Gear Review: Sierra Designs BTU Parka

This shell-puffy combo comes with a shorter fit for climbers.

Best Belay Parka

This jacket, like the Synchronicity, pairs a waterproof/breathable shell with 800-fill down. But its intense warmth costs $75 less and comes with a climber-friendly design (the hem is short for use with a harness). Other features are dialed for seriously cold temps.

The insulated, helmet-compatible hood has a fleece-lined face guard that rises just above the nose; Velcro cuffs and stretchy sleeve "gaskets" seal out cold air; and the many pockets keep gear organized (two fleece-lined handwarmers, a chest pocket, two mesh internal pockets big enough to hold a Nalgene upright, and an internal zippered security pocket). The BTU is too warm and bulky for year-round use or working hard in above-zero temps, but it's wicked warm on frigid nights and weather-wracked belays. $299; 2 lbs. 2 oz.; men's S-XXL, women's XS-XL;