Gerry “Lightweight Camping Equipment” label era parka. This lightweight nylon shell features a double layer upper extending through the hood, halfway down the sleeves and to the waist. Also features waist and hood nylon draw cords. Double chest pockets. Clarks Coats zipper. Estimated late 60s early 70s manufacture date.
The original 60/40 mountain parka by Sierra Designs. Constructed of the fabric famed for its day as the superior protector against the elements. In a time before Gore-Tex and other such membrane backed fabrics, this blend of Nylon and Cotton loomed with a tight weave was the number one choice of outdoor enthusiast against rain, snow and wind. Prior to its introduction in 1968 most parkas of this style were made of a Polyester and Cotton blend which was much more permeable to the elements. This particular example is an earlier version evident by the sparse labeling and lack of embossed buttons.
The parka is constructed of a Navy Blue shell made entirely of the 60/40 material. The classic construction includes two hip pockets with side entry and Velcro closed top entry. Two bellowed chest pockets also with Velcro closure. A single zip closed back pocket which opens up to the entire upper half of the jacket body. Closure consists of a large gauge YKK zipper with extended pull for ease of use while wearing gloves. Also a snap close-storm flap. Features an integrated hood with offset seams to prevent pooling around the neck and shoulders. Inside the khaki liner is made from 60/40 up top and through out the sleeves and hood to further guard against the elements where it matters most. Then a lighter nylon lighter around the lower allowing the jacket to slide easily over the hips. Nylon cord cinch runs through the hood with leather lace locks. Also a Nylon draw cord at the waist which most likely also had the leather locks at some point, but are now missing.
Natural Comfort for Recreational Equipment Inc. This piece displays all the cut and quality of rivals of its day like Holubar, Woolrich, Gerry, and Bauer.
- Dual layered 65/35 poly/cotton through out with fully lined Nylon sleeves and lower.
- 2 Top and side entry waist pocket, 2 chest pockets, zippered inner breast pocket, 2 inner waist pockets and one zippered external duck pocket.
- Heavy Duty YKK Double Zip in Grey contrast to the beige inner.
- Embossed snap closure
- Thick Velcro adjustable wrists
- Awesome Blue and White cinch cord around hood and waist with leather button keepers on the end.
Relatively little is known about the maker itself but the quality is definitely on par with what REI demanded. REI contracted other manufacturers to make gear for the Co-op such as Thaw, a Seattle based company producing down gear. This jacket has good weight and good lines. I especially like the hood construction consisting of two pieces one wrapping around and up the back and the other capping off the top and down the front side.