REI Revel Cloud Vest (2011 edition)
I have vested interests in this.
- 11oz (xl)
- DWR coated nylon shell, Primaloft Eco insulation
- Packable beast of a garment.
I had my eye on these for a long time. Having just come back from Guadalupe Mountains and desperately wanting something light, cheap, and warm I came across the Revel Cloud on sale (and it's often on sale) Enjoyed it. Came with a tiny stuff sack. Fit well. Has hand pockets on the front. Headphone compatible. Good length.
This was my go to layer. The down sweater is warmer, but for hiking, sweating, and general harshness, I went to the Revel Cloud. The Revel Cloud has been around a good while. Through the years, it looks like the only change has been the color options. Basically you're looking at a synthetic insulated layer that comes in a range of options. Vest, Jacket, Hooded jacket.
Insulation is Primaloft Eco which is partly recycled. It does all the good things synthetics do (fairly light, warm, insulates when wet) and it packs down very small. I had no qualms about sweating all the way through the vest. Over Mather pass and a few other spots it performed admirably when saturated.
I opted for the vest so that I could have an in-between layer. I knew I wouldn't want to wear a full length fleece or pussy jacket. I'd get to hot.
The lightweight fabric held up well to the weight of pack straps and general thuggery I put it through. Sizes may run a bit large in REI Brand stuff so check that out. There are some fancier synthetic pieces out there- nanopuff, thermoball to name a couple. For price, function, and toughness, I like the revel cloud. And at about $70, hard to turn it down.
Overall Arbitrary Trail Score (OATS)
9 for its versatility, durability, reliability, usability, and use-as-a-pillowability