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Materials: Polartech Alpha insulation, 100% nylon shell
Best Features: Warm, light, rear pocket storage
Room for Improvement: Arm holes are potentially small
The Insulated Running Vest by Northwest Alpine is noticeably warm from the moment it’s zipped up. The breathable insulation works well for an active-wear garment—it will keep you toasty all run long but manages moisture so you don’t have to take it off every time you attack a hill.
The vest is a bit shiny, you may love that or you may not, but is very soft to the touch. All seams are finished well and Northwest Alpine boasts that the #5 Nylon Coil zipper stays operable in all types of weather.
This vest is a men’s but isn’t boxy in design and can work for all types of runners. The zippered rear pocket makes this a true runner’s vest (there aren’t any front pockets); it sits below a hydration pack and fits a large smartphone. Aside from the pocket, there aren’t any other bells and whistles; no cinches, drawstrings or hidden pockets.
Reviewers noted potentially small armholes—it may be best to try on before purchasing. Check out the other items in Northwest Alpine’s new mountain running collection made in Oregon.
—Megan Janssen is the Associate Editor at Trail Runner Magazine.