The REI Flash Jacket is a really nylon skinny jacket that traps your physique warmth and prevents the wind from stripping it away. Additionally referred to as a windbreaker or wind shirt, it’s way more breathable than a raincoat or a hardshell jacket, it solely weighs a couple of ounces, and compresses all the way down to the dimensions of an apple. It’s a perfect garment to put on over a midlayer garment like a fleece hoody when it’s cool out or to forestall bugs from biting you throughout bug season when a heavier jacket is simply too sizzling. In winter, I put on one as an outer layer on 90% of my hikes as a result of it’s a lot extra breathable than a rain jacket or hardshell.
Specs at a Look
- Weight: 4.5 oz in a males’s XL
- Gender: Males’s and Ladies’s sizes can be found
- Pockets: 5
- Hood: Quantity adjustable at rear of hood
- Materials: Recycled Nylon
- DWR Coating: Sure
The REI Flash Jacket is a gossamer-thin nylon jacket designed to entice your physique warmth once you’re actively climbing or exercising. It doesn’t have any insulation of its personal however blocks the wind or chilly air from penetrating your midlayer clothes and chilling you. You’ll be amazed at residence a lot hotter you’ll keep once you’re carrying it.
The Flash Jacket can be remarkably breathable and wicking, that means that it absorbs the perspiration you generate, each sweat and water vapor, and helps evaporate it with out chilling you. I can actually really feel dampness on the outer floor of the jacket after I’m climbing laborious and climbing mountains, however I’m nonetheless good and dry inside. Whereas it has a mist-shedding DWR coating, it’s not waterproof like a rain jacket or hardshell.
The Flash Jacket is slightly totally different from most windbreakers and wind shirts as a result of it has plenty of pockets, 5 pockets in all. There’s a chest pocket able to holding a full-sized Smartphone, two inside drop pockets for holding hats or mittens, and two exterior facet pockets (unzippered) to maintain your fingers heat or stuff further stuff. This makes it an oz or two heavier than many ultralight wind shirts and windbreakers, however it’s a tradeoff that gives the jacket with much more utility. Nonetheless, having a chest pocket for a telephone is a very nice characteristic that I want extra windbreakers and wind shirts had. And naturally, you possibly can stuff the jacket into its chest pocket should you like.
The Flash Jacket comes with an adjustable hood, with a rear cordlock, so you possibly can shrink the hood quantity all the way down to human dimension. It has elastic wrist cuffs to seal out the wind, though I want they have been slightly bigger so I may slide the sleeves increased up my arms after I wish to launch extra physique warmth with out taking the jacket off. There’s additionally an elastic hem adjuster so you possibly can promote out drafts from beneath, together with a full-length entrance zipper for air flow.
The Flash Jacket is made with skinny recycled nylon. REI doesn’t publish the denier spec, however it’s very related in texture and weight to the 15 and 20d material used on Patagonia’s Houdini Jacket and the Rab Very important Hoody. The Flash Jacket can be rated windproof as much as 30 mph, which I can vouch for first hand on windy winter summits.
At 4.5 oz, the REI Flash Jacket is on the low finish of the gear weight spectrum for windbreakers and wind shell jackets which is fairly spectacular contemplating the quantity of performance and pockets REI was in a position to embrace. Regardless of these added options, it’s actually fairly a very good purchase and I’d positively advocate getting your self one, particularly should you’ve by no means used a windbreaker or wind shell for climbing or backpacking.
Disclosure: REI donated a jacket for this evaluation.
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