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Outdoor Vest?


otis11
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Hey Everyone,

I’m new to this forum and fairly new to the hiking world. I’m looking to add a vest to the equipment list, but was looking for some advise on features or materials I should be looking for. I’m looking for some extra storage space which I can easily access on the go. I was looking for some input on what I should be looking for regarding materials and pockets for a lightweight yet functional vest. Any input would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks for your time.

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I would recommend trying on whatever vests you consider with a backpack, or your pack, to ensure that you still have access to the pockets.

Go with down fill since it is the best insulator for the weight. A lot of companies are treating down with water resistant chemicals, too, so you won't loose your insulation even if the vest gets wet.

I don't actually own a vest, but this is what I would look for in any jacket/puffy. I'm sure someone on here can make a specific suggestion and speak from experience.

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There are different kinds of vests available. More details about what your needs are might help with the recommendations. There are insulated vests such as kwhowell alludes to, fleece vests, fleece vests with a water resistant/windproof layer, and lighter weight, unlined windproof vests that are essentially like softshell or wind shell jackets without sleeves. Then, there's travel vests with multiple pockets that are much like fishing vests except that they tend to be longer, which is where the hipbelt interference issue comes into play.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I've actually been experimenting with running vests for longer trail runs lately, but for hiking I like to go for a regular pack and something like my ZPacks Multi-Pack if I need some type of front storage, combined with the pockets on my hiking pants, pack's hipbelt pockets, etc.

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Spending some time around a friend who was a professional cyclist reminded me that cycling jerseys work really well for this. With the right food, you can stuff a couple thousand calories in a 3-pocket jersey, then shove gloves and a lightweight shell in an old-school minimal CamelBak. I haven't tried any of the ultra-runner vests, but the mesh Nathan things with the 2L reservoirs and big breast pockets look reasonably well-designed.

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