There are certain things that universally bring joy to backpackers: a fresh pair of socks, a well-earned meal, getting into your tent at night, an unexpected great view, and of course… the sensation of putting on your favorite puffy as the temperature starts to dip. While not exactly as powerful as the coziness associated with snuggling into your sleeping bag, its pretty darn close.
Anyways, for the last 3 months, I’ve had the pleasure of testing out the new LoftTek Adventure Jacket from Outdoor Vitals. As the weather has transitioned from fall temps to winter temps, I’ve been wearing it as my go to puffy. Here are my thoughts! Don’t care and just want to see its Kickstarter Page? Thats cool too.
The LoftTek Adventure Jacket was created with three things in mind: packability, warmth, and affordability. The Adventure Jacket is made from LoftTek (hence the name), and this synthetic insulation is really an exceptional down imitator. It does what most synthetic jackets do (stays warm when wet), but it also does what many synthetic jackets don’t do (pack down small). Weighing 11.7oz (men’s medium), the jacket is hooded and full zipped, and it comes with pit zips, thumb loops, elastic cuffs, 2 front pockets, and cinches at the hood and waist.
Things I like:
Packable and lightweight - The Adventure Jacket packs down small. Sure it's not the most ultralight jacket on the market, but it feels good, compresses down small, and is half the price of some other jackets. Additionally, it looks attractive, and that's not totally unimportant. My other puffies are the Patagonia Nano and the Borah Gear Down Jacket, and the Adventure Jacket will certainly become a mainstay for urban wear and less strictly UL outings. While it does pack into its own pocket, given the synthetic nature of the insulation, you can also just jam it into any nook and cranny of your backpack without fear of causing irreparable damage. Its 11.7oz you’ll happily carry/wear.
It's actually warm - I’ve been impressed by the range of temperatures the Adventure Jacket can handle. Its managed weather above 30 degrees nicely, and while it won’t get a ton of use during the deep freezes of December - February, its perfect for everything the shoulder seasons can toss your way. While I haven’t done the classic “get the jacket soaking wet and see if its still warm” experiment (who would let their puffy get soaking wet in the first place?), I have no reason to doubt its capacity in this regard. The hood is also very toasty, and the high neck on the jacket really does keep the cold air out.
No frills - This jacket is thoroughly uncomplicated. As a relatively decerning judger of gear, it's hard to dislike much about this jacket. It does what a puffy should do: keep you warm and comfortable when it's on, and pack down small when it's not.
Things to take note of:
Back of the head cinch: If you’ve read other reviews of mine you know that I love hoods. I wear them ALL THE TIME, and often get made fun of by friends and family for my obsession. That being said, I like everything about this hood except the back of the head cinch. This is picky, but when tightening back of the head cinches, I expect the hood to increase its grip. I want it to start feeling more snug, more supportive, and almost like I’m wearing a cap. While not terrible, the Adventure Jacket’s hood cinch pulls the hood off of my head. I can avoid this to some extent If I am intentional about where I position my head within the hood, but it still slides back off my head over time. Additionally, there are times where I like to cinch my hoods fairly tight, and if you do that with the Adventure Jacket, it results in tight constriction around my ears.
Sleeves: While most of my body is a pretty standard medium, I do happen to have relatively long arms. While the rest of the jacket fits about as well as any jacket I’ve ever warn, the sleeves come up a bit short. The elastic cuffs are nice, but over time they ride up and leave a good bit of my wrists exposed. Inconvenient at times? Sure. Deal breaker? Nope.
I’m a big fan of the LoftTek Adventure Jacket. At just over $100, it's also a bargain. Interested in learning more? The OV LoftTek Jacket is currently on Kickstarter!