Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review

Does the strong appeal, on paper, of the Integral Designs eVent Pullover materialize in real-world use?

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

The ID eVent Pullover is a well-executed shell that excellently balances light weight with durability and solid functionality. Construction quality is top-notch. The design is clean, but not sparse, and affords great protection. To achieve a “Highly Recommended” rating, the hood and collar area would need some redesign to optimize brim, fit, and durability. Overall, this has become my go-to shell for nearly all outdoor ventures.

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by Brad Groves |

Initial Impressions

I came across the Integral Designs eVent Pullover while on my seemingly endless search for hard shell bliss. Honestly, my first thought was something along the lines of “Huh! These guys actually make some cool stuff!” In my experience, Integral Designs is not a company that has much brand recognition with the majority of US consumers, and I think many of those who have heard of the company think of it as “that other brand.” My experience with the eVent Pullover, however, clearly places Integral Designs in the top echelon of gear purveyors.

The appeal on paper is was what drew me in. The specs of the eVent Pullover: a 10-ounce, three-ply eVent shell. The design is clean, the aesthetic is uncluttered and purposeful. The 17-inch chest zipper allows for excellent ventilation, and the shell sports merely one more small zipper for a Napoleon pocket on the left chest. The hood is an integral part of the collar design, and the drop tail, while not allowing for full head to toe protection, provides good rain protection from head to sit pad. I liked that the shell doesn’t have pit zips, because I generally feel that if a jacket needs to be unzipped that much, it probably shouldn’t be worn, and I’d rather not have the extra weight, bulk, or frills.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 1
This gives you a general idea of the fit, clean design, and integration of the hood and collar.

If you’ve spent some time researching lightweight eVent shells, you might notice that the Integral Designs eVent Pullover looks remarkably similar to the Rab Demand Pull-On, for good reason. Rab now owns Integral Designs, and particularly plans on incorporating light and fast gear into the Integral Designs brand.

Build Quality and Material

One of the first things I noticed about the shell when I got it in hand was the relatively substantial feel of the fabric. Other shells I’ve handled in this weight range have felt pretty wispy, but not so with the Integral Designs eVent Pullover. The material feels like you could actually wear it on a lengthy trip and not worry about having to baby your jacket. I guess you could say that the material inspires a degree of confidence. At only 10 ounces, though, the face fabric can’t be much more substantial than that found on the lightest waterproof-breathable shells. What makes the difference, I believe, is the use of three-ply construction instead of the two-ply or two+-ply construction many of the lightest jackets now use. Instead of just having the face fabric and waterproof layer, the Pullover also has a layer of tricot mesh laminated to the waterproof layer.

The finish quality also grabbed my attention quickly. Stitching is consistent and tight, seams are well-fitted and use narrow tape, and openings are neatly finished with clean simplicity. Overall design has been well thought through. I like the integration of the hood drawcords into the hood and collar designs. The elastic cuffs are as simple as they get, completely functional with a minimum of fuss or weight. The chest pocket is a clean installation, with a good hood over the top of the zipper. For whatever reason, I like the addition of a snap at the top of the main zipper, as well as the wrap-over chin fleece.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 2
A closer look at the deep chest zipper and front pocket. Also note the snaps at the collar points.

Fit… Once You Go Up a Size, It's Great

Fit of the eVent Pullover is trim. In fact, I wear a large instead of the medium I wear in nearly all other brands. That said, the shell fits well. Sized as I have, the jacket is not baggy, but has enough room for me to wear a midlayer and a down vest underneath. Wearing just a baselayer and midlayer, I could wear the size medium eVent Pullover, but the fit was a little too constrictive for my tastes. Although I had to go up one size, I think the resultant fit is just about perfect. The drop seat is a good length for me and works as intended. I’ve found the simple elastic cuffs to work admirably well while being unobtrusive. The adjustable hood fits well and adapts to a variety of layering requirements.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 3
The drop seat provides welcome coverage and, unlike other jackets I’ve had, didn’t leave me wishing the rear was a few inches longer.

Considerations on the Hood

The hood, however, was my main source of frustration with the pullover. Integration of the hood into the collar cleans up the lines of the garment, but I found that the collar consistently, and literally, got in my face when partially unzipped. The collar almost removed my glasses on a number of occasions! Slight head rotation, and/or slight head tilt, easily brought the edge of the collar to my eye, particularly if the hood was up and the shell partly unzipped. I tried a variety of methods to get the collar to lay down, including dropping the hood and unzipping fully, but at the end of the day the collar was designed to stand up, and it generally does. For the most part it’s not a huge deal, but it is a bugger when the hood’s up and you want to vent. I wonder if it would be possible to attach a small Velcro tab at the leading edge of each collar point and one tab at the rear to minimize collar extension.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 4
The collar/hood points easily find their way under my glasses. Also note the oddly truncated wire brim.

My favorite winter cap of all time uses a wire brim, which I find to be eminently functional, but I’m not a big fan of the wire brim on the Integral Designs eVent Pullover. It seems to be oddly integrated into the hood, sort of a floating attachment that could provide more support if it was better secured, or perhaps wrapped a bit further around to the back. Don’t get me wrong, it gets the job done just fine, but it’s just… a little bit off.

