Outdoor Vitals is coming in hot with a growing collection of ultralight backpacking and outdoor gear. Their Ventus Active Hoodie is a great representation of the type of gear they offer with tons of versatility that makes it easy to love. Built for backpacking, but I’ve been happily wearing it hiking and trail running this spring.
Outdoor Vitals Ventus Active Hoodie Features:
- Lightweight 3DeFX body-mapped insulation
- Outer shell is 20D ripstop nylon with DWR
- Lining is 2D ripstop nylon
- Hidden inner collar pocket
- Thumb loops
- Perforated underarm vents
- Athletic fit
- Generous size range from S-3XL
- MSRP: $179.97
Ventus Hoodie is easy to love
Always a fan of a good hoodie, the Ventus was an easy choice to review. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I still gravitate to hoodies because carrying an umbrella is just plain silly. Even though my Seattle days are long gone, this preference still remains and the Ventus Hoodie had me at hello.
After a few months of use, if Ventus Hoodie is representative of what Outdoor Vitals is bringing, then the rest of the line is worth a good look. So, head on over to their web site and take a gander at their lineup. Most of my use has been on long dog walks, hiking and trail running. Since it lacks any outer pockets, it’s not super livable for daily use, but I’ve worn it around town a bit too.
Fit and finish is really good. It doesn’t have quite an Arc’teryx feel to it, but it’s solid quality. All stitching is clean and tight and the logos are muted. The sample color is a very ubiquitous blue that should satisfy the bulk of the market. Black or olive are the other color ways (again, very safe options).
At 5’11” and 175 lbs, the size large fits perfect — like pulling on an old friend. Depending on the brand, I’m usually a medium or large, but this one is spot-on. Honestly, it’s as if they took all my measurements and made it just the way I prefer. It even has a little extra sleeve and hem length (always on my list of pet peeves), and the drop hem even adds more coverage without getting in the way. As an added measure, there are thumb loops to keep the sleeves in place when used as a mid-layer. Wrist coverage is maintained through all typical movements.
A bold feature of the Ventus hoodie is the vented underarm fabric. Under a stiff wind, it can be downright cold. But, when active, those vents provide tons of airflow to maintain comfort. There is a reason that this is called the Ventus Active Hoodie, so keep that in mind. On the trail, when running in cold temperatures, those vents are fabulously-effective. They allow great airflow and keep the insulation from getting too overwhelmed. In short, it’s a great design choice for the intended purpose of this jacket.
While the Ventus Active Hoodie lacks exterior pockets (kind of a bummer), it does feature a nifty mesh pocket on the inside of the left collar. Initially, I had my doubts with its usefulness, but it carries an iPhone 13 Mini like a champ and never feels awkward as the contents settle on my upper-chest. Granted, you can’t stuff the kitchen sink in there, but it will suit well for a phone and a few other small essentials. Even while running, items are carried in comfort.
When pressed hard on a challenging run, the back panel can get a bit saturated, but it’s on par with what I’d expect with this type of insulation. It does dry relatively fast and maintains warmth when damp. To aid in ventilation, the half zip does allow you to dump heat, but is impossible to open single-handed. And, the minuscule zipper pull is hard to find with gloves on.
Bonus points for the awesome hood. It’s an efficient cut, but not super streamlined. It can be pulled on/off without unzipping (a nice bonus), and the collar sits comfortably below the chin. If you ever get cold and need to tuck your chin in there, you’ll be out of luck. But, I much prefer where it sits so it never gets in the way of my face and mouth when in use. And, the DWR has come in handy on rainy days, but don’t think of this as a rain jacket. You can pack it down to about the size of a regular bike water bottle too, which makes it very packable.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs. with average proportions. The size large fits perfectly.
- Perfect fit and cut
- Extra sleeve length — hallelujah!
- Moves well under active use
- Pit vents provide plenty of airflow
- Interior mesh pocket is surprisingly-functional
- Perfectly-cut hood for regular use
- Nice DWR keeps moisture at bay
- Very packable
- Feels good to support “the little guys”
- Tiny zipper pull is hard to find and requires two hands
- Not even a single outer pocket
- A little on the expensive side for what you’re getting
The Bottom Line: Outdoor Vitals Ventus Active Hoodie
As I stated, if this hoodie is indicative of what Outdoor Vitals is bringing to the table, it’s all worth a hard look. I’m impressed with the overall fit and function of the Ventus Active Hoodie and have very little quibbles about it. No question, it’s been an awesome performer for cold morning trail running in a variety of temperatures from 25-40 degrees. The vented armpits breathe well and the whole jacket moves perfectly with every motion.
Buy Now: Visit OutdoorVitals.com