The REI Hyperaxis Hoody is another excellent fleece at an extraordinary price from REI. This fleece combines wind-resistant Polartec Windpro on the front and shoulders with more breathable Polartec Powerstretch fleece on the sides. Sound familiar? This design is similar to offerings from Arc'teryx and Mountain Hardwear while delivering at a way more agreeable price. No corners cut here. This Jacket has two handwarmer pockets, a chest pocket, a perfect hood, and thumb loops.
Our Analysis and Test Results
This fleece is very similar to the Arc'teryx Fortrez Hoody, employing a "hard face" style, abrasion resistant material to make the jacket a little more weather resistant. It's a bit more weather resistant than the Best Buy Award winning REI Co-op Flowcorebut can't shed rain like the Patagonia R1 Techface Hoody.
A hood and more wind resistance make this jacket slightly warmer than REI Co-op Flowcore in the minds of our discerning testers. It's also just as warm as heavier fleece like the Patagonia Performance Better Sweater Hoody and the Patagonia Synchilla Snap T. This jacket loses a few points when it comes to thermal efficiency due to its baggy fit.
Though this fleece is honed for backcountry performance, its loose fit gives it the feel of a casual cotton hoody, ready for lounging around. The cuffs possess the perfect amount of elasticity, staying in place underneath a shell while still being easy to pull up when it's dishwashing time. The handwarmer pockets are vast, easily accommodating a water bottle and a few snacks when you're cruising around at the ski resort or on a short hike. For additional storage, there's the super low profile chest pocket. The hood is soft and snug, but stretchy enough that it doesn't feel uncomfortable on your head or over a hat.
The sides, back, and forearms of the Hyperaxis are comprised of a lighter weight Polartec Powerstretch. These are the areas where we tend to sweat the most, and the difference between the breathability of the Powerstretch sides and the Windpro front didn't go unnoticed by our testers. We sweat loads through on our backs when hiking with a backpack and the thin fleece on the back of this jacket dries quickly. The Hyperaxis isn't as breathable as jackets that use a grid pattern fleece like the Patagonia R1 Hoody and the Black Diamond CoEfficient Hoody.
This stretchy fleece runs large, and our lead tester felt like it was too bunchy and too much fabric to be a decent mid layer, even in a small. On one of our larger testers, the Hyperaxis fit perfectly for layering. Thumb loops make it easy to slide this jacket under a shell or an insulated jacket. We feel that the REI Co-op Flowcore is a better layering piece due to its tighter fit, loftier fleece, and lack of a hood.
The Polartec Windpro panels make this fleece more weather resistant than the REI Co-op Flowcore It alleviates the wind blasting at your chest, but does little to keep you dry. The Patagonia R1 Techface Hoody and the Arc'teryx Procline provide more protection from the elements at a lighter weight than the Hyperaxis, as does the much heavier The North Face Denali 2.
This a great looking jacket for running around town or out in the mountains. While loaded with great technical features, the Hyperaxis still manages to look comfy and casual, plus you've got four colors to choose from Antique Moss (yellow), Eclipse Blue, Redrock, and Rockwall (gray).
$120 gets you a comfortable fleece jacket complete with a hood, three pockets, and thumb loops. If you're a bigger dude or slim fitting fleece have you feeling a bit European, the Hyperaxis could be a better jacket for you at a way better price than similar jackets from Patagonia and Arc'teryx.
For anyone looking for a technical fleece for the backcountry on a budget, the Hyperaxis is hard to beat. It can keep you warm and comfortable while running, hiking, climbing, ski touring, or just hanging out. It performs nearly as well as it's more expensive competition.
The REI Co-op HyperAxis Hoody doesn't quite match the quality of similar offerings from Arc'teryx or Patagonia, but in terms of function, this fleece gets pretty close for a way nicer price. This jacket has it where it counts, providing wind resistance and warmth, thumbs loops and a decent hood.
The outdoor industry is continually trying to improve and...
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.