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Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant - Women's Review

A high-value and baffled jacket with excellent performance
Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant - Women's
Photo: Amazon
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $45 List | $44.90 at Amazon
Pros:  Warm, packable, light, unbeatable price, excellent weather protection
Cons:  Less durable construction, not breathable
Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 14, 2020
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 14
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Weight & Compression - 20% 6
  • Comfort & Coziness - 20% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 5
  • Breathability - 15% 5
  • Style & Fit - 5% 7

Our Verdict

We were intrigued by the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant insulated jacket. Its super low price and raving online reviews turned our heads; surprise, surprise, it earns our Best Buy Award! Retailing for ~150% less than other insulated contenders out there, it's a steal of a deal. Plus, its performance is up to snuff. It offers some of the best weather resistance we've seen and packs away to the size of a Nalgene bottle. 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 incredibly breathable, and the seam construction looks a bit cheap. Aside from that, it's one of the best value insulated jackets that we've had the pleasure of testing.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $44.90 at Amazon$329.00 at BackcountryCheck Price on REI
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$183.38 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Warm, packable, light, unbeatable price, excellent weather protectionExcellent water resistance, warm, packable, versatileDeliciously comfortable, amazing weather resistance, light and packable, cozy, cute style, versatile fitWarm, lightweight, packable, windproof, water resistant, slippery smooth face fabricsWarmth, many comfort features, very weatherproof
Cons Less durable construction, not breathableShell can tear easily, less breathableExpensive, lacks a chest pocket, zipper is stickyNot breathable, boxy fit, zipper gets stuck in fabric and can ripNot breathable or very packable
Bottom Line Excellent performance at an excellent priceWarm and comfortable with excellent compression, this continuous shell design is really hard to beatA high performing technical jacket offering weather protection, warmth, and all day comfortProtective, warm and compressive, our favorite for our ultralight adventurersThis non-technical insulated jacket is offered at a great price for wear in the winter
Rating Categories Essentials Lightweight Water... DAS Light Hoody Arc'teryx Nuclei FL - Women's Rab Xenon Hoodie - Women's Heavenly Hoody
Warmth (25%)
7
9
8
6
9
Weight & Compression (20%)
6
8
8
9
3
Comfort & Coziness (20%)
7
9
10
9
10
Weather Resistance (15%)
5
9
9
8
9
Breathability (15%)
5
6
5
5
2
Style & Fit (5%)
7
8
8
7
9
Specs Essentials... DAS Light Hoody Arc'teryx Nuclei... Rab Xenon Hoodie -... Heavenly Hoody
Weight 12.75 oz 10.50 oz 9.70 oz 8.75 oz 21 oz
Number of Pockets 3 (1 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest)
Insulation 100% Polyester 65-g PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester Coreloft 65 synthetic 60g Stratus 100% polyester
Outer Fabric 100% Polyester Nylon - Endurance Quantum Pertex Arato 10R ripstop nylon Atmos ripstop Storm-Lite DP II
Lining 100% Polyester Nylon Nylon Luscious Pile Fleece, 100% polyester
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in stash pocket? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Cuff construction Elasticized cuffs Elasticized cuffs Elasticized cuffs Elasticized cuffs Internal elastic cuff
Warranty Information Lifetime warranty Lifetime warranty; includes zippers, buckles, and other manufacturer defects Lifetime warranty with original proof of purchase - includes repairs Limited lifetime warranty

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Amazon Essentials Insulated Jacket surprised us with its level of performance! We were skeptics of the positive reviews and had to give it a go; it turns out this baffed jacket offers impeccable weather resistance, warmth — all in a packable, lightweight construction. It wins our Best Buy Award for a price and performance that simply can't be beaten by any competitor on the market.

Performance Comparison


The Amazon Essentials Lightweight jacket offers warmth on this cold...
The Amazon Essentials Lightweight jacket offers warmth on this cold Spring backpacking trip in the mountains. This jacket offers incredible value that simply can't be matched. Its water resilient, warm, cozy, and comfortable.
Photo: Amber King

Warmth


To be honest, we are surprised to be raving about the warmth of this inexpensive jacket. We thought it wouldn't offer the insulation needed to take on the cold weather (as most inexpensive coats don't), but we were wrong. This jacket features 100% polyester insulation in a baffled design that captures air and provides optimal heat.


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.

The full hood is actually helmet-compatible and provides quite a bit...
The full hood is actually helmet-compatible and provides quite a bit of warmth, being completely insulated with 100% polyester.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

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, 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.

Each baffle is stuffed with insulation that offers excellent warmth...
Each baffle is stuffed with insulation that offers excellent warmth for all seasons of the wear. Layer it with a base layer and fleece through the coldest months, or put it under a shell when the weather gets really bad.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

Weight & Compression


Not only is this low priced jacket warm, but it's also packable. We ordered a size small. It weighs in at 12.75 ounces (less than a pound) and packs into the stuff sack it comes with. This packable nature adds to its technical applications, meaning it can be easily used for hiking and/or backpacking during the summer.


We tested it on a backpacking trip, and it easily fit inside of our pack, taking up very little room amongst our other gear. While this isn't the lightest jacket out there, it feels like it's hardly on when we wear it, and we don't really notice it in our packs. It performs similarly to other higher priced baffled contenders.

This jacket is a bit heavier than the most lightweight contenders...
This jacket is a bit heavier than the most lightweight contenders, but at just 12.75 oz, it won't feel like much in your backpack.
Photo: Amber King

It's important to note that many online users reported that sizes that are medium and higher are harder to fit inside the provided stuff sack. We didn't have this issue, but know if you do order a larger size in this jacket, you might have to buy a stuff sack that'll accommodate the larger amount of fabric.

