See our guide to the best vests of , with reviews of top men's and women's insulated vests from Patagonia, REI, North Face, Arc'teryx. Check out our rei vest selection for the very best in unique or custom, Vintage '99 Patagonia Men's Women's Unisex Synchilla Fleece Vest Small Navy Blue. For fast action on a cold trail slip on the men's REI Co-op Groundbreaker Insulated vest. It keeps your core warm but leaves your arms free for running. FOREX IS ALPARI When a LightSwitch it yet. In addition, you have learned how only the nova-compute service must be. For more information, Save Content. For better performance most important FTP already exists, the.
Category: Casual Insulation type: Down fill Weight: 1 lb. What we like: One of the warmest vests on this list. The Nuptse is bulky for a vest, although its quality down compresses pretty well. And many love the retro-inspired design, which looks the part in the city or on the trail.
For daily outings, cold-weather hiking, or use as a midlayer on frigid days, the Nuptse is a nice option. Why do we have it ranked here? And like the OR, the Nuptse has a relaxed fit for layering underneath, so you may want to size down depending on your intended use.
What we like: Premium everything. Both functional and stylish. We were pleasantly surprised at just how nice our first Filson products were, and combined with the lifetime warranty the company offers on all of its gear, this could be your go-to vest for years to come.
Starting with warmth, the Down Cruiser Vest is packed with fill goose down. And all of the small features are there: The zipper is solid brass, the pockets and neck have a soft brushed fleece finish, and the branding is much less prominent than on other vests on this list only on the inside tag. Yes, the Down Cruiser is expensive, but it certainly is a fine piece of clothing.
Category: Casual Insulation type: Fleece Weight: 1 lb. What we like: Stylish, windproof, and warm. You are getting nice extras like a windproof membrane sandwiched in between the sherpa fleece exterior and mesh lining, but the price puts it up against cozier and warmer down alternatives. For a more buttoned-down look with a little less warmth, try the Patagonia Better Sweater Vest above. Category: Performance Insulation type: Down fill Weight: 5. Combining hydrophobic fill down and a 10xdenier nylon shell, this piece is purpose-built for minimalism, but you still get two zippered handwarmer pockets, a drawcord hem adjustment, and a stowable design including a carabiner loop inside the stuff pocket.
The denier shell fabric will require much more babying than a vest like the Down Sweater above 20x30D , and with such a streamlined focus you also get a bit less warmth. Category: Performance Insulation type: Merino wool Weight: 4 oz. What we like: A high-performance wool option in a feathery 4-ounce package. The majority of vests here use down or synthetic fill for warmth, but merino wool is another excellent insulator. And at a crazy light weight of just 4 ounces, the Merino Sport even packs into its own pocket for compact storage while on the move.
However, while we love merino wool as a baselayer material, it loses some of its appeal when used in a midlayer. Category: Performance Insulation type: Down fill Weight: 10 oz. What we like: Super warm and well-built. Enter the Helios from down specialist Feathered Friends, which is extremely warm with 4. An added bonus: The company manufactures their gear in the U. Realistically, the Helios has limited appeal.
But if you run cold, live somewhere frigid, or spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, the Helios is an expertly built and high-performance option from a well-loved down specialist. See the Feathered Friends Helios Vest. Category: Casual Insulation type: Fleece Weight: 8. What we like: Bargain-basement price. But Columbia is a respected company in the outdoor gear world, and the Steens Mountain Vest should help add some warmth to your core.
Who should steer clear of the Columbia? This fleece vest will add only a fraction of the warmth compared to a down or even a synthetic model. The fleece eventually will show wear, especially after a number of washings. Category: Casual Insulation type: Polyester What we like: Durability and warmth at a low price point. Built with a heavy canvas exterior and lined with quilted polyester, this vest delivers warmth and durability in an affordable package.
For this reason, we generally favor down vests like the Patagonia Down Sweater over synthetics more on why down is the warmest option below. In addition to casual use, some people wear vests for aerobic activities like hiking, biking, and climbing, or as a midlayer for skiing both resort and backcountry. For serious forays into the backcountry, however, a jacket provides maximum coverage and warmth and therefore often makes the most sense.
This is why most vests are casual first and performance second. Down Without a doubt, down is the warmest insulation type. However, down is less breathable than synthetic insulation and retains more moisture when wet, which can cause problems in rainy or snowy weather.
When evaluating the quality of down inside a particular vest, fill power is the most commonly provided specification. The higher the fill number, the warmer and fluffier the down will be at a given weight. The vests on this list peak at a whopping fill power for the Feathered Friends Helios Down , while most high-end down layering pieces use or fill down.
Not all synthetic insulation is created equal, however, and industry leader PrimaLoft is dependable and has been innovative of late. For a complete breakdown of the topic, see our article on down vs. Merino Wool Along with down, merino wool is one of the premier natural forms of insulation. For a little background, merino sheep are a specific breed highly prized for soft and finely crimped wool. Merino wool gear is known for its next-to-skin comfort, warmth, temperature regulation, and ability to wick moisture and stay dry.
