[Photo] Chris Van Leuven
I’ve used the REI Revelcloud Hoodie for a year now and have worn it in all seasons and while participating in numerous activities, including ice climbing, running, hiking and climbing. Every time I put it on I find it useful, no matter the time of year.
Hiking into Smugglers’ Notch, Vt. with the temperature hovering at 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun shining, the Revelcloud was so light that I barely felt it under my pack. The 13.6-ounce jacket, made from Pertex nylon and filled lightly with Primaloft insulation, wrapped around my arms and torso and provided enough warmth that I wore it with only a medium-weight wool baselayer.
At the shaded base of an ice climb, I added a shell over the Revelcloud. I was worried that the sleeves might bunch or restrict movement, but its trim fit allowed me to move freely as I climbed the ice pitches.
This full-zip hoodie fits true to size if not slightly large and allows freedom of movement without being baggy or sloppy. The insulated hood fits comfortably over a beanie, ball cap or climbing helmet thanks to an adjustable drawstring that easily operates with one hand. Its chest pocket was perfect for storing energy bars so they didn’t freeze. The hoodie packs into an integrated stuff sack that’s roughly the size of a water bottle and easily fits in a pack. The compact sack makes it ideal for backcountry climbing and ski outings in case the weather turns bad or you get delayed.
My only negative experience with the hoodie was when I wore it as an outer layer over a moisture-wicking t-shirt on a quick run. The temperature was above freezing and soon I found myself sweating. Back at the car after 45 minutes of running I took the jacket off and the sleeves were damp, with most of the moisture and sweat retained. An hour later after running a couple errands, I picked the hoodie up from the car seat and found that it was almost as damp as when I’d stopped running.
I was also concerned with the durability of the jacket’s nylon. I worried that the material would tear when I was thrashing through thick brush or when it rubbed against rock. I wore it on a run and scramble and climbed through a chimney between boulders. Afterward, I checked the jacket and didn’t find any fabric tears or signs of abrasion on it.
The 2016 model of this jacket has several features designed to mitigate its environmental impact. The Pertex Quantum polyester is 100 percent recycled, and the Primaloft insulation is seventy percent made from recycled bottles.
Pros: Great weight to warmth ratio; hardly noticeable when wearing; packs to size of a water bottle.
Cons: Doesn’t move moisture; doesn’t dry quickly.