Gear Review: Winter Vest

This gear review will lead you to one item of clothing I am loving this winter: my down vest.  I hate wearing thick layers when I hike but I still want the warmth and protection.  This is why my Patagonia Bivy Hooded Down Vest is amazing.IMG_0907


  • Incredibly warm without the extra weight
  • Wind and water-resistant
  • Has a hood, which I’ve used many times for additional warmth
  • Amazingly warm flannel-lined pockets.  I had my hands out of the pockets on one hike and my fingers were beyond cold — so cold that it hurt to bend them — but a few moments after I put them inside these pockets, they became so toasty.  I’ve even told other people to feel how warm and soft the pockets are and they were impressed.
  • Vest comes up high to cover my neck for additional warmth
  • The zipper is really nice: It never gets stuck in the fabric and is very sturdy.  Some zippers are crap.  You know it, I know it, we’ve all been there.



  • This is a silly one but it annoys me: The hood is very tight which means when my vest is zipped all the way up, I cannot get the hood on or off without unzipping it first.  A hood that allowed me to slip it on and off without unzipping would be incredible!
  • This is really expensive for a vest.  I get that it it amazing but at the end of the day  — simply put — it is still only a vest.
  • Silly con Number Two is everything gets stuck to this vest: lint, hair — you name it, it will stick.  Even lint rolling is challenging because it is so attached.  It just doesn’t make me feel — what’s the word — clean? kept? nice?


Rating: IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397 out of Five Vistas

Overall, the cons are minor because this vest is a great purchase.

Tips when tracking down your own vest

  • Determine what season you want to wear it: If you want it for the winter, be aware that you may have on multiple layers so you might want to go up a size to fit all layers comfortably.
  • I’d highly recommend waterproof or at least water resistant vests, and windproof is a plus too.
  • To me, hoods are not necessary on a vest.  In fact, I’d probably prefer to wear a beanie instead of having an attached vest hood.  However, if this is something you’re interested in, be sure to scout for ones with a hood.


Happy trails!

Author: L

Hi there! I am the impulsive do-er, the jumper, the one tugging to move past comfort zones to embrace a life of sheer surprise. I am a writer -- a pursuer of stories -- because I believe in the destination over the journey. I am a chaser of sunrises and sunsets and cherisher of the moments between. I have an overwhelming curiosity, an insatiable desire travel, and an obsessive yearn to turn dreams into realities. For all of these reasons, the word that best summarizes who I am is "seeker" -- I am forever a seeker.

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