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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > REI Revelcloud Hoodie Jacket > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

REI REVELCLOUD HOODIE
Test Series By Theresa Lawrence
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - January 02, 2014
FIELD REPORT - March 17, 2014
LONG TERM REPORT - May 16, 2014

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Theresa Lawrence
EMAIL: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 36
LOCATION: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)
WAIST: 27.5 in (70 cm)
INSEAM: 32 in (81 cm)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1
Image courtesy of REI
Manufacturer: Recreational Equipment Inc.
Manufacturer's Website: http://rei.com
Year of Manufacture: 2013
MSRP: US$159.00
Made In: Vietnam
Listed Weight: n/a
Measured Weight: 12.1 oz (343 g)
Back Length: 27.5 in (70 cm)
Measured Packed Dimensions: 7.5 x 10 in (19 x 25.4 cm)
Colors Available: Nightsea (tested) and Citron
Care Instructions: Machine wash, cold, gentle cycle, tumble dry, low
Warranty: 100% satisfaction guaranteed

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

IMAGE 2
The Revelcloud Hoodie is a women's insulated jacket, hip length and equipped with a hood. The shell and lining are made with Pertex Quantum recycled polyester and coated with a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) finish. This jacket supposedly will withstand winds up to 50 mph and light rain showers, snow and stains. The jacket is insulated with PrimaLoft Eco synthetic microfiber, which is known for its low bulk, packability and warmth even when wet. The jacket hangs to hip length with a drawstring cord to adjust the hem. The hood has a visor and multiple adjustable points; one at the back of the head and two on the front at the sides. There is a full length zipper with a zipper guard at the chin, two zippered hand warming pockets and one small inconspicuous zippered pocket that blends into an angled seam on the left chest. This pocket has an outlet for earphones attached to a media device. The jacket itself can be stored in its own zippered pocket on the inside lumbar area. The packed jacket can then act as an emergency pillow. The sleeves are finished with stretch-bound cuffs.

IMAGE 4
Media Pocket

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Revelcloud Hoodie came as the lightweight package that it is. I enjoyed the two-tone color combination with the nightsea blue on the outside and the aqua colored lining with the matching zippers and cords. The construction appeared to be of high quality, I have no concerns over the craftsmanship. There is an interesting seam pattern, appearing to be random that gives it some character. The elastic cuffs look as though they'll keep out the weather. The zippers all work and I almost didn't see the small media pocket, which has an outlet for earphones, as it blends so well into the seam on the upper left front of the jacket. I liked that the hood came with enough adjustability to fit different sizes of heads including my own which can vary in size depending if my head is bare or whether I'm wearing a beanie or a helmet. Overall my initial impressions are all positive. I am curious if it will block the wind, and to what degree the water-resistant material will keep me warm and dry in varying weather.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The tags provided indicate the product is water and wind resistant and the zippered pocket on the inside of the jacket, which has embroidered 'REI PACKABLE' written on it would suggest to me this is where I will store the jacket into itself. Other instructions provided were for cleaning and care. I was pleased to learn that I can throw the Revelcloud into the washing machine and dryer.
IMAGE 3
Lumbar Storage Pocket

TRYING IT OUT

When I donned the REI Revelcloud, I was relieved to find I had picked the right size. Looking on the sizing chart, I felt I could be placed in either the small or medium. In the end I chose the small and it fits perfectly. The arm lengths are just right for my gangly arms, the cuff bands not too lose or tight, the hood can be adjusted to my liking and my hands fit in the hand warming pockets. The jacket is loose enough that I can put a couple base-layers underneath and small enough that I can wear it under a shell.

I will be looking forward to using this jacket as a wind/water-restant shell as well as a midlayer under a shell in as many winter activities as I shall endure for the test period. Plans are in the works for downhill, backcountry and x-country skiing, snow shoeing, hiking and sitting around at camp in the snow most-like.

