Sierra Designs Mantra Fusion Review
Finding a good shell these days isn’t hard to do with a number of brands making quality products. Finding a great shell on the other hand is a little harder to come across, the Sierra Designs Mantra Fusion is a GREAT 3-layer shell. We tested this shell out while skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, dog walking, and strutting our stuff on the town and only have good things to say about the Mantra Fusion. The Mantra Fusion is a 3-layer waterproof shell which we think deserves a little education for some.
3 layer jackets- When it comes to a waterproof shell, you have the choice to buy a 2 layer shell or a 3 layer shell. A 2 layer shell has an outer layer that has your nylon fabric that is treated with durable waterproof repellent, DWR, and another layer has a plastic/rubber feel to it. This layer is laminated to the outer shell and this gives you your two layer shell. A 3-layer shell goes one step further and adds another a layer to the inside of the shell, giving the jacket added durability and helps prevent the inside of the jacket from sticking to wet skin, ie in case you overheat and start sweating. 3-layer jackets are typically a little more bulky and heavier, but it is a trade off for durability and comfort. One simple way to see whether a jacket is a 2 or 3 layer jacket is when looking at the inside of the jacket, there is usually a silver fabric lining on the inside of the jacket and it is a little stiffer than some of the other jackets you will run across. The 2 layer jackets will have that plastic/rubbery feel to them.
Now that you are educated on the 3 layer shell system, we can now move onto more features of the Mantra Fusion! I tested a large jacket, which is usually a size too big for me, but it is nice to be able to use some bulkier warm layers for super cold days and have some added mobility while skiing. Speaking of skiing, the Mantra Fusion has a removable snow-skirt which is a bonus to be able to zip off when it starts to get a little warmer and you don’t have to worry about snow getting into your jacket. Being able to zip out the snow-skirt, you can shave some weight and prevent it from rubbing on your mid section when it’s not necessary. This shell comes with pit zips that help you regulate your body temperature, an adjustable hem to keep out wind and cold, as well as giving you a tighter fit. There are plenty of pockets to store valuables, food, and other small items that you need on your adventures. If you are looking for a do it all shell, the Mantra may not be for you because of the beefy protection and construction that is best suited for harsh winter weather that does not transition well into more milder temperatures.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Sierra Designs Mantra Fusion and suggest this jacket to those who are hard on their gear and want a durable shell that will last for years to come.
• Fully Fused PVC-Free Seams
• Helmet Compatible, Fully Adjustable Hood with Visor
• Adjustable Hem
• Adjustable Cuff
• Removable, Zip-Off Snowskirt
• Underarm Vents
• 1 Internal Mesh Dump Pocket and 1 Internal Zippered Mesh Pocket
• Interior Tricot Chin Guard
• Condor Construction