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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > REI Revelcloud Hoodie Jacket > Test Report by Gail Staisil

Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI)
Revelcloud Hoodie Jacket

Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report - December 15, 2013

Field Report - March 16, 2014
Long Term Report - May 11, 2014
 
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Initial Report:
December 15, 2013

 Tester Information

 Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 61
Gender: Female

 Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For over two decades, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

________________________________
 
Product Information

Manufacturer
Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI)
Website
http://www.rei.com
Model
Revelcloud Hoodie Jacket
Color

Nightsea (also available in Citron)
Size

Large (available in sizes XS-XL)
Fabric/Insulation
Pertex Quantum Shell, PrimaLoft Eco synthetic insulation
Manufacturer Weight
NA
Tested Weight
13.1 oz (371 g)
Model Year
2013
MSRP
$159.00 US

________________________________
Initial Impressions and Product Description 


The REI Revelcloud Hoodie arrived with no apparent imperfections. I ordered a size Large which was perfect matched to the measurements on the manufacturer's website. I would consider the cut of the hoodie to be a regular fit versus an athletic-type fit. The hoodie received was in the shade of Nightsea which is exactly like it sounds...a very dark teal-navy color like the color of a lake after dusk. The inside of the hoodie is a lighter shade of teal as well as both the front center and hand pocket zippers.


Design and Technical Features
REI Revelcloud Hoodie
The REI Revelcloud Hoodie is a lightly-insulated jacket that is fabricated with a Pertex Quantum (recycled fabric) shell. This densely woven fabric is both reportedly able to block wind up to 50 mph (81 kph) and has a DWR (durable water resistant) finish which could fend off light rain, snow and stains. The manufacturer's specs chart on its website conflicts with the wind rating as it says that it is not windproof, but the overall description on both the website and the hangtag claim otherwise as noted above. Time will tell!

The shell of the hoodie is stitched to the PrimaLoft Eco synthetic microfiber insulation in a decorative stitch pattern. The insulation is touted to be warm even when wet, soft and compressible and to insulate like down. The lining of the jacket is only stitched to the shell at the various perimeters such as hem, cuffs and hood. The lining consists of 70 percent recycled polyester fabric. The back of the jacket is cut longer than the front which gives good coverage to my backside as well as not exposing it when I raise my arms. The back measurement on a size large is almost 28.5 in (72 cm).
Interior lumbar pocket
An interesting feature of the hoodie is a large inside pocket on the interior lower backside of the garment. This pocket is designed for the jacket to be self storing and a suggested use is for the stuffed pocket to be used as a pillow.



Size of jacket stuffed in pocket
The jacket also features two large zippered hand-warmer pockets with rubber-like pull tabs on the zippers. Also noted is a smaller zippered pocket on the upper chest which features a port hole for electronics on the lining side. This pocket can be used for other purposes as well which I likely will do as I don't blend music with the outdoors.

The center-front zipper runs up into the hood area and ends with a fabric-covered chin guard. Zipped up, the jacket completely covers the neck area. The zipper also has an internal draft guard. All zippers on the garment are not waterproof.

The hoodie jacket has stretch binding on the ends of the sleeves which can gently stretch to accommodate layers.
The bottom hem of the jacket has an internal draw cord with a cord lock at each side seam to adjust the circumference of the jacket.

The hood features mini-cordlocks on stretch cording which can adjust the hood to fit snugly around my face. Also featured on the back of the hood is an adjustment to tighten the circumference of the hoodie to my head size. The hoodie also features a small built-in visor.

Overall, I really like the design features of the hoodie. I anticipate using it with just a base layer for cross country and backcountry skiing or snowshoeing depending on temperatures, as well as wearing it as a mid-layer under a shell jacket. I am outside most days for extended periods of time.

Photo of REI Revelcloud Hoodie: Courtesy of Manufacturer

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Field Report:
March 16, 2014

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period I have worn the Revelcloud Hoodie for four multi-day sledge trips as well as for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing (including track and backcountry). Locations of all activities were in the state of Michigan and ranged from frozen lakeshore to boreal forest. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2000 ft (612 m).

