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REI Down Vest

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: REI Down Vest down insulated vest

The is a good quality down vest that is available at a very reasonable price that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone looking to pick up a down vest to put in their pack.


  • High quality construction
  • Very light
  • Low cost
  • Great REI warranty


  • None

I have been very focused on reducing the base weight of my pack and one area that I made a lot of changes to was what insulating layers I would bring for my summer hikes in the Sierras. My upper layer of clothes now consists of a base wicking shirt, a pullover lightweight fleece, a wind shirt, a down vest (the subject of this review), and my lightweight rain parka. With this collection of clothes I can handle anything I could encounter in the Sierras during July and August.

For my down insulating layer I first considered bringing a down Patagonia jacket that I own that has served me well, but it weighed 12.5 oz's and with my focus on weight I went looking see what I could do to reduce that weight without breaking the bank. For summer hikes in the Sierra I decided that I really didn't need a down jacket and that my fleece layer with a vest would be more than adequate.

In looking for a down vest I came across the basic REI Co-op men's down vest that happened to be on sale for $38.88 (and still is as I write this review) as long as I would be happy with the specific colors that were at the sales price (which is about half of the normal $78 price). I settled on the color "clover," which is a light green which I also actually like. 

The vest is a very basic design and similar to other down vest that are available from other name brand outdoor retailers. The fabric is a very light nylon material that is very soft to the touch and the down seems to be of good quality as the loft is nice and in use the vest is very warm for the weight. The overall weight of the large size vest that I purchased is 7.6 oz's. The front zipper is a coil type construction and runs all the way up to the top of the nice high collar of the vest.

The vest has one interior pocket on the left side that is attached lower on the vest and has an opening about six inches wide and is about eight inches deep. The vest also has a left and right outside pocket with vertical coil zippers that each will easily take a thin gloved hand. The left pocket also doubles as stuff sack to store the vest in when you pack it away in your pack.

I am about 5'11" tall and about 192 lbs and the large vest I purchased fits well and is not too tight and is very comfortable to wear.

Overall I really like this vest and think it is a great value and a nice light insulation layer to add to your pack.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $38.88

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