What really sets this lightweight, crossover, mid layer, full-zip fleece jacket apart from the rest is the subtle, stylish details that reference Sherpa’s Nepalese heritage, as well as its strong commitment to ethical manufacturing.
- Super soft fabric
- Quality construction and finishing
- Stylish details
- Ethically made with benefits to Nepalese children
- Lightweight microfleece provides only modest warmth
- Cuffs and hem not elasticated
Sherpa Adventure Gear almost always stands out from the rest, and the Sherpa Rolpa fleece jacket is no exception. What generally sets the brand’s garments apart are the lovely little details, which often reference its Nepalese heritage. So, although the Rolpa is a relatively simple jacket, it is beautifully made using quality materials.
The 100-weight polyester microfleece is super soft, with a textured anti-pill finish to the face fabric. It comes in colours inspired by the traditional dyes of Nepal, making this a stylish crossover layer that you can take on the hills but also wear as part of an everyday wardrobe. The full zip has a soft chin guard with a classy leather and brass pull-tab zipper.
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The zipped hand pockets also have cord pulls and a taped ‘prayer flag’ trim, which is also found inside the base of the collar. At the back of the neck, there’s a subtle embroidered endless knot motif, another nod to Nepalese culture. The right-hand pocket even has an internal media port.
Best of all, however, is the fact that the Rolpa is actually made in Nepal, with the brand providing education and resources for children in Nepal for every product sold. That’s a laudable initiative indeed.
• RRP: $60 (US) / £50 (UK)
• Fabric: 100-weight polyester microfleece
• Sizes: Men’s S–XXL; Women's: XS–XL
• Weight (men’s size L): 312g/11oz
• Colours: Potala red / Raja blue / Neelo blue
In the field
The fit of the Rolpa jacket is spot on, with a slim silhouette but enough length in the arms and torso for full coverage. The panel construction also thoughtfully places seams away from the tops of the shoulders for added comfort under a shell, or if wearing a pack. As a lightweight layer, it doesn’t deliver huge amounts of warmth, but is the ideal jacket to throw on over a base layer for hillwalking or over a T-shirt for daily wear. It is extremely soft and stays comfortable all day long, but that anti-pill finish seems to be effective too, promising good long-term durability and value. The stand-up collar does a good job of fending off chills. We found both hems and cuffs fit well, but it is worth noting that they are not elasticated, and nor do the sleeves have thumb loops. Still, we found ourselves grabbing the Rolpa regularly, whether we were headed outdoors or not, appreciating both its soft comfort and stylish looks.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.
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