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REI Co-op Active Pursuits Jacket - Women's Review

A highly vented jacket with solid water protection that's easy to wear
REI Co-op Active Pursuits Jacket - Women's
Photo: REI Co-op
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Price:  $90 List | $89.95 at REI
Pros:  Huge vents, large hand pockets, very breathable, water resistant
Cons:  Lets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocket
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 23, 2021
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 15
  • Wind Resistance - 30% 6
  • Breathability - 30% 8
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 10% 7
  • Water Resistance - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The REI Active Pursuits Jacket is a great jacket to wear for a little extra protection while hiking in variable conditions. It has massive vents inside the entire top half of the jacket, covered by water-resistant flaps. A storm flap covering the main zipper and scuba-style elastic-lined hood keep you protected in flash summer storms. Though the enormous vents make this jacket less wind resistant, the main fabric is still quite protective, and it makes a great companion hiking in and out of the forest along a breezy ridgeline. It doesn't pack into itself but has large hand pockets and is a windbreaker we're happy to wear during plenty of moderate activities.

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Pros Huge vents, large hand pockets, very breathable, water resistantHelmet compatible, lightweight, extremely packable, dries quicklyMany pockets, more waterproof, excellent wind protection, snap to allow unzipping during wearDecently wind resistant, moderate precipitation protection, lightweight, less expensiveHand pockets, easy to layer, comfortable, inexpensive
Cons Lets in wind, doesn't pack into own pocketNot the most waterproof, can see through thin fabricElastic cuffs harsh, thin fabric can be seen through, large packed sizeSleeves a bit short, small pockets, sloppy constructionHeavy, doesn’t stow into pocket, relaxed style may be unflattering
Bottom Line A highly vented jacket with solid water protection that's easy to wearA true featherweight model that continues to impress, combining excellent performance with great valueA blend of minimalist design and technical features, this jacket offers solid protection from the elements at a reasonable priceA simple, casual jacket that's best for mild days and small budgetsA good, lightly insulated jacket to keep you warm in those chilly breezes
Rating Categories REI Co-op Active Pu... Patagonia Houdini -... Rab Vital Hoody - W... SoTeer Waterproof H... Columbia Flash Forw...
Wind Resistance (30%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
8.0
Breathability (30%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
2.0
Weight And Packability (20%)
6.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
2.0
Versatility (10%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Water Resistance (10%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Specs REI Co-op Active Pu... Patagonia Houdini -... Rab Vital Hoody - W... SoTeer Waterproof H... Columbia Flash Forw...
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
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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.

Performance Comparison


The REI Active Pursuits is a jacket we came to love for sweaty...
The REI Active Pursuits is a jacket we came to love for sweaty activities in changing conditions - like spring snowshoeing and summer evening hiking.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Wind Resistance


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.

Loosely covered vents open around the entire middle of the jacket...
Loosely covered vents open around the entire middle of the jacket, while the entire top half is mesh inside.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Breathability


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.

Soft cuffs are easy to wear pushed up and large hand pockets are...
Soft cuffs are easy to wear pushed up and large hand pockets are made of mesh, acting as another set of vents.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

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.

A reasonable weight that we don't mind carrying for some emergency...
A reasonable weight that we don't mind carrying for some emergency protection against spring rains.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


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.

Though a relaxed fit, the breathability of this jacket make it a...
Though a relaxed fit, the breathability of this jacket make it a great addition to tons of three-season adventures.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Water Resistance


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.

The DWR coating on this nylon jacket offers good water resistance -...
The DWR coating on this nylon jacket offers good water resistance - though will need regular reapplication to maintain its effectiveness.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Taking a break by the river during a late afternoon hike on a warm...
Taking a break by the river during a late afternoon hike on a warm spring day.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg