Review: Outdoor Vitals Ultralight LoftTek Jacket
This synthetic insulated jacket has many features not found on similar jackets, and the price tag is much less than you’d expect for what you get.
I purchased this jacket when it was initially launched via Kickstarter in 2019. Since then, it has become my favorite insulated jacket. I wear it for walks in my neighborhood, on hikes, on backpacking trips, and pretty much everywhere I go.
- synthetic LoftTek insulation is similar to down in loft and warmth
- underarm vents for releasing heat when needed
- two insulated, zippered hand pockets
- 2-way adjustable hood
- longer length
- water-repellent shell fabric
About Outdoor Vitals
Outdoor Vitals is a small cottage-industry company based in Utah. Instead of selling their merchandise in traditional retail outlets, they use direct-to-consumer sales to make their gear more affordable.
- Shell: 20 Denier Ripstop Nylon with VitalDry™ DWR Coating
- Lining: 10 Denier Ripstop Nylon
- Insulation: LoftTek Siliconized Hollow Fiber Synthetic. 185 Grams of fill.
- Fill Power: 625
- Warranty: Outdoor Vitals Lifetime Warranty
- Weight: 10 oz. (XS size)
Synthetic insulation: unlike down insulation, the advantage of wearing synthetic material is that it will still keep you warm if it gets wet. It also doesn’t get that clammy feeling in humid environments. And while most synthetic layers are bulkier than their down counterparts, this jacket’s innovative LoftTek fill is much lighter while still keeping you warm.
Fit: The slim athletic fit is definitely my favorite part of this jacket. Since it’s unisex, I wasn’t sure if it would fit my small frame. Fortunately, they offer it in an XS size. The sleeves are a bit longer on me than on other jackets, but I really like that. A lot. I like being able to have my hands completely covered, and the thumbholes in the sleeves mean I don’t need to break out my gloves as often to keep my hands warm. I also like the longer length, perfect for keeping your bum warm and keeping drafts out.
Durability: I’ve been wearing the LoftTeck jacket for three years and it hasn’t shown any signs of wear. And unlike most of my previous jackets, I’ve never had zipper issues with it.
Washability: While probably not the first thing you’d think of when looking for an insulated jacket, you don’t need to baby this one like down insulated jackets when it’s time to wash it. I just throw it in the washer using cold water, and place it in the dryer with wool drying balls to help it regain loft.
Layering: The best method for staying warm and dry in a cold, wet climate like the Pacific Northwest is to layer clothing. This jacket easily accommodates layering without being too bulky.
Additional features: As I mentioned, this jacket has more features than most, especially for the price. The bottom has an adjustable hem with cord-locks for keeping drafts out, the underarm vents are a nice but not common feature on insulated outer layers, and for portability, you can stuff it into one of the hand pockets. All in all, I think it has everything I look for in an insulated jacket.
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