A new product in this review, our reviewers didn't have a ton of expectations for the Eddie Bauer Uplift. However, with a low price tag and incredible performance capabilities, this piece easily snagged our Best Buy Award. The Uplift features quality fabric and a thoughtful design set, but best of all, it's as light as the Editors' Choice award-winning Houdini, and it packs into its pocket almost as well as the Houdini. This packability makes it an excellent emergency piece to bring with you on almost any adventure. Plus, it has the durability to last you more than one season of rough-and-tumble use.
Eddie Bauer Uplift Windshell - Women's ReviewPrice: $99 List | $49.50 at Amazon Pros: Highly wind resistant, durable, incredibly lightweight and packable
Cons: Lacks breathability, elastic wrist cuffs felt tight on some reviewers
Bottom line: One of the least expensive jackets in our review and also one the highest performing, this piece nabbed our Best Buy Award.
Material: 20D ripstop nylon with DWR finish
Pockets: 1 chest
Manufacturer: Eddie Bauer
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Windbreaker Jacket For Women Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Eddie Bauer Uplift is made of 20D ripstop nylon with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. It has an elastic hood and elastic cuffs, and there's one external chest pocket that the jacket stows into with a loop for clipping it onto your harness or pack.
Of all the jackets we tested, the Uplift and Patagonia Houdini were the most competitively priced, both ringing in at just $99. Surprisingly, these two jackets were among our best performing, which explains why the Uplift snags Best Buy and the Houdini takes homes Editors' Choice.
Of all the jackets in our review, the Uplift was one of our favorites for all around use, and this high performance won't break the bank. This piece is among the more wind resistant jackets in our review, but it shines regarding weight and packability, as it is tied for the lightest jacket in our review. That and its competitive price tag allowed it to snag our Best Buy award.
The Uplift was in the middle of the pack in our review when it came to weather resistance. Although this jacket features high-quality 20D ripstop, it was outperformed in the wind by the Patagonia Houdini and Arc'teryx Squamish.
This performance difference is due to the design of the Uplift. This piece lacks a drop back, and some of our reviewers felt that the elastic cuffs were tight enough to cause the jacket to ride up, exposing their wrists to the wind. However, if you aren't expecting gale-force winds, this piece will do just fine. Because it is so small and can easily be tossed into your pack for almost any activity, it makes sense to bring it along as an emergency wind protection.
No contender in our review scored incredibly well in the breathability metric, but this is not an area that windbreakers are expected to perform well in (they're supposed to keep the air out, after all). With that said, the Uplift was able to handle moderate cardiac output for short amounts of time. Our reviewers found that along with the other jackets that scored similarly in breathability, like the Rab Windveil and Outdoor Research Tantrum, that the Uplift did not make for comfortable running conditions. When we wore it while running, our sweat accumulated on the inside, making for less than ideal conditions.
If you're looking for a jacket that can run with you (albeit with a little sweat accumulation), we like the Black Diamond Alpine Start or the Outdoor Research Tantrum.
None of the jackets in our test showed significant signs of wear after our three month testing period. However, our reviewers kept their eyes peeled for jackets who had red flags that indicated they might not last as long for day-in, day-out use in the long run.
The Uplift had a few red flags identified by our reviewers that could pose a problem in the long run. Because the fabric has a soft feel and is very lightweight, it is possible that it can get caught in the zipper, causing a tear down the road. Fortunately, we did not experience any of these issues. The similarly built Patagonia Houdini's fabric has a slightly sturdier feel, which allowed our reviewers to give it a much higher score in this category. Also keep in mind that the Patagonia product comes backed with the company's Ironclad Guarantee, which allows you to get the product repaired free of charge (something the Eddie Bauer product does not boast).
Weight and Packability
The Uplift shined in this category. The product sits alongside the Patagonia Houdini as the lightest product in our review. The Houdini packs into a slightly smaller package than the Uplift, but both products easily stuff into their chest pocket and boast a sturdy clip that you can attach to your harness during a climb.
With a packed size just slightly bigger than an energy bar, we were happy to bring the Uplift with us on almost any mission. It's easy to throw in your pack and forget about, only to remember when you most need it as an emergency layer. If you're looking for a piece that can easily be carried while running, we like the Outdoor Research Tantrum.
The Uplift is one of the more versatile jackets in our review, with a hood that fits nicely over a helmet and a design that allows it to transition with you through many activities. The lack of hand pockets allows it to fit well under a harness, and the side-pull hem adjustment won't get caught in your way.
However, this lightweight model does not have as many features as some other jackets. If you're looking for a model with more hood protection, consider the Arc'teryx Squamish. If you're instead looking for a fashion-forward model that isn't nearly as high performing, we like the Cotapaxi Teca.
Alongside the other jackets in this review, the Uplift performed relatively well when it came to water resistance. However, if you compare this jacket to a rain jacket, it will not stack up (which is ok, as it is not intended to do the same job). Windbreakers are best used for their namesake - wind - and can double as an emergency water protection piece in light squalls.
The Uplift features a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that can repel light water for a short amount of time. If the weather forecast looks good with a chance of a brief drizzle, this an excellent piece to bring, as it'll keep you mostly dry until you have time to air it out. Other models that had reasonably decent water resistance include the Patagonia Houdini and the Arc'teryx Squamish.
The Uplift is best used as an emergency layer that lives in the bottom of your pack for when you most need it. It's packable and lightweight, and it will provide you the coverage you need when the wind picks up on an alpine ridge or the singletrack.
The Eddie Bauer Uplift is a competitively priced piece that stacks up well to more expensive jackets in our fleet. This piece is lightweight and packable enough to throw into your backpack and keep with you throughout your activities, always there in case of an emergency. With a price that won't break the bank, this all-around performer is a good choice for any outdoor enthusiast. With that said, we wouldn't be good reviewers if we didn't urge you to compare the Uplift to the Patagonia Houdini when you shop. The Houdini is the same price, and our testing revealed that it outperforms the Uplift.
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Most recent review: March 27, 2018
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