SUMMARY

So far everything checks out with positive first impressions of the REI Revelcloud Hoodie. The fit is great, it feels like it was made just for me. The crafmanship looks topnotch, the pockets, zippers and adjustable cords are all in the right places for a functional midlayer or shell. I will be looking forward to the next two months, where I hope to wear this jacket nearly everyday.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have worn the Revelcloud Hoodie nearly everyday since it arrived as I've found it to be just a great all around jacket to pull on for the winter conditions. I've used it a great deal for SAR training including avalanche beacon and search training. Temperatures encountered around town ranged from just below freezing (0 C (32 F)) down to -30 C (-22 F). Specifically, the following trips have comprised most of the field testing:IMAGE 1

Alpine Skiing, Fernie Resort, BC: 2 days
- Conditions: significant winds, snowy - dry precipitation
- Temperatures: -10 to -5 C (14 to 23 F)

Backcountry ski-touring, Sol Mountain, BC: 6 days, 7 nights out of backcountry hut
- Duration: 6 full days of ski-touring ~ 8 hrs each day
- Conditions:1 meter of fresh powder over the course of the week; persistently snowy
- Temperatures: -5 to -1 C (23 to 30 F)

Backcountry ski-touring, near Sparwood, BC, 2 day trips
- Duration: ~ 6 hrs each day
- Conditions: sunny, no precipitation
- Temperatures: - 8 C (17 F)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

COMFORT & FIT:
I found the Revelcloud to fit my form perfectly and it has been very comfortable, which is why I love to where it around town. It fits nicely over a couple of trim base layers and is also very thin itself and fits well underneath bigger layers and shells.

FUNCTION & PERFORMANCE:
If I had to rate the Revelcloud for temperatures, I would say with just one light merino wool base layer and nothing else, doing little activity, it would keep me warm at just above freezing temperatures. As temperatures below freezing occur, I would require a thicker fleece layer over my light base layer. With temperatures going below -10 C (14 F) and approaching -30 C (-22 F), the Revelcloud would not hold up on its own. In these temperatures, the Revelcloud was successful as a mid-layer and actually replaced my 'fleece jacket layer'. For example, I would put a heavier down jacket or vest over it. The jacket is quite thin and has no problem fitting underneath a bigger jacket or vest.

I'm most impressed by how wind-resistant this jacket has been. I'd even argue that it was wind-proof. The winds that I experienced on the chairlift at Fernie Resort were fairly extreme and occurred in below freezing temperatures. I was clad in a full-faced balaclava and just the Revelcloud as my outerlayer over 2 base layers (a merino wool thin layer under a thicker fleece layer). And of course I was in a position where I could do very little to keep myself warm or out of the wind for the duration sustained. I was very pleased with this performance. I experienced the same shelter from wind with the Revelcloud in my backcountry excursions. I have also found the hood works really well to keep my head warm and the wind out. The function and placement of the draw cords make the adjustability of the hood and fitting my head with any size of beanie really easy and practical.
IMAGE 2IMAGE 3
I didn't put the Revelcloud through a lot of wet conditions because it just made more sense to me to put on my Gortex shell. We experienced many long days of backcountry ski-touring with heavy wet snow precipitation that did not stop. Because we spent most of the time skinning up hill and exerting a lot of energy in knee deep heavy powder, the Revelcloud layer was far too warm for the activity. It proved to be a great layer to put on when stopping for breaks. In the little time that it was exposed to wet snow, I had observed it holding to the fabric and seeping through, which is when I decided the Gortex Shell protection was necessary. It did get soaked in my backpack as I stuffed my wet Gortex shell into my backpack without thinking, which soaked everything inside. I hung it in the hut to dry above the wood stove and it was dry and fluffy by morning.

It tucks nicely into a small square pillow, though I haven't used it as a pillow yet. The size makes it easy to pack into a backpack. I realize now, I haven't used the chest pocket. In fact I forgot about it. So, I'll try to make a point of using it in the long-term testing phase and report on it then. Same with clip in the pocket. I'm sure I can come up with a use. I haven't been able to do some of the backcountry camping and touring trips that I had planned because the avalanche conditions have been so touchy. But, I'm hoping to do some more tenting for the long-term phase.

DURABILITY:
Thus far I have seen no wear and tear issues with this jacket. Everything is working and looks new. I haven't thrown it in the wash yet, but should do before the end of the long-term testing period. Perhaps we'll see more wear after another couple months, or not.

SUMMARY

Overall, the Revelcloud has been a comfortable jacket to wear for almost any occasion. I've found it useful as an outer layer, especially a wind-proof one, as well as a cozy mid-layer. After being soaked, the jacket will dry overnight and become like new again. Light activity was comfortable while wearing the jacket, but with heavy exertion it was too warm, thus making it an ideal warm layer on the breaks. I look forward to more time with the Revelcloud Hoodie in changing conditions as we move towards spring. Well, not so fast, as I look out the window ... it is still snowing ..

