Dunham Terrastryder Shoe : Hiking Tough, Running Kind
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Sierra Designs Cyclone Jacket : A Perfect Fit for Rainy Days

I remember going for walks with my parents in the 1980s, each of us kitted out with anoraks that packed down into tiny pouches which would all fit into Dad's small backpack, along with the sandwiches and tea. I remember never wanting to wear my shapeless, orange anorak and I also remember, when it rained heavily, the sensation of peeling the jacket off of my wet--half sweat, half rain--skin.

The first thing that strikes me about the Cyclone jacket is that, in weight and packed size, it is reminiscent of those old anoraks. However, twenty years and dozens of performance fabric incarnations later, Sierra Designs has designed a lightweight garment that is fully waterproof and breathable.

Out of the packet, despite its light weight, the jacket's material feels tough and durable In contrast to the billowy, shapeless anoraks of my childhood. The Cyclone is cut slim, and it's equally comfortable around town and on the trail.

My first outing with the Cyclone was a day hike up the Malvern Hills (in England). Although there was drizzle and a chill in the air, I soon built up a sweat on the steep uphills. The venting zips, which run down the arm, rather than underneath the armpits, worked beautifully. My arms pumping as I walked kept air moving through the jacket, keeping me cool. While resting at the top, the jacket also did a surprisingly good job of keeping the chill of the January winds at bay.

I find myself reaching for the Cyclone often--both for hikes and for trips to town. I was particularly grateful on one occasion when I found myself caught out in a real downpour and am pleased to confirm that the Cyclone performs its primary role marvelously. With help from a secure adjustable hood hidden under the collar, I stayed perfectly dry.

Bottom Line: This is a remarkably lightweight, stylish dependable, rain jacket, and its packability makes it even more useful. Also available in women's sizes.--D.T. (Feb 07)

Price: $79.95

Manufacturer's Site: www.sierradesigns.com

BUY ONLINE : Moosejaw Mountaineering

The Red Cross offers classes in CPR, First Aid, and Water Safety Instruction.

Contact your local branch to learn more.

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