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Integral Designs Logan Vest REVIEW

High loft insulating vest - warm enough for winter use.

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by Don Wilson | 2004-11-17 03:00:00-07

Overview

integral designs logan vest - field shot
Don in his Integral Designs Logan Vest in the Savage River Valley, Denali National Park, Alaska

In making the 12-ounce (340 gram) Logan Vest, Integral Designs concentrates all its insulation where it is needed the most, the torso. With 0.8 inches of single layer loft, the Logan vest was easily the warmest core garment reviewed. For most conditions I feel that a vest, because of its weight, is a more efficient insulating garment than a jacket or pullover, especially when used in conjunction with a good shell/jacket. The Logan vest shines in a summer sleep system and for keeping you warm around camp. In winter conditions, its freedom of movement will make it a good companion for high activity sports such as cross country skiing, and it does a great job of boosting the warmth of an underrated sleeping bag. But, the vest style has its drawbacks. As a stand alone garment, it lacks some resistance to wind and precipitation and doesn't insulate your arms. You can also lose valuable heat through the arm openings. As noted earlier, a vest works best when combined with a wind/storm resistant shell or insulated over-jacket when conditions warrant.

In Brief

  • Warm! With 5 oz/yd2 Primaloft Sport insulation, it has two to three times the loft of most other lightweight synthetic garments reviewed
  • Still weighs only 12 ounces
  • Lots of pockets - two hand warmer and one interior pocket
  • Comfortable, great freedom of arm movement. Completely fleece lined 3.25 inch insulated collar
  • Durable windproof water resistant Pertex microfiber shell
  • Has the usual drawbacks of a vest - e.g. no arm insulation, needs a good over shell in windy and inclement conditions

Specifications

• Garment Style

Fully zippered vest

• Fabric Description

Pertex P565 Microfibre shell fabric with Teflon DWR

• Insulation Description

5.0 oz/yd2 (168 g/m2) Primaloft Sport

• Other Features

Fleece lined collar, hand warmer pockets, interior pocket

• Weight

12.0 oz (340 g) for Men's L (13.0 oz (369 g) manufacturer spec)

• Loft

0.8 in (2.0 cm)

• Model Year

Spring 2004

• MSRP

$100.00 Manufacturer's suggested retail price

Warmth

With 5.0 oz/yd2 Primaloft Sport as insulation, this vest has the highest loft in our sample group. I used the vest as my primary insulation on alpine climbing and backpacking trips and was thrilled by the warmth provided in a 12-ounce synthetic garment. The heavy insulation makes this vest a good addition to your sleeping system when you are pushing or exceeding the limits of your sleeping bag. The fleece-lined collar is also well insulated, and is very comfortable and warm. The hand warmer pockets are Pertex lined, and have insulation on both the inside and outside of the pocket; my cold hands warmed up quickly in these pockets. I rapidly overheated in the Logan vest while hiking uphill in 50 °F temperatures. During aerobic activity, I found it too warm for use at these temperatures although its full length zipper provided good warmth control and it easily vented perspiration from my underarms - another benefit of the vest design. In summer conditions, it performs best as part of a sleep system, and to keep you toasty on cold morning and evenings. In colder temperatures, it excelled as a core insulating garment, and with a shell took me down to well below freezing in moderate activities in windy conditions.

Storm resistance

The DWR treated Pertex shell held up well in moderate rains and the heavy insulation helps to keep storms at bay. Of course, the vest style makes this garment less storm resistant than jackets or pullovers. Water and wind can enter through the armholes, and it does not protect your arms nor can you draw your hands inside sleeves for warmth. I did have some water enter thought the arm-holes in a moderate summer thunderstorm, but I stayed warm nonetheless. The armholes are lined with an elastic lycra hem, which does keep them closed up reasonably well without being uncomfortable. If combined with a water resistant wind shell, or a waterproof/breathable jacket, these drawbacks of the vest style can be mitigated. Primaloft Sport insulation does not hold its loft as well when wet as Primaloft One. I was careful to not completely soak the vest although as noted earlier the vest did fine in all the precipitation I encountered. The Pertex shell is breathable and even when I got overheated it passed perspiration and I stayed dry. There is a 1-inch weather flap under the zipper to provide additional protection from wind and rain.

Usability

The Integral Designs Logan vest fit my torso well and allowed excellent arm movement, another advantage to a vest. The insulated hand warmer pockets are warm and comfortable and the left side interior pocket provides additional storage space. This amount of storage space is not common in many lightweight garments. After several washings and soakings, the vest showed no sign of loss of its DWR treatment, and showed no sign of wear or loss of loft over the course of the test period. A silnylon stuff sack is included.

Value

At $100, with excellent core warmth and a high loft to weight ratio, the Integral Designs Logan vest is an excellent value.

Recommendations for Improvement

I found little to complain about with the Logan vest. An upgraded insulation, such as Primaloft One, would provide better warmth if the vest got soaked but would also raise the price of what is a bargain insulating garment. Lighter zippers and a little less fleece in the collar might remove a few grams at the cost of some comfort and durability.


Citation

"Integral Designs Logan Vest REVIEW," by Don Wilson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/integral_designs_logan_vest_review.html, 2004-11-17 03:00:00-07.

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