How We Tested Insulated Jacket for Women

How We Test
By:
and Amanda Fenn

Last Updated:
Monday

Before heading out for an adventure  we stuffed all our jackets into one pack so that we could truly test - head to head - which jacket performed the best in which environment.
Before heading out for an adventure, we stuffed all our jackets into one pack so that we could truly test - head to head - which jacket performed the best in which environment.

We put these insulated jackets to the test during a three-month beat-down extravaganza from the deserts of Utah and Oregon to the high mountain peaks of Washington and Colorado. We wore them under and over shells in combination with other layers and against our skin to see how they fit and moved with our bodies. We stuffed them into their pockets, clipped them to harnesses, and crammed them into the corners of our packs. They went with us, and 20 other testers, on adventures fishing, camping, sailing, hiking, and climbing. In these excursions, they were trashed, stashed, and tested to the max. In doing this, we evaluated six different metrics: warmth, comfort, compression & weight, weather resistance, breathability and style.

Ladies night in Indian Creek  Utah! Warmth was tested on this chilly night. Just another classic example of how we test our jackets. In the field  and among friends. Pictured here are friends  and the two authors of this review  Amber King (middle left) and Amanda Fenn (middle right) along with Amy Wicks and OutdoorGearLab reviewer Jessica Haist.
Ladies night in Indian Creek, Utah! Warmth was tested on this chilly night. Just another classic example of how we test our jackets. In the field, and among friends. Pictured here are friends, and the two authors of this review, Amber King (middle left) and Amanda Fenn (middle right) along with Amy Wicks and OutdoorGearLab reviewer Jessica Haist.

When assessing warmth, we wore each jacket out in freezing temperatures with similar layers to see how each compared. To look at weight and compression, we broke out the scale and stuffed the jackets down to their tiniest sizes. For water resistance, we didn't just walk and hike in the rain, but we also wore each garment in the shower for five minutes to look at how the fabrics repelled water and whether or not water was able to penetrate the outer shell. We also looked at how much water each garment held and how fast it dried. During the wind resistance tests, we stood out in the eastern plains of Colorado and welcomed a wind storm with open arms. For style, we simply looked at the lines of each design and noted how women reacted to each jacket when they saw it. With these tests, and a little grit in our teeth, we have provided you with an in-depth look at which synthetic jackets are best.


Unbiased.