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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Stonewear Designs Victory Vest > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

STONEWEAR VICTORY VEST
Test Series by Theresa Lawrence

Initial Report - December 12, 2015
Field Report - February 15, 2016
Long Term Report - April 12, 2016

TESTER INFORMATION

Name: Theresa Lawrence
Email: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
Age: 38
Location: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
Waist Measurement: 29 in (74 cm)
Hip Measurement: 39 1/4 in (100 cm)
Torso Length:19.5 in (50 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 - December 12, 2015

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer:
Great Trango Holdings Inc.
Manufacturer's URL:  www.stoneweardesigns.com
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Made in:
USA
MSRP: $119 USD
Sizes Available: XS, S, M, L, XL
Size Tested:  Small
Colors Available: Twilight, Jelly and Vine
Color Tested: Twilight
Measured Weight:
10.6 oz (301 g) (small)
Listed Length: 27 in (69 cm) (medium)
Measured Length: 26 1/2 in (67 cm) (small)
Materials Listed: 93% polyester, 7% spandex

DESCRIPTION & FIRST IMPRESSIONS                                                                          

I would describe the Victory Vest as being an athletic garment designed to keep the body's core warm. The collar, front and back panels are made up of blue (twilight) waffle fleece and the side panels are black spandex/ polyester. The vest as a whole is quite stretchy and semi-fitted. Silver reflective trim outlines the shoulder panels on the front and back and a reflective diamond logo sits in the middle of the upper back. A diagonal zippered pocket sits on the left chest and fits my mobile phone. There are also two hand warming pockets. The vest zips up at the front into a zipper carriage at the top of the collar. The collar is 4 1/2 in (10.8 cm) tall at the front and 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm) at the back.   

My first impression is that the vest is well constructed with solid seams and zippers and that the vest is aesthetically pleasing with the color scheme and waffle design. It appears to be practical.

TRYING IT OUT

I ordered the small with a bit of worry about whether it would fit nicely over my hips and it does. The small fits very comfortably, I have lots of room to move and wear it over my base layers or other casual wear. The collar comes right up to my chin, which I think will be much appreciated in blustery weather. I have no concerns about this vest at this time.

SUMMARY

At this point I am quite happy with the fit and display of quality offered by the Victory Vest. I look forward to taking it out into the backcountry as both a mid layer under a shell, as well as an outer layer for strenuous winter activities such as backcountry and cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Over the next couple months I will be looking at how practical the Victory Vest is overall and how well it performs for backpacking in winter. Please check back in 2 months for my field report.


Field Report February 15, 2016

Above: vest sticking out the bottom under my shell

FIELD CONDITIONS

Over the past couple months I have been on one overnight backcountry ski tour excursion consisting of 3 days and 2 nights in a hut, as well as 5 day trips ski-touring and 1 day trip snowshoeing. All trips were located in various places throughout the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains. Temperatures ranged from 2 C (35 F) to -10 C (14 F). Weather ranged from blue skies and dry to wind and wet snow. Trip distances ranged from 4 km to 17 km per day. All trips included plenty of elevation gain as I was climbing up mountain terrain on either skis or snow shoes in either deep powder, deep wet snow or hard packed snow.

COMFORT AND FIT

I am very satisfied with the fit of the Victory Vest. I like the fact that it is long and goes over my hips and this in no way has restricted my movement. It fits well over a base layer although most of my shells and outer layers are shorter than the vest, so the vest sticks out the bottom. I don't mind, but for some it might be a bit of a fashion faux pas. The vest has a long neck as well, which I found to be very comfortable and useful for keeping out weather.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

For the most part, the vest was too warm for all the uphill skinning and snowshoeing activity that I did. But, it was appreciated when I stopped and started again. It was the layer that would stay on until I warmed up. It was also a great mid-layer to wear while on the downhill during my ski tours. I have been using this mid layer instead of a full sleeve fleece and found that it was warm enough, especially under a light down jacket. I found it worked well in my layering system, which consisted of a base layer, the Victory Vest, a light down jacket, then a shell. It was also a nice comfortable layer to wear around the hut with the fire on. When I did sweat in this garment, it wicked and dried very quickly. I never noticed any foul odor after several days of wearing it.

I have really enjoyed the hand warming pockets because they were large enough to fit bulky items such as gloves, beanie, sunglasses, camera and GPS.  The chest pocket was a nice size and handy place to put lip balm and around town it fit my small mobile phone.

Wear and tear on this garment has shown up as pilling all over the blue waffle fleece. Other than that it is in as good as new shape. It has been washed a few times and hung to dry without any mishap. 

SUMMARY

So far I am very pleased with the Victory Vest. It has become an asset to my layering system this winter for ski touring and snow-shoeing. It offered warmth, comfort and wicked and dried quickly. Large hand warming pockets and a chest pocket offered the extra room to stash things on the go so that I didn't have to stop and put them away in my pack. Some pilling made it appear worn, but loved no less. I look forward to testing and reporting more on performance and durability over the next two months. Check back for an update at that time.

Likes
- Fits well (not too loose, not too tight, yet form fitted)
- Pleasing look and color
- Comfortable and soft
- Does not restrict movement
- Wicks and dries quickly
- No foul odor after several days of use
- Fits into my layering system
- Easy to wash

Dislikes
- Pilling fabric

Long Term Report - April 12, 2016

LONG TERM FIELD CONDITIONS

I concluded this test series with two more 2 night, 3 day backcountry ski touring trips to alpine hut accommodations, a couple of day trips with snow shoes and hiking, as well as a day of rock climbing. I still continue to wear it casually around town for walking and running. Temperatures during this period were between -3 C (26 F) and 23 C (73 F). Weather ranged from cold and dry to wet and warm. 

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Victory Vest continued to perform as expected. It wicked well during intense activity and proved to be a great mid layer for added warmth over a base layer in freezing conditions. It was a great addition to my layering system. During warmer and dryer conditions it was a nice outer layer for moderate activity and offered great comfort and performance for rock climbing and running. I continued to enjoy the pocket features. I have found the chest pocket useful for my mobile phone (when I'm around town) and for a small music device for running. When ski-touring I used this pocket for my lip balm. I appreciated the large pockets, which could house my hands along with gloves, beanie and sunglasses, among other items.

DURABILITY

After four months of use I have found the Victory Vest to be a solid performer. Apart from the pilling fabric, which was evident quite early on, the integrity of the garment remains as good as new. All zippers and seams are in great shape. I have machine washed it another half dozen times during the final period. I always hang this garment to dry and have found that it dries quickly. It also hides dirt well and doesn't appear or smell dirty often delaying the need for frequent washing.

SUMMARY

I would conclude this test series by saying that I would highly recommend this garment for any type of outdoor activity. The Victory Vest is immensely comfortable and fits very well. I would not change a thing about it. It wicks well, breathes, stays clean and is durable. The pilling of the fabric is the only negative point I could say about it and I haven't found this bothersome nor has it stopped me from choosing to wear it. I plan to continue wearing this vest for the various activities described above. Likes and Dislikes as above.

I'd like to thank Great Trango Holdings Inc. and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to take part in this test series. 





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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Stonewear Designs Victory Vest > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence



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