How can insulation get warmer without getting thicker? By reflecting body heat back toward you. Pinneco Core synthetic insulation (exclusive to Big Agnes) does the trick with the addition of a breathable membrane that’s adhered to the outer surface of the polyester fill. It lets sweat vapor escape, but pushes heat back into the insulation, where it can circulate around you. Also, the vest’s quilting doesn’t go all the way through to the liner material, thus reducing cold spots along the stitchlines.
The cut is contoured; you don’t look puffy around the middle like with so many vests. Generous armholes allow maximum freedom of movement.
We like the open-top interior mesh pockets, which are perfect for quickly stashing gloves or a hat. The front zipper is backed with a substantial draft tube; long zipper pulls are easy to grab. Nitpick: We wished for some fuzzy material near the chin, as the polyester there can get cold and wet.