PROS
- Great fit, comfort and color
- Excellent wind blocking
- Thin and warm for its weight
- Versatile layer, can be worn as an outer or mid-layer.
- Packs up small and light and has its own stuff pocket turn pillow
- Lots of pockets
- Hood fits and adjusts well, very functional

CONS
- Nothing



LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

For the last couple months of this test series I have continued to use this jacket for my everyday needs around town, wearing it almost daily and of course for some backcountry adventures. In April, I brought this jacket on 2 different weekend overnights tenting near Koocanusa Lake in Montana. I used it around camp and for rock climbing in the cool mornings. Temperatures had risen in this region to highs of 17 C (62 F) and lows of 1 C (34 F) overnight. We had some significant wind come up from the lake, but for the most part clear, warm, sunny days and cooler windy evenings made for some enjoyable outings. At the beginning of May I brought this jacket on a spring backcountry ski-tour in the Southern Canadian Rockies near Fernie, British Columbia and camped in the snow in a 3-season tent at 900 m (2953 ft). Temperatures ranged from 1 - 18 C (34 - 64 F) and weather endured was freezing rain, wind and snow to calm brilliant sunshine. In addition to these trips, I have carried this jacket around in my search and rescue ready pack and have used it during some practice time under my shell in ill weather.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The wind-resistance has continued to be impressive. I've encountered much wind and have found this jacket to perform above and beyond my expectations. Ultimately, I would say it was windproof. I've had a number of rainy and damp experiences as well and have found that the jacket doesn't bead up in any way indicating no amount of water repellency. However, having said this, the primaloft insulation never failed to keep me warm despite any water soaked through the outer jacket material. And, I was never damp or wet even though the jacket itself had clearly soaked up water and was damp as indicated by water stains. The jacket always dried quickly and once dry there were no lasting water stain marks.

I would definitely say this was a great mid or outer layer for any number of activities. With enough under layers or a shell, this jacket proved very versatile in its uses. And, as it packed up small and was light there really was no excuse not to bring such a layer backpacking.

I have had a chance to explore the pockets and pillow function. I have found the small chest pocket to be a great place to store tissue, sunglasses, keys, a credit card and money. I disliked putting anything in my hand warming pockets as it took away from the space for my hands. As such, I really appreciated having this extra chest pocket. A mobile phone, as well as a small digital camera did fit in the chest pocket, but I found these items too heavy and rigid to be comfortable for this location. The chest pocket was earphone compatible as indicated by the exit hole sporting an earphone icon. I didn't test this feature as I didn't have any portable music technology, but I know a lot of people do, so I just wanted to remind anyone who was reading this and was interested that the feature was there.

I did sleep with the jacket packaged up for a pillow, but I found the surface area too small for my liking. Instead I preferred to use my clothes bag as the pillow and wrap the jacket around it, which offered a very comfortable pillow case. I then covered this by a fleece shirt for added comfort on my face. Not that it wouldn't do in a pinch if that was all I had.

I washed the jacket as per the instructions provided including putting it in the dryer with no ill effects. The jacket has stood up to everyday use and through some damp adventures and still continues to look as good as new.

SUMMARY

IMAGE 1Overall, I would say the REI Revelcoud Hoodie met all my expectations for a mid and/or outer primaloft insulated jacket. It served me well in windy, cold, snowy and rainy conditions. It proved to be lightweight and compact for packing and offered a lot of weather protection. I especially enjoyed having the hood, which had such great adjustability to keep out wind and rain. I also appreciated the comfort, fit and look, which was why I chose to wear it for everyday needs as well as outdoor adventures.

PROS
- Great fit, comfort and color
- Excellent wind blocking
- Thin and warm for its weight
- Primaloft insulation maintains warmth even when wet
- Dries quickly
- Versatile layer, can be worn as an outer or mid-layer.
- Packs up small and light and has its own stuff pocket turn pillow
- Lots of pockets
- Hood fits and adjusts well, very functional
- Durable and easy to wash

CONS
- Not water repellent

A big thank you to Recreational Equipment Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this test series, I have really enjoyed my time with this well made product.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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