Hands-on Gear Review
Compare insulated jackets for women ratings side-by-side >
Street Price: $149
Pros: Warm, Inexpensive, Durable
Cons: Heavy, Bulky, Not very compressible
Best Uses: Around town - running errands, dog walking
A warm, hooded jacket, the L.L.Bean Primaloft Hooded Jacket kept our testers warm and cozy while camping and running errands. This jacket is one of the review's warmest, but it was also the bulkiest and least compressible. Our testers found it too heavy to use while hiking, climbing, or basically doing anything super active. At $150, this jacket is quite affordable, but considering its limitations, it may be worth spending a few extra bucks so that you'll have something versatile that can be used whether you're backpacking or going jogging on a crisp fall morning. However, it's worth noting that when wearing jackets like the Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover - Women's around your campsite in the evening, you'll probably need an extra layer to keep warm, whereas the L.L.Bean Primaloft Hoody can stand alone.
To read more about how this jacket compares to other synthetic insulated jackets currently on the market, check out our Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review.
Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
One of the warmest jackets we reviewed, the Primaloft Hooded Jacket was also one of the bulkiest. Its thick nylon outer fabric will keep you protected from the elements and its puffy layer of PrimaLoft One polyester insulation will trap warmth even when wet. If you are looking for a fairly affordable synthetic jacket that will keep you toasty while running errands or walking the dog, this piece may just be perfect. We liked that the L.L.Bean Primaloft Hoody falls to hip length and is cut slightly longer on the back to keep your booty just a little warmer. The jacket also features cinch pulls at the hem and at three points on the hood, trapping in even more warmth. Overall, this jacket scored top points on warmth and durability for its heavy-duty materials, but lost points in other important categories.
Compressibility & Weight
While we appreciated that the L.L.Bean Primaloft Hoody packed into an inner stowaway pocket, we found that even when compressed, it was still huge. Measuring 11.5 x 7.5 x 7 inches, the compressed version would take up the majority of space in a daypack. We don't recommend using this jacket for activities like backpacking, since it is so heavy and non-compressible. Additionally, this jacket weighed in as the heaviest in the review at more than 22 ounces. Looking for a lightweight, but super warm jacket that zips into its own pocket? Consider the Editor's Choice winner, the Rab Xenon X Hoodie - Women's.
Comfort & Coziness
L.L.Bean did not design this jacket to be minimalist, and included a variety of features that make this jacket a little cozier than the average insulated jacket. Firstly, the jacket's pockets are lined with microfleece, making them a safe haven for cold hands. The Primaloft Hoody also has a fleecy chin guard and a garaged zipper to keep the zipper from scratching the face. Furthermore, we liked the jacket's snug hood and the fact that we could cinch it down at the back and on each side. Although this jacket was overall quite cozy, some of our testers noted that the shoulders were a bit tight, which decreased overall comfort and limited mobility for super active adventures.
Thanks to its heavier duty nylon outer fabric, the L.L.Bean Primaloft Hoody offers hefty abrasion resistance. Unlike many of the other lightweight puff jackets like the North Face Blaze Jacket - Women's, the Primaloft Hoody did not display any snagged threads. Additionally, the outer edges of the sleeves do not have stitched baffles, which reduces the potential for thread snags. However, we found that this jacket was not really well-suited to heavy physical activity, as it was too bulky, so we didn't undergo nearly as much abuse as the other pieces in the review. Finally, this jacket has a durable Vislon zipper that is easy to zip.
With its thick outer fabric, this jacket kept our testers warm and dry in a light rain. Additionally, its lack of quilted construction on the shoulders and hood increase water resistance where it matters most. It's also worth noting here that given its bulk, this jacket would be significantly less comfortable under a shell and it was one of the least breathable jackets we reviewed.
Style & Fit
Not an unflattering jacket, the L.L.Bean Primaloft Hoody, was also not the most stylish, especially since it has a lot of excess bulk. The jacket is cut to fall at the hips and has sleeves that accommodate longer arms (this jacket also comes in a petite version). While other jackets, like the Rab Strata had unattractive cuffs, we appreciated the minimalist styling of this piece's cuffs. We also liked how L.L.Bean alternated the quilted and non-quilted sections to add more interest.
As we mentioned above, we wouldn't recommend this jacket for cardio activities or activities like alpine climbing or backpacking where weight and compressibility matter. We really enjoyed this jacket while camping in damp conditions and used it for running errands around town. Since it is extra warm and durable, it could take the place of a down jacket for an all-around winter jacket, and be much more wallet-friendly.
At $150, this jacket was one of most affordable jackets we reviewed, coming in just $10 more than our Best Buy Award winner, the Columbia Kaleidaslope II, which does not have a hood. If you are looking for a warm, cozy, synthetic insulation jacket to use around town, this is a nice option; however, if you want to use this coat for just about any outdoor adventure, then we recommend checking out a jacket with more practical outdoor applications like the REI Revelcloud Jacket - Women's; this piece also rings up at $150.
This jacket also comes in a petite version. There is not a non-hooded model.
— Amanda Fenn
Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: September 2, 2013
Credit: L.L. Bean
Related Best-in-Class Review
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Related Gear Reviews
Other Gear by L.L. Bean
Recent Best-in-Class Reviews