Sherpa Adventure Gear’s mission is to recognize and honor the Sherpa people. Their new for fall 2010 Pangboche Down Sweater is named after Pangboche, the oldest Sherpa village in Nepal, estimated to have been built over 300 years ago. The jacket is elegantly designed and warm, but how suited is it for lightweight backpacking?

Description

The Pangboche is elegantly designed and constructed, with lots of attention to details. It looks sharp. It’s almost too nice to use on outdoor adventures, where it can get snagged or dirty.

The Pangboche’s shell is 1.3 oz/yd2 (45 g/m2) ripstop polyester with DWR, with a taffeta lining. It has a very soft hand, which is typical for a polyester shell. The jacket is insulated with 4 ounces (113 g) of 800 fill power down, giving it a measured single-layer loft of 1 inch (2.5 cm), which is very good for the multi-purpose group of jackets.

Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review - 2
Front and rear views of the Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater.

Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review - 3
There are three pockets on the Pangboche: two zippered fleece-lined hand pockets (left), and one concealed zippered chest pocket (right). Note the accents on the jacket.

Performance

I wore the Pangboche Down Sweater while backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in all kinds of weather.

The Pangboche has a roomy fit. Size Large fits me (6 ft/1.83 m tall, 167 lb/76 kg, 39 in/99 cm chest) with room to spare, enough to layer over a vest or a fleece top. The sleeves are plenty long and the back is 28 inches (71 cm) long, enough to cover the butt. The elastic cuffs are snug, as is the collar if you wear it over your chin. The hem has a drawcord to snug it up when needed.

The Pangboche is a mixed bag as far as lightweight construction. On the one hand, its feature set is very lightweight, using #3 zippers and limiting the number of pockets, but its shell and lining fabrics are on the heavy end compared to other jackets.

In our comparative warmth tests, the Pangboche ranked in the middle of the field, meaning it’s warmer than lesser insulated jackets but not among the warmest in the multi-purpose jacket group.

Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review - 4
While skiing on a snowy day I found the Pangboche’s shell to be very wind- and water-resistant (left). Same for a rainy March day (center). My indoor one-hour “puddle test” (right) confirmed my field observations, as no water penetrated the shell or seams of the jacket.

Comparisons

Our article Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 provides complete specifications and ratings for the Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater in comparison to a range of other lightweight down jackets. The jackets most similar are the EMS Ascent Sector Down Sweater, Eddie Bauer First Ascent Downlight Sweater, Marmot Zeus Jacket, Salomon Minim Down Sweater, and TNF Thunder Jacket.

Assessment

Sherpa Adventure Gear is apparently reading the market well; in the growing market for multi-purpose three-season down jackets, many people purchase these jackets on the basis of fit, styling, warmth, and versatility. They use the jacket for a wide range of activities, outdoor recreation being just one of them. The Pangboche is perfectly targeted to that market. It is very attractive and will draw a lot of compliments. At the same time it is warm and will serve the user well in a variety of activities.

The Pangboche is not our first choice for backpacking, it’s a little on the heavy side for that, and perhaps a little too elegant. However, it’s a great jacket for day trips, adventure travel, eco tourism and the like. The Pangboche will likely appeal most to the person who likes to travel, participates in a wide variety of outdoor activities, and wants to use the jacket for just about anything in cooler weather.

Specifications and Features

Manufacturer Sherpa Adventure Gear (http://sherpaadventuregear.com/)
Year/Model Fall 2010 Pangboche Down Sweater
Style Hoodless insulated jacket with full front zipper
Fabrics Shell is 1.3 oz/yd2 (45 g/m2) ripstop polyester with DWR, taffeta lining
Insulation 800 fill power down, 4 oz (113 g)
Construction Sewn through with 2.25-inch (5.7 cm) angled quilting, set-in sleeves
Loft Measured two-layer loft is 2 inch (5 cm), single-layer loft is 1 in (2.5 cm)
Features Down-filled stand up collar, full height reversed #3 YKK zipper with one slider and storm flap under zipper, microchamois chin guard, two fleece-lined zippered side pockets, concealed zippered chest pocket, elastic cuffs, drawcord hem with one adjustor, stuff sack included
Weight Size Large tested
Measured Weight: 14.8 oz (420 g)
Manufacturer Specified Weight: size Large 14 oz (397 g)
MSRP US$180
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review this product to the manufacturer under the terms of this agreement.

Citation

"Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sherpa_pangboche_down_sweater_review.html, 2010-08-10 12:00:00-06.

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Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review on 08/10/2010 13:41:53 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Sherpa Pangboche Down Sweater Review

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Sherpa & Eddie Bauer down jackets on 08/11/2010 01:28:11 MDT Print View

The Sherpa down jacket looks and tests a lot like the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Down Sweater. The Sherpa's weight is 1.5 oz. heavier than the Bauer jacket, a small amount for most folks.


But since I got a screaming deal on the First Ascent I'm very happy with it. Seems a down sweater/light jacket is almost a must for lightweight backpacking in the mountains or for spring and fall most places.

BTW, after reading in Will's review of the Bauer First Ascent jacket wetting out I sprayed BOTH the inside and outside of my down sweater with Revivex DWR. In my experience Revivex DWR is even more water resistant than the very good Techtron DWR spray.

I sprayed did the inside so condensed perspiration would be less likely to soak into the down. But hopefully I won't let myself get all lathered up while wearing it.

Edited by Danepacker on 08/12/2010 11:32:25 MDT.