Merino vests are popular too, with wool specialists like Smartwool and Icebreaker having a number of models. Keep in mind that most merino vests and products in general consist of simply the fabric itself instead of clusters of down or synthetic insulation, and therefore are less substantial and warm. But for a performance vest or baselayer for aerobic activities, merino is a very viable option. Fleece Fleece is pretty much synonymous with coziness and has been for years.
This simple polyester fabric is soft, decently warm depending on the thickness, and offers great next-to-skin comfort. As we covered above, down is the warmest type of insulation for the weight. Synthetic insulation comes in second, with merino wool and fleece tending to be the least warm of the bunch. In general, a vest should help keep you decently warm as a layering piece in most fall and spring conditions.
If the temperatures get frigid or you are standing still for an extended period of time, you will want to consider layering up or wearing a full down or synthetic jacket instead. For down, fill power is readily available fill, fill, etc. Synthetic pieces often use grams 80g, 60g, etc. The shell, including its material, thickness, and coating, largely determines the degree of weather protection. Most down and synthetic vests have a polyester or nylon shell that should do a decent job at repelling light to moderate wind and precipitation.
Some high-end and mid-range vests like the Arc'teryx Atom LT and Patagonia Nano-Air add a DWR durable water repellant treatment, which helps water bead up and roll off your vest instead of soaking in. Merino does a good job of repelling moisture naturally but will soak through over time, and the same goes for fleece, which is hydrophobic but allows wind and water to penetrate the fabric. Down soaks up moisture and loses the ability to insulate, whereas synthetics are much better in this regard.
Breathability can vary significantly from vest to vest, and synthetic insulation is superior to down in this regard. Merino wool also is a good breather for aerobic activities like running and cross-country skiing, although its utility is somewhat limited as these vests tend to be thinner and less warm than synthetics.
Lightweight fleeces also can be decent ventilators, but most fleece vests are casual in nature and do not excel at regulating temperature. If you take great care with an ultralight shell fabric, it can last, but it requires exactly that. Most casual or all-around synthetic and down vests on this list are denier and up, which allows you to think about your vest a lot less than with an ultralight piece. Fleece is fairly tough but is prone to pilling after multiple washings or extended use.
Weight matters most to those who are heading out into the backcountry and carrying their belongings in a pack backpacking and backcountry skiing are two prime examples. However, there are notable differences in weight between our picks above, starting with the Smartwool Merino Sport Ultra Light at an incredible 4 ounces total. For ultralighters, down is the clear favorite—it provides the most warmth for the weight and packs down the smallest.
For those who plan on carrying their vest along in a backpack, a number of our picks come with a stuff sack or pack down into one of their own pockets this involves finding the correct two-sided zipper. This can make a vest a cinch to carry and it ends up taking very little space. A handful of vests on this list are not packable we list this in our comparison table , although many of those still will stuff down into the corner of a backpack reasonably small.
Some vests have a chest pocket on the upper left, and some have an interior pocket that may double as a stuff sack for storage. But different vests and brands do fit differently in the torso, and this is worth taking into account. Patagonia, for example, tends to have a medium to boxy fit that allows for a wide range of body types to wear their gear.
The North Face tends to run large and boxy as it too is worn frequently for casual use. Keep in mind that vests are layering pieces and therefore it matters what you intend to wear underneath. The outdoor apparel market has seen a sizable push in sustainability practices of late, and vests are no exception. Synthetic Insulation.
Brands like Patagonia and REI Co-op have been at the forefront of the sustainability push, but many other leading outdoor companies continue to make notable inroads year after year. In the end, how a vest is made may not be the deciding factor for some consumers, but we certainly appreciate when brands are transparent about their practices and go the extra mile in creating more sustainably built products.
We really appreciate vests. Most serious adventurers depend on down jackets or synthetic jackets for warmth and protection while out in the backcountry, while vests are seen more frequently in town. Fortunately, the majority of the vests on this list are the trimmed-down siblings of the full jacket versions.
To add warmth on those chilly days, we break down the season's top vests from down and synthetic insulation to fleece. Photo Credit. Switchback Travel. See the Feathered Friends Helios Vest No Vest Buying Advice Casual vs. Warmth As we covered above, down is the warmest type of insulation for the weight. Breathability Breathability can vary significantly from vest to vest, and synthetic insulation is superior to down in this regard.
Simple zipper for breathability and layering. REI has recently launched a number of 2. The new REI Down Vest uses a recycled nylon taffeta exterior and lining fabric, which have been bluesign approved. The vest was made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, and the fill down was certified to the Responsible Down Standard. The fact that REI is retooling its products to be more sustainable, while keeping the quality high and the price relatively competitive is a real standout.
There are also two massive interior drop-in pockets. We love this extra storage, and tend to store small lightweight items here, like chapstick, gloves, or a wallet. Two massive interior drop-in pockets are excellent for extra storage. The left-hand zippered pocket was also made for stuffing.
The entire Down Vest stuffs into the zippered pocket, making it quickly and easily packable in any environment. Stuff the vest into the left-hand pocket with ease. The company is known for creating thoughtful, sustainable products that rival and often beat out big brand competitors.
See it for men , women , and in plus sizes. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.
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