Vital Outdoor Apparel from Outdoor Vitals

Pacific Northwest residents spend a lot of time outside, and often in less-than-ideal conditions. So owning the right gear is not only smart, it’s necessary to do the things we love. If you’ve got anything in your wardrobe that’s from Outdoor Vitals you automatically know you’re covered. The products wear well, they last, and they look pretty sharp too.


Once Fall hits in Oregon, you can be sure it’s time for layering. I have been outdoors in days where I can go from a relatively warm day in just a tee-shirt, to needing sleeves and warmth in the next 15 minutes, to needing a rain coat in the 15 minutes that follow. You just never know what you are going to get. The Ventus Active Hoodie is a really nice addition for Oregon’s weather system.

“Active Hoodie” is a pretty solid descriptor of this top as it’s a really cool crossover piece. When I hear the word “hoodie”, my mind typically goes towards the comfortable, yet wildly unfunctional, cotton option that I grew up wearing through my high school years. Those pieces are nostalgic, but not really an ideal top for wind and weather (moreso for Netflix and quick runs to the store). I also have hoodies on the other end that are actually more jackets with hoods. They are wonderful for the wet and chilly Oregon. They end up on the thicker side and, while warm, don’t really allow for a freedom of motion I’d prefer when adventuring outdoors. AND THEN you have the Ventus Active Hoodie

This top is a really great middle ground – marrying the comfort and nostalgia of a cotton hoodie with the function of a hooded jacket. Here are some of the key technical  features that make it a solid option:

  • 3DeFX Insulation (warmth and flexibility) with an insulated hood as well
  • 20D Ripstop Nylon (durability and lightness)

I will mention that this is, what OV calls an “athletic” fit. Basically, it fits tighter to the body than what you may think of in a hoodie. A single layering option can fit underneath, but unless you size up, that’s about all that is going to fit underneath. I really like the visible vents strategically placed under the arms. Layering over top is much easier and coupling this with another option should really keep you warm and moving regardless of what the weather throws at you. The hoodie has thump loops to help you keep sleeves from bunching when if you are layering over it as well. It does have a coating that allows it to be resistant to wind and water – though more waterproofing layers would probably be desired in those Oregon downpours.

I personally found the arms at a surprisingly good length. One challenge I have with more fitted clothing options are sleeves that don’t far enough over my long arms.  This top had no such issue and OV must have be knowledgeable about my problem because they actually mention “stretch cuffs” in their description. The commitment to sleeves and thumb holes aren’t the only cool features about the Ventus Active Hoodie. The back of the hoodie has a drop back – essentially meaning that it sits lower at the back in an effort to keep you covered during periods of activity or when sitting down.

Finally, like any good Oregon outdoor clothing, it packs down into an inner pocket to be able to be stored in a pack or running bag (or even small enough to hold in a hand) when the sun inevitably arises.

Highly Recommended!


Merino Wool is an indispensable tool for living in the Pacific Northwest if you’re ever planning on being outside. You can find this material in socks, hats, gloves, and clothes, and it comes in various thicknesses. What makes it brilliant is that it keeps you warm, and even when it gets wet, you stay miraculously dry inside. Additionally, when you take it off, it dries much faster than any other piece of clothing would.

outdoor vitalsOutdoor Vitals provided Run Oregon with the Tern Ultralight Merino Wool Shirt in a gorgeous shade of blue and it makes a wonderful addition to my growing wardrobe of outdoor essentials. This shirt is an extremely light-weight hoodie which will do well in hot weather because of the sun protection elements, and it will also be a great base layer for the colder days to keep the wet weather from chilling you to the bone.

As expected of merino wool, it wicks well, and it’s also odor and bacteria resistant which means it won’t stink up your car or your tent or your bag when you peel it off. This shirt would be ideal for camping, hiking, or running in and it’s so thin that you could easily stuff it in a backpack.

I typically wear a women’s medium, so I got this in a men’s small. The fit is meant to be athletic without being tight or restrictive, and I think I chose wisely. I don’t like running or hiking in clothing that’s too loose, especially if it’s rainy or windy, because it weighs me down more. But I also don’t like it so narrow that it feels uncomfortable on my shoulders or hard to get on and off, especially if I’m shedding layers in the middle of an activity. This shirt has a lot more stretch to it than many of my other merino wool blend shirts.

outdoor vitals2This Tern Wool Shirt not only comes in a long-sleeved hoodie option, but there’s a short-sleeved t-shirt option as well. The hooded option covers the neck well too, so it’s an excellent pick for a sunshirt, as you can shield most of your upper half without much effort and it’s also UPF rated 36+.

Though I initially wanted this Outdoor Vitals hoodie for camping, hiking, and running, I’m already finding it’s great for around the house too. I love that it’s thin but keeps me warm and also doesn’t make me feel overheated. What I’m really saying is that I don’t plan to take it off.. Like, ever.


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Our focus as a company is to build and design the best performing and durable gear we can. Our belief is that the best way to help our planet is to design gear that won’t end up in landfills.


Thank you to Outdoor Vitals for providing us with sample items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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