The word “vario” comes from “variability,” and Outdoor Vitals has brought to us a jacket that offers this in every way. The Vario Jacket is lightweight but also warm, and it’s good for the environment too with recycled insulated fibers that will last and last. It’s a great windbreaker and it’s water resistant, but it’s soft and flexible too, which is unusual for this functionality.
The Vario Jacket looks simple enough – a basic jacket meant to keep you warm on a run or a hike and it doesn’t stand out in a crowd other than the sharp “OV” logo. I received mine in basic black, though it’s also available in Mahogany.
This jacket is water-resistant due to DWR treatments, and when I took it out for my first run in it, I just happened to get caught in the rain. The water droplets beaded up on the jacket and slid right off. I never felt wet or cold and it also dried very fast. It’s an excellent windbreaker option for us here in Oregon, and right now is the perfect time of year for it. The hood is insulated with a lightweight coating that really helps protect you from the weather elements and it moves with your head without blocking your vision.
Probably one of the best functions of the Vario jacket is that it’s so packable that you can compress it down to the size of a grapefruit. This would be an excellent jacket for travel or backpacking.
There are two zippered pockets on the sides of the Vario so you can keep your hands warm or keep valuables secure. Additionally, the 50% recycled 3DeFX Insulation is not only stretchy, but keeps you warm despite being ultralight. 100% of the materials are sourced and created by Toray and there are no impurities in the recycled insulation fibers. This insulation has 0% performance degradation, so you won’t have to worry about this jacket breaking down over time like many others. The 20D Ripstop nylon is super durable as well.
There are perforated ventholes in the underarm area, and I appreciate the airflow and breathability. The insulation is body-mapped which allows for more venting in the areas of your torso that get the hottest. There are also thumb loops to help keep your sleeves down where you want them to be if you’re planning on layering under something else.
I was very surprised when I pulled the Vario jacket out of the box for the first time, as wind and/or rain resistant jackets can be a bit stiff and “swishy” (if you know, you know.) This jacket is neither of those things. This jacket is flexible and soft, and you can feel the loftiness of it despite the fact that it’s as light as a feather. The quality is obvious from the start.
The women’s jacket that I received has a shape built for some curves, which I certainly appreciate, as well as the longer drop back hemline in the back that covers my booty on a cold day. There are stretch cuffs around the wrists which help keep the wind and rain out but also allow for you to check your watch.
Multi-tasking at it’s finest! The Vario Jacket has everything you’ll need for your next outdoor adventure. It will pack up light and tight for any occasion, and it’s soft and warm at the same time. Anything doing is worth doing right, and Outdoor Vitals gets that.
Outdoor Vitals Vario Jacket $210
- Weight: 9 oz (Men’s size Medium)
- Insulation: 40 g/m2 3DeFX active stretch insulation, 50% recycled
- Shell Fabric: 20D Ripstop Nylon DWR treated
- Inner Fabric: 20D Ripstop Nylon
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Thank you to Outdoor Vitals for providing us with a test jacket. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.