Sierra Designs Elite Cagoule Jacket - Men's

The raincoat reinvented.

Sierra Designs set out to develop a better performing rain jacket with its Men's Elite Cagoule Jacket. Weighing only six ounces, this lightweight jacket won't weigh you down whether you're backpacking or day hiking, but it provides exceptional protection from the rain for when you're on the move. The idea behind the Elite Cagoule is that active ventilation will always outperform a waterproof, breathable membrane, so the jacket features multiple open vents to keep you cool and, more importantly, dry from the inside out.

The unique awning vents at the underarms are always open to keep air constantly flowing through the jacket, while the hip belt vent allows your backpack waist strap to pass under the jacket, so water will still roll off the front of the coat. Pass-through openings allow your hands to access pockets on your mid-layer, and the deep chest opening can be opened or closed with hook-and-loop tabs to allow huge amounts of air to pass through when you're working up a sweat. The Cagoule is designed to be worn with the Sierra Designs Elite Rain Chaps for head-to-toe waterproof protection in the backcountry.

  • Two-layer waterproof and breathable membrane
  • Nylon fabric with a PU coating
  • Underarm awning vents
  • Hip belt vents
  • Hook-and-loop closure
  • Half-elastic hook-and-loop cuffs
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

For hiking hours and hours in the rain

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Rain hikes suck but this coat gets it done with perhaps a sweaty back out of the deal. Air flows so freely that I would not rely on this for warmth. The hip belt flap is the genius of this coat. Only your back is cinched and, if you think about it, your back is wet rain or shine. The rest of your torso is creating air flow as you huff up the hill.

I also have the chaps which are genius. Just legs. The longer coat covers your butt. More air flow.

The thought of going back to a jacket that is sealed at the waist thanks to the hip belt is a no go. I have swamped out too many times with conventional coats that breathe as much as a garbage bag when the air is saturated on both sides.

If you anticipate backpacking in the rain, this is it!

P.S. I concur with Peter's review below too.

Ventilation!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

After bad experiences with waterproof breathable fabrics getting soaked on the inside from perspiration and then from the outside once the DWR fails, I decided to give this pullover a go. I'm not outdoors in the rain often, but today I went on an hour long walk in a light, steady rain. Temps were 50*f, humidity 95%, and there was a light wind. I purposefully wore a heavier fleece jacket to get my body temp up and see how this would do once I started sweating.

The Cagoule performed as intended. There was no water coming in from the outside and 0 condensation inside. Between the kangaroo pocket, waist flap, and pit vents, I was very comfortable and never had the clammy feeling I've noticed with other hardshells. If the water repellency of the face fabric holds up over time, this will be a great purchase.

Pros:
-Excellent ventilation keeps you dry inside and out.
-Face fabric lets water bead up and roll off, pressure from rubbing against wet branches and leaves did not cause it to wet out.
-Pocket adds meaningful ventilation but doesn't let water in.
-Light for the protection it gives. Mine(medium)came in at 9.5 oz on the scale.

Cons:
-Hood isn't great. You will need to wear a hat with a brim to keep it from intruding on your FOV. The lack of a cinch cord in the back is an annoying oversight.
-If your shell doubles as wind protection...this doesn't do a great job of it. It definitely cuts down on wind, but the ventilation that makes it such a pleasure to walk in also makes it kind of drafty. A worthwhile trade-off for some, might not be for others.