Comfort & Coziness


The baffled design offers a hi-lofty feel that you can nuzzle into, especially when the weather is cold outside.


The jacket easily layers under a larger rain shell with its...
The jacket easily layers under a larger rain shell with its continuous and smooth face fabrics.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

We appreciate the full hood, larger hand warming pockets, and the other features that make this contender feel cozy. It doesn't have a fur-lined hoods 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 interior pockets are quite large with the capacity to store a...
The interior pockets are quite large with the capacity to store a number of different of items...like a headlamp for example.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

The elasticized cuffs are simple and they tay 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.

A look at the two large hand warming pockets. Unfortunately, it...
A look at the two large hand warming pockets. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a chest pocket, which we love.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

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.

Here we see that when wearing this with a hip belt or harness, the...
Here we see that when wearing this with a hip belt or harness, the pockets, unfortunately, become unusable.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

Weather Resistance


Wowzers! We're surprised by the performance once again, especially for such a low priced jacket. We wore it during our shower tests and while taking on windy walks with some precipitation. The exterior fabrics wick away moisture well without absorbing it. It performed amongst our top performers in this metric, earning it a high score in this category. This is a jacket we wouldn't be afraid to be wearing while being caught in the rain or wind.


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.

We expose the jacket to our shower test where its sprayed down in...
We expose the jacket to our shower test where its sprayed down in every nook and cranny for 60 seconds. We then check to see how it does. In the case of the Amazon Essential shown here, it performs amazingly!
Photo: Eddie Kemper

In our water tests, we put this jacket in the shower and sprayed it down for over a minute. We were astounded to see the water continually roll off the fabric for the full minute. We checked to see if any water had absorbed and pooled in the fabrics. Some of the baffles were indeed saturated, but for the most part, it all drained out. Crazy!

Here we see that the interior fabrics and pockets are BONE DRY!...
Here we see that the interior fabrics and pockets are BONE DRY! Excellent performance where many other, more expensive contenders, are fully saturated or pooling water.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

We also checked to see if the water penetrated to the interior of the jacket. In this case, the baffles and insulation are thicker, providing more protection. Both the interior and pockets were dry! Again - given the lower price of this jacket, we thought for sure it would fail this test, but we were wrong. While it's far from waterproof, it'll provide you the protection you need in an unsightly or unpredicted storm.

The thick baffles full of insulative warmth also offer immense...
The thick baffles full of insulative warmth also offer immense weather protection.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

Breathability


Like most jackets that are warm and incredibly weather-resistant, this one isn't very breathable. We tested it while hiking on a backpacking trip and had to take the jacket off after just a few minutes of hiking uphill. Basically, as soon as we broke a sweat, we had to unzip or stash it away in your backpack. It's not very breathable, but it does feature a lot of other highlights that make it worth the while.


On our backpacking adventure to the Grand Canyon, we throw the...
On our backpacking adventure to the Grand Canyon, we throw the Amazon Essentials jacket in our backpack because it's simply too warm for these desert climates.
Photo: Amber King

Style & Fit


If you're a fan of baffled coats, you'll like this one. Outdoorsy in nature, it can be worn from the trail to the bar. It is offered in many color options, but you should read online reviews about the "actual" color before purchasing as some look different than advertised. The fit is a little bit wonky and feels a bit small, so make sure you size up.


Our main tester is 5'6 and 145 pounds with a medium, athletic build, and wide shoulders. This jacket felt nice and roomy through the arms and torso, making it quite easy to layer. However, across the chest and in the armpits, she felt that it was quite tight.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

A look at the fit of this jacket. While it doesn't look like it, the...
A look at the fit of this jacket. While it doesn't look like it, the fit is a bit tight through the armpits and chest. Also a little short in the arms, with the torso rising up when you lift arms overhead. Size up if you're unsure about sizing. Here, our tester (5'6, 145lbs) wears a size small.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

We checked the online reviews, and several women mention the fit feeling small. If you're on the fence between two sizes, we'd recommend sizing up unless you like a tighter fit. It's of medium length in both the arms and torso. If you're taller, you might find it a bit short. We like the fit and look of this jacket, earning it a good score in this category.

The baffling offers a popular, outdoorsy look that can easily be...
The baffling offers a popular, outdoorsy look that can easily be worn from the trail to dinner out with friends.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

Value


Bomber! You're not going to find a better deal anywhere. To be honest, we were a bit worried about the quality and performance of this jacket. When we inspect the craftsmanship, we see the stitching is shorter than other higher priced contenders.

A look at the single stitch construction that's bound to unravel in...
A look at the single stitch construction that's bound to unravel in time.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

However, the performance is on par with those same contenders — at a price that's 150% less than other retails prices. We didn't have any issues in our three month testing period. This Best Buy winner simply can't be beaten when it comes to value. If you're pinching pennies but need a warm and stylish jacket that'll perform, the price is worth it.

This high-value contender may not feature the most durable...
This high-value contender may not feature the most durable construction, but it sure puts up a good fight against the competitions. Its price is ridiculously low in comparison to other insulated jackets on the market. This best buy winner is one of our favorites that'll be hanging in our closets and used on our adventures to come.
Photo: Eddie Kemper

This jacket comes with a three-year limited warranty.

Conclusion


The Amazon Essentials Lightweight Water-Resistant surprised us with its excellent performance across the metrics, except for breathability. While its craftsmanship certainly isn't up to snuff when it competes with the best options on the market, the price is 150% less than what you'd pay for most insulated jackets. It's cute, warm, and offers bomber weather protection. Just size up if you're on the fence for sizing.

We enjoy a snuggle and a campfire late into the night with the warm...
We enjoy a snuggle and a campfire late into the night with the warm Amazon Essentials jacket. The value is unmatchable while the performance is surprisingly great.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King