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.
- 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: 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.