We were intrigued by the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant insulated jacket. Its super low price and raving online reviews turned our heads. Retailing for a small fraction of the cost of other insulated contenders, it's a tempting deal. If you're a hardcore adventurer or live in a very cold climate and need a jacket that can keep up, this one might not quite be enough. It offers solid weather resistance and comes with a stuff sack to pack it away — if you have the patience to cram it in there. The midweight construction will provide warmth throughout most of the year and can easily layer under a shell for super cold weather. Unfortunately, it's not very breathable, and the seam construction isn't the best and leaks water. But if you're after an affordable option for infrequent use, this one fits the bill.Editor's Note: We retested the Amazon Essentials jacket and published our new findings on December 1, 2022, including results and comparisons from our latest round of testing with new metrics and improved testing methods.
Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant - Women's Review
Cons: Less durable construction, not breathable
Compare to Similar Products
$27.40 at Amazon
|$190.00 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$213.85 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$260.00 at REI
|$140.00 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Warm, packable, light, unbeatable price, decent weather protection||Warm without being bulky, great coverage all around, protective and comfortable cuffs, microfleece-lined pockets||Excellent water resistance, warm, compressible, versatile, good coverage||Soft and comfortable, breathable, easy to layer, great mobility, weather resistant||Warmth, many comfort features, very weatherproof|
|Cons||Less durable construction, not breathable||Runs large||Shell can tear easily, less breathable, doesn't fit into its pocket||Doesn't stuff into its own pocket, hood is very large||Not breathable or very packable|
|Bottom Line||A warm, comfortable, baffled jacket that isn't great but comes at a very affordable price||An excellent midweight jacket with great warmth, top-notch coverage, and comfortable details||A high performer that'll keep you warm and protected throughout the seasons||A very comfortable jacket that's great for adventures in diverse conditions where layering, mobility, and protection are key||A cute, high performing non-technical option that boasts an excellent price|
|Rating Categories||Amazon Essentials L...||Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0||Patagonia DAS Light...||Arc'teryx Atom Hoody||Columbia Heavenly H...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Weight and Compressibility (15%)|
|Specs||Amazon Essentials L...||Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0||Patagonia DAS Light...||Arc'teryx Atom Hoody||Columbia Heavenly H...|
|Weight, size small (ounces)||13.3 oz||12.1 oz||11.5 oz||10.5 oz||22.4 oz|
|Number of Pockets||4 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal slip)||3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest)||3 (2 zippered hand, 1 exterior zippered chest)||3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest)||3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest)|
|Hem Type||No adjustment||Single bungee adjustment||No adjustment||Dual bungee adjustment||No adjustment|
|Fit||Relaxed slim||Relaxed slim||Relaxed||Relaxed||Slim|
|Insulation||100% polyester||100% recycled PrimaLoft Silver||65g PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester||Coreloft 60 100% recycled polyester||100% polyester|
|Outer Fabric||100% polyester||30D Pertex Quantum ripstop||10D Pertex Quantum Nylon||Tyono 20D 100% nylon
Stretch fleece side panels: 94% polyester, 6% elastane
|Storm-Lite DP II Polyester|
|Lining||100% polyester||20D recycled Atmos ripstop||10D Pertex Quantum Nylon||Dope Permeair 20D - 100% nylon||Luscious Pile Fleece Polyester|
|Built-in stow pocket||No; included stuff sack||Yes; chest||Yes; hand||No||No|
|Cuff construction||Elasticized cuffs||Elasticized with overhang||Elasticized cuffs||Stretch-knit||Stretch-knit wrist-warmer cuff with thumbholes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Amazon Essentials Lightweight Hoody is a lightweight jacket with a fairly slim fit and a moderately fitted hood that is somewhat helmet-compatible. It's made of 100% polyester and has a regular hem with no adjustment points. It has four pockets (two zippered hand pockets that create two internal slip pockets) and comes with a small drawstring bag that it barely packs into.
To be honest, we are surprised by the warmth of this inexpensive jacket. We thought it wouldn't offer the insulation needed to take on the cold weather, but we were happy to be wrong. This jacket features 100% polyester insulation in a baffled design that captures air and provides good heat. Its non-adjustable hem and moderate-length sleeves don't offer the best coverage, though. This is a jacket we'd recommend to wear on its own through the spring, fall, and the cooler nights of summer; pair it with a t-shirt or base layer. Through the winter, we'd recommend layering it with a base layer, fleece, and a shell if the weather gets really cold.
We wore it when temperatures dipped below freezing and found ourselves a bit shivery, but okay when standing still. Given that it's made of 100% polyester, you can expect it to be insulating when wet. If you live in the coldest parts of the country, know this midweight jacket won't keep you warm through the double negative digits, but it'll act as a good mid-layer during those times.
The baffled design offers a hi-lofty feel that you can nuzzle into, especially when the weather is cold outside. We appreciate the full hood, large handwarmer pockets, and the other features that make this contender feel cozy. It doesn't have a fur-lined hood or adjustable pulls on the hood or hem; the design is simple, lofty, and cozy to wear all day long. We feel comfortable wearing this hiking as well as wearing it into town.
The elasticized cuffs are simple, and they stay put. The pockets offer plenty of space to fit a gloved hand, a phone, or a snack. We love the larger internal pockets that make stashing objects like headlamps inside the jacket very easy. What we wish for is a chest pocket, either on the inside or outside, so we can have storage when wearing a hip belt for a backpack. Overall, this jacket is simple and comfortable but doesn't have any stand-out features in this category.
We wore this jacket during our shower tests and while taking on windy walks with some precipitation. The exterior fabrics repel moisture without absorbing it. The baffle seams did take on some water, though none soaked through far enough to wet our clothing underneath. In our water tests, we put this jacket in the shower and sprayed it down for over a minute and were impressed to see the water continually roll off the fabric. Afterward, though, we noticed that several of the baffles were fully saturated. While the fabrics are relatively lofty and thin, the face fabrics are quite protective. During our windstorm tests, we stood outside in windy mountain weather. With a thin base layer on, it did a good job of cutting the wind. The baffles are thicker, which provides more protection, and thus, warmth.
Weight and Compressibility
We tested a size small, which weighs 13.3 ounces and packs into the included stuff sack. This sack is quite small, however, and we spent more time trying to cram it into this bag than packing away any other jacket we tested. We took the Amazon Essentials on a backpacking trip, and it easily fit inside our pack, taking up very little room amongst our other gear.
Like most jackets that are warm and incredibly weather-resistant, this one isn't very breathable. We tested it while hiking and had to take the jacket off after just a few minutes of walking uphill. Basically, as soon as we broke a sweat, we had to unzip or stash it away in our backpacks.
Should You Buy the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant Hoody?
The Amazon Essentials insulated jacket is a very low-cost coat that, while scoring at the bottom of our lineup, still offers pretty reasonable protection for its price. If you need a super durable jacket that's meant to head out to the hills and keep up with intense activities in seriously cold temperatures, this isn't the one. But if you need an affordable puffy jacket for infrequent use or to outfit some ever-growing children, this is a solid option.
What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?
The Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant is a very affordable insulated jacket that hits all the main points for basic use. If you want more warmth, coziness, and protection while still following a modest budget, the Columbia Heavenly is our favorite budget pick. For a lightweight option that excels across the board and isn't that much more, the Rab Xenon 2.0 is our overall favorite jacket and well worth the investment.
— Amber King and Maggie Nichols
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.Learn More