Nap time anyone? While that may sound strange in a review for most outdoors jackets, the Merrell Lenticular Jacket is made for naptime, hike time, run time,  just-about-anything-outdoors time and yes I did say nap time.

Merrell Lenticular Jacket Features:

  • Merrell Aeroblock provides high wind-resistance and breathability (100% polyester w/DWR Finish)
  • Merrell Adventure Rest™ lightweight protection transforms into neck pillow
  • Fully lined with soft Conductor™ Ultralight fabric for cozy warmth
  • Raglan sleeves enhance mobility
  • Slight droptail adds coverage from precipitation and back spray
  • Zip-secure chest
  • Higher zip-secure hand pockets allow access when carrying a pack
  • Colors: Dorado, Amazon (tested), Satellite, Black, Boulder
  • MSRP: $99

Merrell Lenticular Jacket Review

I remember seeing the Lenticular Jacket at Outdoor Retailer a year ago. At the time, I was bleary-eyed from seeing all kinds of gear and while it did capture my attention, it took awhile for me to come around and want to give it a whirl for myself. The object is simple… take a great, lightweight jacket and instead of just stuffing it away in a small stuff pocket, why not turn that pocket into a travel pillow? Kapow… now that’s something!

The jacket itself is very well cut and featured for a mere $99. You’re getting a big bang for the buck with this jacket. The ultrasoft Conductor fabric lining adds a ton to the overall feel and versatility of this jacket. It simply surrounds you in soft comfort while still remaining breathable. Everything about this jacket is surprisingly-good with such a low pricetag. Not that I wouldn’t expect a top-notch jacket from Merrell, but at this price, you’ll see a lot of compromises, which is not the case for the Lenticular.

I opted for the Medium size (I’m 5’11”, 170 lbs) and it fits me 100% perfectly. The fit is athletic, but not crazy-tight athletic. As I see it, the jacket’s fit is just how any jacket should be. It has just the right roominess so as not to constrict movement in any way, but nothing more. The drop tail comes in handy for keeping your backside covered on the bike or while carrying a pack (which often makes your jacket creep up on you). Sleeve-length is just right also.

The Conductor lining extends the wearable lifespan of the Lenticular Jacket. It provides great warmth and always has a nice, soft feel next to your skin.

The exterior has been put to the rain test as of late and always comes out of it bone dry on the inside with thousands of little water beads hoping to penetrate the exterior.

Naturally, I felt I must use the jacket in travel pillow mode to write this post. Between the long day and the comfort of the pillow, I’m drifting off here-and-there, so hopefully this is coming out coherent. I just quipped to my wife that this jacket would have been a great travel jacket for our red eye flight to Florida last year — oh would it have been nice to have!!!

Switching to travel pillow mode is easy, simply unzip the inner back pocket. My strategy was always to get each sleeve packed into the front of the pillow on each side, then fill in with the jacket body after that (you can see that in action in the above video). It all packs away well and is truly a lifesaver while traveling.

Good Lenticular Jacket

  • Killer travel jacket (yup, that pillow will come in handy)
  • Excellent price point
  • Overall quality is very good
  • Love the athletic cut and how well the Medium fits me.
  • Drop tail keeps your hindside protected.
  • Oh yeah… did I mention that it turns into a nifty travel pillow?
  • Stylish good looks for all-around adventure

Bad Lenticular Jacket

  • Travel pillow mode isn’t quite as good as a dedicated travel pillow (but way more versatile)
  • If you don’t tuck the travel pillow pocket back in properly when not in use, it can be a bit annoying when sitting
  • Great for travel and as an outdoors generalist, but not my ideal for highly aerobic activities

Bottom Line: Merrell Lenticular Jacket

The Merrell Lenticular Jacket offers a ton of features for the low $99 pricepoint. While the jacket itself kicks serious butt, the added versatility of a travel pillow takes this great value over-the-top.

Buy Now: Find Running Jackets at Backcountry.com

 

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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