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In-VEST-igating my options

I've been tucking away a little bit of cash each payday in order to buy a new vest. Now that I have enough saved up, it occurred to me that I don't know which vest to purchase. 

Here's my conundrum. . . My original intention was for the vest to serve as a warm layer in the winter (primarily during cold-weather hunting and maybe snowshoeing). However, I just landed a new job which will require business casual attire daily, meaning I could wear a collared shirt with a vest over top.

If I could find the vest that could work for both occasions, I'd be set. 


Perhaps something like a Rab generator? They are quite warm and look clean and not overly outdoorsy.

My brother in law swears by his Ibex merino wool vest.  He lives in it as a hunting mid-layer and for a good looking layer over a dress shirt for work.  It definitely looks nicer than a fleece or puffy vest.  While I don't own this, I just reviewed an Ibex zip hoody that I really like.  It's a fairly densely-woven wool with a little bit of stretch to it.  really warm. 

ps - I recognize that Ibex clothing generally is really expensive at full price.  I noted that the vest is on sale at Sunny Sports for $109, if the color and size combination works for you. 


Hmmm....first thing that come to my mind is a wool vest from somewhere like Woolrich. I have one that works quite well in the way you describe.

I'm with Andrew and Mike...if you're going to use it for business casual wool is probably the best fabric to go with...and though I have reservations about wool as a base-layer it is an excellent mid-layer.

trouthunter said:

Hmmm....first thing that come to my mind is a wool vest from somewhere like Woolrich. I have one that works quite well in the way you describe.

 another brand, Filson, also makes a very attractive wool vest that is perfect for business wear or in the wilderness. They can be somewhat expensive but the folks who I know that have them rave about them and wear them all the time. One fellow up in Seattle wears his year round. That would not work down here but I'd sure wear one in the cold seasons if I had one...

Great suggestions all. Thanks!

I'll be taking a look at the brands you mentioned. 

As a side note: Being a born and raised in PA, I try to support Woolrich when I can (I actually just bought a sweater from them only a few days ago) as they are PA's most (only) recognized outdoor/lifestyle company. I think I'll start there, but the others sound enticing as well.


I have a Patagonia Down Sweater Vest that I would wear every single day if I could. It is comfortable, versatile, and (I think) good looking. I wear it out on the town and in the backcountry. Just throwing that out there, just in case you haven't given those a look yet. :)

EDDIE BAUER First Ascent Storm Down vest is filled with 850 fill DWR treated down (Down Tek).

Santa gave me one and I love it, From now on ALL my down garments will have a down DWR treatment. 

I'm beginning to shy away from the idea of a down vest. It seems a little out of place in the office, which is too bad because it would probably suit me best in cold-weather outdoor pursuits. I'm now looking at fleece and/or wool exclusively. Going to try on the Patagonia Better Sweater Vest this weekend. 

@300winmag - that is a nice vest EB is making. Saw it the other day in store and gawked for a minute. 

I was actually going to also suggest that, as well. I have a better sweater full zip jacket and it is shockingly warm and it has a really nice, sleek look to it.


After looking at various options, it came down to a vest from Woolrich and a Patagonia Better Sweater vest. I decided on the latter, mostly due to two factors: 1) the Woolrich vest was boxier shaped than I preferred and 2) my local gear shop was having a 20% discount on Patagonia products. 

So far I've been very pleased with the vest. A review will be forthcoming, but I suspect not for several months or longer - once I get use it in several situations/temps/conditions/etc. 

Of course you know no Woolrich items are made in the USA. (This from A Woolrich customer service lady.)

Jus' sayin'...

That's not entirely true, 300winmag. That lady should be fired. 

Yes, most (or even all) or their widely distributed apparel and accessories are not made in the US (just like almost every other major outdoors apparel company), but they do still have a woolen mill and other factories in the US where they manufacture goods such as jackets, blankets, hats, packs, socks, leather boots and even one very nice looking vest (going back to the original post).

October 25, 2020
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