A lightweight, packable jacket that you can clip to the back of your climbing harness has always been one of my most used pieces of clothing. I tend to buy one every five or six months, wear it until it is in bits, then buy another.
I started testing the Asaar Jacket from Sherpa Adventure Gear back in the late winter months, initially for scrambling and low-grade rock climbs, then as the summer progressed and gave us what felt at times like a continuous deluge, the Asaar quickly became my most-used garment of the year.
It is easily light enough, and packs small enough, to rack on your harness with the rest of your climbing kit, yet provides a welcome wind-proof layer when the breeze gets up on those windy crags.
The Asaar comes with a full-length zip, which personally I thought wasn’t really needed – a pull-on jacket would have worked for me just as well, and would have been even lighter – but this didn’t detract from how useful the jacket is. Another little tweak I would like to see being made is higher pockets. They are cut quite low, so can’t easily be used when wearing a climbing harness. Put them a little higher and they’d be great for keeping gloves, a snack, a guidebook, or even just your hands in on those windy belay stances.
These are just little niggles though. I love the Asaar, and it’s still going strong after scores of days out on the crags this year. The hood is helmet compatible, and there is an internal pocket for that guidebook or your phone (but no zip on this one). The Pertex Shield material gives good protection against the wet stuff, and brilliant breathability.
If we get any settled, dry weather, I’ll be packing the Asaar in my larger rucksack for backpacking, as its weight is a real boon for those on longer mountain journeys.
The RRP is £150, which I think is reasonable for a jacket of this quality.
It is available direct from Sherpa Adventure Gear here: Sherpa Adventure Gear