Yes, it has been several months since I’ve posted. Life has been busy. However, I received something in the mail and thought I’d share!
You may have seen the OutdoorVitals jacket for sale on Kickstarter. If not, the link is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/outdoorvitals/lofttek-adventure-jacket As of July 28th, 2019 the link is still active. This jacket intrigued me as it had several features that my current jacket lacked. I participated in the Kickstarter several months ago and the charcoal gray jacket finally arrived several weeks ago. Throughout the process there were periodic emails providing updates and once the jacket was packaged, I received an email with a tracking number.
Once the package arrived, I excitedly tried it on and it was too small for my liking. For reference, I am 5’ 10” and weigh 190 pounds and wear a 42 Regular suit jacket. I was wearing a T-Shirt when trying the jacket on for the very first time. The jacket fit, but it was a little too snug, especially in the arms and chest. I would be wearing more than just a thin T-Shirt during the temperatures where I plan on wearing this jacket, so I emailed the company to see if I could exchange it for the next larger size. They quickly replied with a return authorization. I paid for the return postage and another jacket the next size up was quickly mailed to me as requested. In that aspect, OutdoorVitals gets a huge thumbs up. The exchange process couldn’t have been any easier or faster.
Although I purchased this jacket to wear around town, I also plan on taking it backpacking. In my area, I go backpacking/camping from fall to early spring. One condition of backpacking for me is that it must be above freezing during the day as I don’t want to deal with my water freezing while I’m hiking. It can be below freezing at night as I’ve comfortable slept in temperatures down to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Several years ago I purchased a black Patagonia Nano-puff jacket and have used it successfully as part of my layering system for backpacking/camping. I did not buy the hooded version and have regretted in on many cold (for me) nights around camp and/or sitting by the campfire when I have one. The Nano-puff is warm – almost too warm when hiking and I’ve always wished it had armpit zippers so I could keep my core warm but vent out some of the heat. I have also found the neck of the Nano-puff to be drafty and I was looking forward to having a hooded jacket. For the purposes of this post, I will be giving my initial impressions of the OutdoorVitals LoftTekTM Insulated Jacket to the well-known Patagonia Nano-Puff Jacket.
It is too warm here for me to compare the warmness of two jackets in use and I will conduct further testing once the temperatures are appropriate.
Here are the quick statistic comparisons.
Weight in grams: 345 grams
Weight in ounces: 12.3 ounces
Zippered hand packets: 2
Zippered chest pocket: Yes
Armpit zippers: No
Thumbholes in sleeves: No
Shell: 1.4-oz 20-denier 100% recycled polyester with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
Lining: 1.3-oz 22-denier 100% recycled polyester with a DWR finish.
Insulation: 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco 100% polyester
Outdoor Vitals LoftTekTM Insulated Jacket
Size: Extra Large
Weight in grams: 387 grams
Weight in ounces: 13.7
Zippered hand packets: 2
Zippered chest pocket: No
Armpit zippers: Yes
Thumbholes in sleeves: Yes
Shell: 20D ripstop nylon shell
Lining: 10D ripstop Nylon
Insulation: LofTek is loose 525+ fill power loose fill insulation
Upon initial inspection, the extra large jacket fits well and it soft to the touch. The high neck and hood are nice and will address some of the draft issues I have with the Patagonia Nano-Puff. The hood fits well and the adjustable elastic around the perimeter of the hood and another adjustable elastic cord on the back of the hood allow the user to fit the hood to their personal preference. I do look forward to testing the armpit zippers in order to easily vent excess body heat when needed. The adjustable elastic cording around the bottom has a nice feature – the end of the cord is routed into the pocket and can be pulled while your hands are in the pockets. The thumb-holes are a nice addition, but seem just a tad small in size. The elastic in the thumb-holes and around the sleeve cuffs seem slightly rough, but they may smooth out over time with use.
In this initial post, I will post pictures of the tags, jackets being worn, on the scale (both grams and ounces), and some close up pictures of the features of the Outdoor Vitals LoftTekTM Insulated Jacket.
Patagonia Nano-Puff Tag
Patagonia Nano-Puff jacket packet into chest pocket on the scale in grams.
Patagonia Nano-Puff jacket packet into chest pocket on the scale in ounces.
Wearing my Patagonia Nano-Puff jacket.
Packed size comparison. The Patagonia Nano-Puff is on the top with the OutdoorVitals LoftTek (TM) jacket on the bottom. In reality, the jacket on the bottom is larger because the pocket is larger. It will still compress smaller than shown.
OutdoorVitals packed into hand pocket on scale in grams.
OutdoorVitals packed into hand pocket on scale in ounces.
OutdoorVitals being worn to show the hood cinched up. I do apologize for the ugly face :).
Now, I’ll show some close up pictures of the features of the OutdoorVitals jacket.
The thumb-hole in the sleeve.
Using the thumb-hole.
One of the armpit zippers
A picture of the hood from the front.
A picture of the hood from the back with the elastic cord cinched.
The elastic cord around the bottom of the jacket looping back into the pocket.
The elastic cord around the bottom of the jacket looping back into the pocket. Here the pocket is turned inside out showing the plastic pull tab sticking out on the right.
I’m impressed with the overall design and fit of the jacket. Really, my only (minor) issue is the material surrounding the thumb-holes and cuffs. The sizing was an issue, but I think that was more my fault than theirs for not realizing it was an athletic cut or really paying attention to the sizing chart. The OutdoorVital jacket is only about an ounce heavier than the Nano-puff, but includes a hood and armpit zippers. I don’t believe that is too bad and look forward to using it on chilly nights and being able to vent heat using the armpit zippers as needed while hiking.