Last Updated on February 15, 2023
The desert is a unique and often harsh environment that requires specialized gear in order to ensure the safety and comfort of those who venture into it. One essential piece of equipment for any desert excursion is a high-quality desert jacket that you can carry with you in the early mornings and chill evenings when temperatures suddenly drop.
Designed specifically for the harsh and unpredictable conditions of the desert, a good desert jacket can help keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements.
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Why you need a jacket in the desert
It is important to remember that most deserts can experience drastic temperature fluctuations, with temperatures often dropping significantly at night. It is therefore advisable to dress in layers, so that you can easily add or remove clothing as needed to stay comfortable.
Lightweight, breathable fabrics are recommended, as they will help to keep you cool and dry during the hot daytime hour. By dressing appropriately and following these guidelines, you can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable desert adventure.
Desert jackets serve several important functions that make them essential for anyone planning on spending time in the desert. Firstly, they are designed to keep the wearer cool and dry, even in the hottest and most arid conditions. To achieve this, desert jackets are typically made from moisture-wicking fabrics that effectively draw sweat and moisture away from the skin. Breathability is also an important factor, as good airflow helps to keep the body temperature regulated.
The desert is known for its extreme and often unpredictable weather conditions, including flash floods and sand storms. In such situations, having a good desert jacket can be a lifesaver. A waterproof and windproof jacket can help to protect you from the elements, keeping you dry and warm in case of a sudden shift in weather conditions.
In addition to their moisture-wicking properties, desert jackets also provide sun protection. Even in the early morning and late afternoons when temperatures are cooler, the intense desert sun hits strong due to the lack of shade, and it can be harmful to the skin, potentially causing sunburn, heat stroke, and other health issues. Desert jackets with high UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings can block out damaging UV rays and help to prevent these problems.
Aside from their practical functions, desert jackets should also be lightweight, durable, and comfortable to wear. Features such as adjustable cuffs and hems, zippered pockets, and ventilation options like mesh panels or pit zips can further enhance the functionality and wearability of a desert jacket.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine the best desert jacket for your needs. Below, a list of some of the top desert jackets currently on the market.
Best Desert Jackets
The Marmot PreCip Desert Jacket is a versatile option that can handle a wide range of desert conditions. Its waterproof and breathable fabric make it ideal for unexpected rainstorms, while the hood and pit zips provide added ventilation and temperature control.
Whether you’re out on a day hike or spending a longer period of time in the desert, the Marmot PreCip Desert Jacket is a reliable and comfortable choice.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Columbia Silver Ridge Desert Jacket may be the right choice for you. This jacket is made from a moisture-wicking and sun-protective fabric, and includes a range of features such as a hood, zippered pockets, and adjustable cuffs and hem.
While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive options, the Columbia Silver Ridge Desert Jacket is still a solid choice for anyone looking for a durable and comfortable desert jacket.
The North Face Carto Triclimate Waterproof Jacket is a versatile and durable option for desert adventures. It features a waterproof and breathable outer shell that can protect against sudden rainstorms and flash floods. The inner jacket can be worn separately or zipped in for added warmth in colder temperatures.
The jacket also has adjustable cuffs, a removable hood, and multiple pockets for storage. With its durable construction and versatile design, the North Face Carto Triclimate Waterproof Jacket is a great choice for desert excursions.
The Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody is a popular choice for desert hiking and backpacking. Its Ferrosi fabric is durable and abrasion-resistant, yet lightweight and breathable, making it perfect for the unpredictable desert climate.
The hood provides added protection from the sun and wind, and the adjustable cuffs and drawcord hem allow for a customizable fit.
Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody is another great option for those looking for a desert jacket. It is made with a lightweight and breathable synthetic insulation that provides warmth without adding bulk. The hood and high collar provide additional protection from the elements, and the adjustable hem and cuffs allow for a customizable fit. The jacket also features zippered pockets for storing essentials and pit zips for added ventilation. Overall, the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody is a durable and versatile choice for anyone heading into the desert.
Tips for Dressing Appropriatedly in the Desert
In addition to choosing the right desert jacket, there are a few additional tips to keep in mind when wearing one in the desert:
- Wear lightweight, breathable clothing underneath your jacket. This will help keep you cool and dry, and will also help you sweat less, which can help you conserve water.
- Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays with long sleeves, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Look for clothing with UPF ratings, or apply sunscreen to exposed areas of skin.
- Pack layers that you can easily add or remove as the temperature changes. The desert can experience drastic temperature fluctuations, with temperatures dropping significantly at night. It is important to dress in layers and to bring a jacket with you in the early morning and evenings to stay comfortable.
- Wear sturdy, breathable desert hiking shoes or desert boots that provide good support and protection. The desert terrain can be rough and rocky, so it is essential to have footwear that can handle it.
- Pack a rain jacket or poncho, even if you don’t think you’ll need it. The desert can experience sudden rainstorms, and a rain jacket can also help protect you from wind and sand.
In conclusion, a desert jacket is a must-have for anyone planning on spending time in the desert. It helps to keep the wearer cool, dry, and protected from the elements, offers extra warmth at night when temepratures drop and can greatly enhance the comfort and enjoyment of any desert excursion.
When choosing the ideal desert jacket, it is important to choose one that is made from moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics, provides sun protection with a high UPF rating, is lightweight, durable, and comfortable to wear, and has features such as ventilation options and adjustable cuffs and hem.
By investing in a high-quality desert jacket and following the tips and recommendations outlined in this article, you can ensure that you are prepared for any situation that may arise during your next desert adventure.
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