REI Co-op Active Pursuits Jacket - Women's Review
Cons: Lets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocket
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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REI Co-op Active Pursuits Jacket - Women's
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|$99.00 at Backcountry|
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|$59.99 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Huge vents, large hand pockets, very breathable, water resistant||Helmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quickly||Many pockets, more waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wear||Decently wind resistant, moderate precipitation protection, lightweight, less expensive||Hand pockets, easy to layer, comfortable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Lets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocket||Not the most waterproof, can see through thin fabric||Elastic cuffs harsh, thin fabric can be seen through, large packed size||Sleeves a bit short, small pockets, sloppy construction||Heavy, doesn’t stow into pocket, relaxed style may be unflattering|
|Bottom Line||A highly vented jacket with solid water protection that's easy to wear||A true featherweight model that continues to impress, combining excellent performance with great value||A blend of minimalist design and technical features, this jacket offers solid protection from the elements at a reasonable price||A simple, casual jacket that's best for mild days and small budgets||A good, lightly insulated jacket to keep you warm in those chilly breezes|
|Rating Categories||Active Pursuits Jacket||Patagonia Houdini -...||Rab Vital Hoody - W...||Waterproof Hooded||Flash Forward Lined|
|Wind Resistance (30%)|
|Weight And Packability (20%)|
|Water Resistance (10%)|
|Specs||Active Pursuits Jacket||Patagonia Houdini -...||Rab Vital Hoody - W...||Waterproof Hooded||Flash Forward Lined|
|Weight (oz)||6.1 oz||3.1 oz||4.3 oz||6.6 oz||12.8 oz|
|Material||Nylon with polyester mesh||100% nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment||Hyperlite and nylon outer||95% polyester, 5% spandex||100% polyester plain weave and 100% polyester microfleece|
|Pockets||2 hand||1 chest||2 hand, 1 inner zip and 2 inner open-top||2 hand||2 hand|
|Cuffs||Half elastic||Half elastic||Half elastic||Elastic||Elastic|
|Stuffs Into Pocket||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Safety Reflective Material||Reflective logo, cuff stripes, and back vent stripe||Reflective logo on front and back||Reflective logo on front and back||None||Reflective logo and hood strings|
|Fit||Relaxed fit||Slim fit||Regular fit||Relaxed fit||Relaxed fit|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Active Pursuits Jacket is a full zip, hooded windbreaker made of 100% nylon with polyester mesh and DWR treated. It's a relaxed fit that weighs 6.1 ounces and features two large zippered hand pockets.
The nylon fabric of the Active Pursuits offers reasonable wind protection for how thin it is. The reason we wouldn't choose this jacket for snappy windy days is because the entire top half — both front and back — is fully ventilated with mesh covered with flaps of fabric. This allows just as much wind to come in as it does body heat to go out. The wind easily blows open the flaps, making it not a great choice when you're trying to stay warm. Half-elastic sleeves are slightly longer on the backs of your hands, providing additional protection. The hood isn't adjustable but is completely rimmed by elastic, effectively holding it up (when fully zipped) against the wind. An exterior storm flap covers the zipper, and the longer-than-average hem drops lower in the back with a single-point adjustable elastic band to let you cinch it down.
All this ventilation does a great job when it comes to breathability in the wind. As breezes blow, they very effectively fly up through the vents to help dry sweat and carry your body heat away. For extra venting, the large hand pockets are also mesh inside, offering even more opportunities for the wind to keep you comfortable. The fabric itself isn't particularly breathable, though, instead relying on the wind to dry you out inside. We tested this hiking up and down mountains in the summertime, and it proved to be very effective at keeping us dry as we carried a loaded daypack in and out of breezes and forests. The cuffs are quite soft and pleasant to push up your arms without leaving horribly uncomfortable marks.
Weight and Packability
At 6.1 ounces, the Active Pursuits is a tad north of the average weight among models we tested. It's a pretty reasonable weight to carry along in the bottom of your pack when you need it and only a few ounces more than the ultralight options we tested. However, if you love a jacket that packs into its own pocket and clips on the outside of your bag, this isn't it. The two hand pockets are large enough to stuff the jacket inside of either one of them, but they don't have the reversible zipper to close it into a neat little package. As part of our durability inspection, the only real concern we have is that the mesh segments that are so open to the elements can be a little misleading, and we tried a few times to put our arms through them! But really, we had no issues with the durability of this windbreaker during our testing.
The Active Pursuits is a very relaxed fit garment, further reinforced by the loose flaps covering the big vents that kind of just hang there without a breeze. This makes the jacket easy to layer over other clothing, but a bit awkward to wear under a more protective layer. It's not the most stylish of jackets we tested, but for casual wear, we love that it has two large hand pockets that can both accommodate a big smartphone and our hands while out on a leisurely stroll. The drop hem adds coverage for more active adventures, and it's still light enough we'll happily throw it in with our stuff for a long day hike.
With a DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the nylon shell, the outside of the Active Pursuits does a solid job fending off quick bursts of rain. The only concern we have is that the polyester mesh inside quite readily picks up funky body odors from all those hikes we love to wear it on. That collection of unappealing scents makes us wash this windbreaker more frequently, which more quickly breaks down that DWR coating. Fortunately, it can be reapplied at home quite easily by tossing a DWR reapplication tech wash into your washing machine with the jacket.
Though it's not a cheap jacket, the Active Pursuits is a below-average price for this group of windbreakers. It's not the best for cold, windy conditions, but if you're hunting for a water resistant, highly breathable jacket to wear on hikes heading through warmer but changing conditions, it's a pretty solid value for what you'll pay.
The REI Active Pursuits Jacket is an extremely ventilated windbreaker that does a good job offering water protection, if not the best against the wind. It's a great choice for moderate activities where you may sweat a little and then be a little cold, oscillating back and forth through rapidly shifting conditions.
— Maggie Brandenburg