Outdoor Research Aria Down Vest
The Aria Down Vest has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best down insulated vests for 2023.
This is a great vest that is warm and lightweight. It is a favorite of mine on and off the trail.
- Hood, for extra layers
- Seems to ride up on the torso when the hood is up
The Aria Down Vest by Outdoor Research is one of my backcountry staples. I bought one last year and, due to its versatility (and multitude of color options!), convinced myself to purchase a second one this year!
Unlike other down vests I have tried, the fit is slim — it doesn't turn you into a marshmallow — but not restrictive. It's warm yet lightweight and the hood gives me an extra layer of warmth. I am especially appreciative of the hood at the beginning of a winter excursion as it helps me to bridge the chilly transition from the start of the trailhead to the point when my body begins to heat up. I also like being able to put the hood up and down as needed over the course of a trip without having to dig through my pack to switch between hats.
The vest pairs well over a soft shell layer (the OR Ferrosi Jacket is my personal favorite) or under a hard shell on really cold days. It is so lightweight that I have even carried it with me on summer days when the summit can be cold, cloudy, and windy. The 650-fill down provides warmth yet compressibility (see photo below next to 1L water bottle), tucking easily into my pack without taking up too much real estate.
My only criticism (and I'm being picky here) is that when the hood is up the torso of the vest seems to ride up. I have a long torso, so this may be more an issue related to my body proportions. However, a little extra length in the hood would be appreciated, especially if I am layering it over a winter hat.
Overall, this is a great vest that I have enjoyed on and off the trail. I am hoping I will be able to resist purchasing a third color next season! Here it is (below) worn over my OR Ferrosi Hoodie.
This was my best purchase this year! The vest is stylish, lightweight, toasty warm, and fits great. The hood is comfortable and functional. The vest compacts easily and pops out ready to wear, looking good as new!
I bought this vest in basic black and it is so stylish that I wear it everywhere with everything! It layers well over sweaters, flannels, and thermals AND is sleek enough to wear under my other coats for extra warmth, comfortably, without looking bulky.
The vest itself, fits great, is toasty warm, lightweight and compact. The rip cord adjustment on the hood makes it extremely functional and comfortable, keeping it in place and out of my eyes.
I am impressed with the overall construction and quality. Plus, I can roll this vest up into a compact storage bag, confident that it will be wrinkle-free, ready to wear, and will look great when I pull it back out.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
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Historic Range: $53.98-$175.00
Reviewers Paid: $150.00