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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > REI Spruce Run Jacket > Owner Review by David Wilkes

Owner Report by David Wilkes

OR - Spruce Run Insulated Jacket - REI

Nov 9 2008 

David Wilkes


Owner Information

Owner Bio:


David Wilkes






Yakima Washington USA




5' 11" (1.80 m)


197 lb (89.40 kg)

I started backpacking in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I have usually only managed time for 1-3 trips a year averaging 2-5 days, and as many day hikes as I can. I am currently getting into condition to summit some of the higher peaks in Washington, Oregon, and California. I prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me. My current pack is around 30 lbs (14 kg), not including consumables.

Product Information



Year of Manufacture:


Manufacturer’s Website:


Shell & Lining fabric: Ripstop nylon 
Insulation: PrimaLoft One polyester microfiber 
Average Weight: 15 oz /  425 g
Measured Weight:14.8 oz / 420g (including 0.4 oz / 11 g stuff sack)
Listed Back length: 29 in / 74 cm

Product Description:
The REI Spruce Run is a very lightweight packable PrimaLoft insulated jacket with removable sleeves.

Product Image

Images courtesy of REI

Owner Review

  • Ripstop nylon shell resists rain and is windproof to 60 mph
  • Insulated with high-performance, water-resistant PrimaLoft® One synthetic microfiber to provide soft, low-bulk warmth for very little weight
  • PrimaLoft One mimics the physical and thermal properties of goose down, but continues to insulate if wet
  • Underarms feature decreased insulation to reduce bulk and increase comfort
  • Sleeves zip off to convert jacket to a vest; zippers are color-coded for easy reattachment
  • Windflap backs sleek, reverse-coil front zipper; chin guard protects against zipper abrasion
  • Features a hem drawcord and stretch binding at cuffs and collar
  • Two handwarmer pockets and a zippered inside pocket with headphone portStuffed in Stuff Sack
I found the Spruce Run to be a very comfortable jacket, the shell and liner material is quite soft and silky. The entire jacket is lined inside and out (including the pockets) with the same silky material. The chin guard is a bit of fleece material on the backside of the zipper windflap. The elastic cuffs are snug enough to keep out the draft but not restrictive. The zippers that attach the sleeves to the jacket prevent the shoulders from stretching, and I find this can make the jacket a bit difficult to put on and take off, especially when wearing a thick under layer. A few times, I worried that I would rip the jacket while trying to get my arm through. The jacket comes with a stuff sack made from the same material as the jacket, and packs down very small. Its low bulk has allowed me to use it as an insulating layer under a shell while still allowing full mobility.

For its weight, I have found the jacket to be quite warm and it does a very good job at blocking wind.

So far, my only real complaint about the jacket is how delicate the material is. It snags very easily, on just about anything pointy. I already have quite a few loose threads from snagging the material on various objects. As a result, I am very careful when I am wearing it, and I would never wear it as an outer layer if there is any chance of brushing up against things like branches and bark. I have even had it snag on the edge of a grocery store shelf. I have tried pulling the loose threads, but they simply continued to unravel more. So I tried to melt them with a lighter, and that seems to prevent them from unraveling further, but the material is so thin and delicate every time I do it I fear I am going to burn a hole in the jacket. I have been trying to ignore the smaller snags and only melting the larger ones.

While writing this review I discovered that the jacket is supposed to have color-coded zippers to differentiate the left and right sleeve. Both of the zippers on the sleeves of my jacket are black and I discovered a small label inside of each sleeve with the letter ‘L’, from that I presume I have two left sleeves. From what I can tell this does not affect the fit or function of the jacket.
Two of the snags in the material
Snag on sleeveSnag on collar

  • Mt Shasta (3 days) - Washington State 14,179 ft (4,322 m)
  • Mt Adams (2 days) - Washington State 12,281 ft (3,743 m)
  • 2-3 overnight hikes - Washington Cascades (around 4000 ft / 1200m )
  • Assorted day hikes and around home/town

I have worn the jacket quite a bit this year both on the trail and off. I purchased it specifically for my (failed) attempt to summit Mt Shasta. I found it too warm to wear during the hike up to where we camped. Anticipating a very cold night, I slept in the jacket. It was very comfortable to sleep in, but even with temperatures a little below freezing, I found I had to keep my bag and bivy partially unzipped most of the night to avoid overheating. I wore it off and on during my Mt Adams trip, mostly at camp and during breaks. During my overnight hikes I mostly wear the jacket at camp and for sleeping. The jacket is very warm and I find unless it is down around freezing, I overheat quickly if I am wearing it during heavy activity.
I have worn it a few times as a vest, but the sleeves are somewhat tricky to remove and reattach without snagging the material in the zippers, and I fear I might lose one or more of the sleeves if I take them off.

Aside from the very delicate material, I like the Spruce Run primarily for its combination of warmth, comfort and low bulk. Its light weight and ability to pack very small, allows me to take it along on just about any trip. Its low bulk and smooth material allows me to use it under a shell in wet weather. I have to say that I would probably not recommend the jacket to a friend without stressing how delicate the material is.


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