Location of Trip #1: Hiawatha National Forest (1st week of January)
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 18 mi (29 km)
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights
Sled Weight: Approximately 50 lb (23 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, scattered light snow
Precipitation: 0.10 in (0.25 cm)
Temperature Range: -18 F to 9 F (-28 C to -13 C)
Location of Trip #2: Hiawatha National Forest (3rd week of February)Lake Superior Ice
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 15 mi (24 km) 
Length of Trip: 3 days, 2 nights
Sled Weight: Approximately 50 lb (23 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, snow
Precipitation: 0.23 in (0.58 cm)
Temperature Range: 3 F to 17 F (-16 C to -8 C)

Location of Trip #3: Hiawatha National Forest (4th week of February)

Type of Trip: Trail/Bushwhack
Distance: 19 mi  (31 km)
Length of Trip: 4 days, 3 nights
Sled Weight: Approximately 55 lb (25 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions:  Cloudy
Precipitation: 0.15 in/0.38 cm (about 4-5 in/10-13 cm of light snow)
Temperature Range: -28 F to 11 F (-33 C to -12 C)

Location of Trip #4: Grand Island National Recreation Area (2nd week of March)

Type of Trip: Solo ski and snowshoe while pulling a sledge on ice-covered Lake Superior
Distance: 14 plus miles (22.5 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Sled Weight: Approximately 45 lb (20.4 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Super cloudy 
Precipitation:  None
Temperature Range: -5 F to 26 F (-21 C to -3 C)

Skiing, snowshoeing and hiking:
Location:
Marquette, Alger, Keweenaw and Houghton Counties, Michigan
Distance: 5 mi to 12 mi (8 km  to 19 km)
Temperature: Average temp has been 7.5 F (-14 C) this winter

Trip Talk
 

The Revelcloud Hoodie has been worn at least 3-4 times a week for the last three months. It has been extremely versatile in the frigid cold weather that has occurred here (59 days below 0 F /-18 C so far this winter), with the average temperature being 7.5 F/-14 C. This cold weather has been perfect for wearing the hoodie. I have worn it over only a wool base layer for skate skiing and oftentimes with two light wool layers for lesser aerobic endeavors such as snowshoeing. The roomy fit has accommodated layers nicely with no restriction. I have even pulled my sledge while wearing it.

During my first three trips where I skied in (pulling a sledge) to a rustic cabin I wore the hoodie in several different ways. It was worn while skiing when the temps were low and also combined with more layers while doing less activity. The coldest temperature was -28 F (-33 C) so even the wood-stove heated rustic cabin never got more than 60 F/16 C (with much lower temps at night). I also wore it all hours inside the cabin before sleeping and always kept it handy at night so that I could put it on when I got cold (a given). Having to trek outside during the night made it an absolute necessity.

My last trip was a fourteen-mile (22.5 km) sledge trip to an island in Lake Superior. Most of my travel was on the frozen lake. The first day had a high of a balmy 26 F (-3 C). I wore the Revelcloud over a lightweight wool top. Although I was warm at times the hoodie was not uncomfortable with just some dampness (it was quite windy and the Revelcloud kept me warm). When I stopped to eat lunch I quickly put on a light down jacket over it so that I would not chill. I kept the down jacket on for about 15 min after I went back to pulling my sledge again, but then went back to just the Revelcloud only. The temps started dropping and I was completely comfortable.

At camp, I layered another wool shirt under it and two jackets over it (a light down and an oversized light synthetic). This was a good strategy as the temps plummeted to below zero again  (-18 C) with howling winds. When I crawled in my sleeping bag (-20 F/-29 C) I still wore the two shirts and the Revelcloud. I haven't used it as a pillow stuffed into its pocket as I always seem to be wearing it! I was comfortable throughout the night as I normally sleep cold even in such a cold-rated sleeping bag. In the morning the temps plummeted even further with continued high winds so I decided to wear the two shirts, the Revelcloud and my Wintergreen anorak. As I headed out on the ice I was glad that I had all of those layers on.

As earlier stated the hoodie has been worn for many day outings as well as extended trips. This has been the greatest year for ice in decades, so every chance I get I am out exploring ice formations in backcountry caves, inland lakes and amazing ones on Lake Superior which has been as much as 95 percent ice covered. This amount of ice coverage rarely happens. The hoodie has been a remarkable companion for these trips. The hood cinches nicely to keep the wind from penetrating around my head.
Overall, the hoodie has been remarkably windproof with many days of prevailing cold northwest winds and wind chills in the double digits below zero (-29 C).