Despite occasional relapses, I’m pretty much one of those guys who always has some kind of facial hair. One thing I’ve found throughout the years is that facial hair, particularly during a “stubble face” phase, can really wear down clothing. The tricot liner of the eVent Pullover seems to be a bit softer than that of other three-ply garments I’ve owned before, and thought it has fuzzed up more quickly, it still seems to have full integrity. If I could re-work the jacket, I might try to conjure a way to wrap just the face fabric back down over the inside of the collar. I think doing so would greatly increase wear resistance, with minimal effect on breathability.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 5
Sometimes the collar behaves quite nicely.

I have mixed feelings about the single chest pocket. It is positioned in such a way that it is functional and accessible even when wearing a pack. And, there are times when it’s nice to have a pocket on an outer garment, though I find that in the backcountry I normally just want a place to stash a butane lighter and perhaps a small folding knife. Pockets seem more “necessary” for front-country life, for example stowing a wallet and cell phone. What I’ve found is that I use a pant pocket for the lighter and knife, and I don’t carry a wallet or phone (normally) in the backcountry. For town life, the chest pocket is quite convenient. Otherwise, it strikes me as unnecessary. It isn’t a big quibble, but eliminating the pocket would streamline the garment some more, cut a little weight, and enhance breathability (the pocket is made completely of eVent).

Field Performance

Speaking of breathability, the Integral Designs eVent Pullover did not disappoint. I started testing going relatively easy on the shell by wearing my lightest baselayer at a moderately low activity level. Subjectively speaking, breathability struck me as roughly comparable to a windbreaker worn in similar situations. I progressively built up layers and activity level to see just how well the eVent shell dealt with sweaty conditions.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 6
A detail shot showing the elastic sleeve cuff. Simple, but functional and well-executed. It fit snugly enough to keep the sleeves from sliding down my hands, but loosely enough to be quite comfortable.

I wore the eVent Pullover with only a 150 g/m2 merino wool zip tee in temperatures ranging from the teens to high 60s, with no pack and with one up to twenty pounds. The most I wore was that same baselayer with a 320 g/m2 merino hoody, a loden vest, and a stocking cap, in temperatures ranging from 0 F to 32 F (-18 C to 0 C), while snowshoeing. My typical testing was with a 200 g/m2 merino layer in temps ranging from about 10 F to 50 F (-12 C to 10 C), during fast-paced hikes.

I’ve found that I am able to wear the Pullover across a broader range of temperatures and activity than other, non-eVent hard shells I’ve worn in the past. Even when purposefully over-dressed to make myself sweat heavily, the shell handled things pretty well. In those heavily-dressed situations I was obviously too hot, and the humidity level inside the shell was obviously high, but I didn’t find myself or the inner surface of the shell wet, as I’ve learned to expect from other rain wear. In more moderate clothing and conditions, I was able to continue wearing the shell when I normally would have had to remove it. I never found myself wishing I had pit zips, perhaps also due in part to the super-deep main zipper. I’m not going to say the Pullover is as airy (or arid) as wearing a windbreaker, but for a full-on waterproof/breathable shell, its performance is quite remarkable.

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - 7
Here you can see the relatively clean lines of the shell, the slightly funky hood, the relative depth of the chest zipper, and a bit o' fit.

Overall Impression

So, the question of the moment: “Does the strong appeal, on paper, of the Integral Designs eVent Pullover materialize in real-world use?” Yes, the Pullover meets my hopes and expectations. It’s light, durable, very breathable, and highly functional. A few design tweaks would help the Pullover sort of melt away into the background of a user’s outdoor experience, but it still seems to be the first shell I grab as I head out the door.

Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review this product to the manufacturer under the terms of this agreement.


Citation

"Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review," by Brad Groves. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/integral_designs_pullover_review.html, 2011-04-12 00:00:00-06.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review


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Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review on 04/12/2011 16:05:06 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review on 04/12/2011 16:13:48 MDT Print View

these jacket seems to be unavailable. being that Integral designs no long has apparel on its website...

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Integral Designs = Rab on 04/12/2011 16:55:14 MDT Print View

"If you’ve spent some time researching lightweight eVent shells, you might notice that the Integral Designs eVent Pullover looks remarkably similar to the Rab Demand Pull-On, for good reason. Rab now owns Integral Designs, and particularly plans on incorporating light and fast gear into the Integral Designs brand."


Here is a link to the Rab Demand Pull-On: http://rab.uk.com/products/mens-clothing/shell/demand-pull-on.html

Thanks for pointing that out!

Edited by dtpaladino on 04/12/2011 17:01:05 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review on 04/12/2011 17:00:33 MDT Print View

Huh. Whaddya know, they decided not to go into full production! All is not lost, however. The jacket reviewed is, for all intents and purposes, a Rab Demand Pull-On. The cord going around the outside of the hood (instead of through a tunnel as on the ID tested) on the Rab is different, but that's pretty much it... right down to fit and sizing.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Integral Designs = Rab on 04/12/2011 17:03:29 MDT Print View

Looks like Rab has shut down ID clothing production, and sleeping bags.

Edited by rcowman on 04/12/2011 17:04:00 MDT.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Helmet Hood on 04/13/2011 05:41:37 MDT Print View

The hood was clearly designed to fit over a mountaineering helmet. It's shortcomings would probably be mitigated if it were used as per this design. With jackets like these, it would be nice if they offered helmet and non-helmet hood sizes.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
weight on 04/13/2011 09:25:51 MDT Print View

I saw several references to weight, but don't see an actual weight listed.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Helmet Hood on 04/13/2011 11:08:59 MDT Print View

Although the hood is helmet compatible, as many hoods are, I've worn the Pullover with a helmet and the problems that I noted are not mitigated. The concerns I noted here are particularly unique to the Pullover/Demand and have largely not been issues I've seen with any number of other shells. Part of what's going on is that the collar rises higher than many others; the brim, well, it's just what it is...

Actual weight of the large is 10.6 ounces on my scale.

Frank Oslick
(franko1946) - F
Integral Designs on 04/13/2011 11:49:59 MDT Print View

I own several Integral Designs products (slow learner) and they all have two things in common: quality construction and poor design.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Integral Designs on 04/13/2011 11:56:49 MDT Print View

lmao Frank!

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review on 04/14/2011 14:13:39 MDT Print View

I used the Rab Demand Pull-On on as thru-hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail last year and it was excellent - and it was worn more than I'd hoped as September was very wet. Cinched down the hood was fine.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review - Townsend on 04/14/2011 14:31:07 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

I just ordered a RAB Demand Smock yesterday, largely due to your review of it!

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Integral Designs eVent Pullover Review on 04/14/2011 14:39:17 MDT Print View

Hi Douglas, I hope you like it!

Brian Peck
(brianpeck) - MLife

Locale: North America
ID vs Rab on 04/16/2011 03:26:48 MDT Print View

I bought an ID Thru Hiker jacket several years ago while preparing for a hike of the Snowman Trek, and it was an absolutely stunning solution to those cold and damp conditions. It was also great some years later on a bike ride from Lhasa to Kathmandu. I was very lucky, as ID made a custom version for me with longer arms, something I gladly paid for. The jacket is my favorite, even hanging alongside top-end Arcteryx gear, both Paclite and Proshell, both with pit zips. The success of the Thru Hiker (and ID products in general) is a combination of the eVent they use and the superior fit/sizing/clean lines. I suppose Rab may not continue to do any custom work, but -in case they are reading - there is a market for customization which can command premium prices to cover the labour. In this (and any other) review, I would appreciate knowing the height/weight/chest size/sleeve length of the reviewer to guauge the fit better when thinking about myself in future. Cheers!

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
ID event pullover on 04/17/2011 13:38:05 MDT Print View

I very recently received a Rab demand and so far think that it's excellent. But I haven't been able to trail test it yet. Event breathes as well as advertised. I personally like the hood and haven't had the problems with the collar mentioned in the ID review. I too wear glasses. I'm 5'9'' and 137lbs; the medium fits me perfectly with a base layer, a merino second layer (or two) and a not too puffy down vest worn beneath. I would probably need to size up if I wanted to wear a puffier, sleeved full down jacket underneath, especially as the Rab sleeves are narrow. As it is, I'm really happy with this.

Edited by book on 04/17/2011 15:51:06 MDT.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
Integral Designs eVent Pullover on 04/17/2011 15:39:53 MDT Print View

Where does one find a size medium for sale?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Integral Designs eVent Pullover on 04/17/2011 15:45:32 MDT Print View

"Where does one find a size medium for sale?"

You probably have to go for a RAB Demand smock/pullover.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
RAB Demand smock/pullover. on 04/18/2011 20:14:47 MDT Print View

Can't find a medium in that either.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: RAB Demand smock/pullover. on 04/18/2011 20:49:35 MDT Print View

Mediums are available at TowerRidge in the UK. I just ordered one from there. Total around $200, including shipping. Takes a while for the order process, as they have to contact you about how much it will cost to ship and you have to agree to the shipping charge before they ship. But they back out the VAT automatically. Mine shipped today, we'll see how long it takes to get here!

Diana Vann
(DianaV) - MLife

Locale: Wandering
Integral Designs Shell on 04/18/2011 21:35:39 MDT Print View

Brad wrote:

"Actual weight of the large (Pullover) is 10.6 ounces on my scale."

For 11.1 ounces (weighed on my scale), I got an Event Rain Jacket (Not sure if you can still find them, but love mine!).

It's over-sized to wear on top of WM & Montbell puffy under-layers. (My sleeping bag is VERY light, so I use down under-layers to augment my bag and to wear around camp, but I don't hike in them).

For me the option of being able to unzip my rain jacket is worth the extra .7oz.

Edited by DianaV on 04/18/2011 23:08:06 MDT.