The hoodie has battled not only wind but much precipitation in the form of snow. Since the temps have been so low, the snow has been drier and more powder like than normal. It just slides right off the jacket.










 



The Revlecloud has been washed several times due to my incessant need to wash things that I sweat in. Although there were no signs of odor or discoloration I like to freshen it up. I have more than once sloshed some food or drink on the jacket but a wet cloth quickly took care of the food/drink residue. It washes very easily with my other gear, and then I dried it for a few minutes so that I could line dry it without wrinkles. 

Right now I am completely happy with the Revelcloud Hoodie. The style and fit are very comfortable allowing extra layers. It's been versatile for a variety of extreme weather and I find it attractive enough to wear for casual wear as well.

 
 
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Long Term Report:
May 11, 2014

USA Locations and Conditions

During the long term test period I have worn the Revelcloud Hoodie for two more multi-day trips as well as for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing (including track and backcountry). Locations of all activities were in the states of Michigan and Virginia and ranged from frozen lakeshore to boreal forest. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to over 4000 ft (1219 m).

Location of Trip #5: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (4th week of March)
Type of Trip: Pulled sledge on snow-covered trails
Distance: 13 mi (21 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night
Sled Weight: Approximately 50 lb (23 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, scattered light snow
Precipitation: 1.08 in (2.74 cm) snow 
Temperature Range: -3 F to 34 F (-19 C to 1 C)

Location of Trip #6: Shenandoah National Park

Type of Trip: Backpack/dayhike on trail (some random bushwhacking)
Distance: 23 mi (37 km)
Length of Trip: 5 days, 4 nights (trip was divided into two separate backpack trips back to back)
Pack Weight: 25 lb (11.3 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, rainy, sunny
Precipitation: 0.48 in (1.22 cm) of rain
Temperature Range: 30 F to 64 F (-1 C to 18 F)

Skiing, snowshoeing and hiking:
Location: Marquette and Alger Counties, Michigan
Distance: 5 mi to 12 mi (8 km to 19 km)
Temperature: Mostly below zero (0 F/-18 C) to below freezing 32 F (0 C)

Trip Talk
 
Author wearing the Revelcloud with tons of layers
The final two months of the testing period have remained cold. There is still quite a bit of snow in the woods and the lakes are still ice bound. That results in temperatures that barely exceed freezing (32 F/0 C). I have continued to wear the Revelcloud Hoodie many days each week. It has been especially perfect for cross country skiing with only a light baselayer.  It has also been a great layering hoodie underneath a shell.

I went on two backpacking trips during the long term period. The first was a winter camping trip for two days. The Revelcloud was worn at camp on this trip layered with a light down sweater and wool baselayer.  I also wore the base layer and the Revelcloud to sleep in a so that I wouldn't be cold in my sleeping bag (temp was -3 F/-19 C). The photo at right was taken while wearing the Revelcloud with every layer I had with me. It was during an exploratory trek on the ice (Lake Superior) after sledging six miles (9.66 km) into camp.

On the second trip I wore the Revelcloud for both camp and trail wear (at times). On a particular rainy day I wore the Revelcloud under my rain jacket for a day hike. The temps were cool and it was an exploratory trek with frequent stops and bushwhacks so I never got overheated. At camp, I often wore the hoodie as a layering piece over a wool baselayer and light vest.

I still love the fit of the Revelcloud. I can easily layer clothing underneath it and not feel confined. It is an attractive garment that performs well. Needless to say I am very pleased and will continue to wear it often.

 
Author in Shenandoah National Park - Virginia, USA

Care and Durability

The Revelcloud has been washed many more times and it has held up well with almost five months of heavy usage. It seems to fend off light precipitation but does get noticeably wet with heavier snow/rain. I really didn't expect it to perform any different though as it is deemed water resistant only. It does retain warmth when damp so that hasn't been a factor.

 
 
Pros 

  • Comfortable
  • Wind and water-resistant fabric
  • Warm for its weight
  • Versatile for layering

Cons 

  • None
 
Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Recreational Equipment, Inc and BackpackGearTest for this opportunity to test the Revelcloud Hoodie. This concludes my Long Term Report and the test series.

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