Western Rise AirLoft Vest Review Non Quilted Insulated Vest Jacket

Friday, May 20, 2022

The AirLoft Vest is an understated, soul warming gilet perfect on its own or as a midlayer! Western Rise's AirLoft Vest is made with a unique insulation fill (Toray 3DeFX+) which does not require quilting to stay in place, making the AirLoft Vest a non quilted insulated vest jacket. 
The outer shell of the AirLoft Vest is made of breathable woven material, using Toray's Primeflex specialized polyester fabric, which wipes clean easily of dust by simply shaking off the jacket. The polyester outer shell has been coated with C6 DWR (durable water resistance).

 The AirLoft Vest side pockets fasten via concealed invisible zippers, which are similar to regular nylon coil zippers but the teeth are hidden on the back of the zipper tape. This crates a narrow seam across the front of the zipper which blends nicely with the long vertical seam running across the side of the vest jacket. The invisible zippers look good and are also functional, keeping the side pockets out of sight and helping minimize water and dust ingress. That said, the invisible zippers are not coated with TPU or PVC material; hence the side pockets are not waterproof.

The AirLoft Vest side pocket zippers use a metal YKK 3CC invisible puller and a fabric cord pull tab tied at the top with a rubberized knot,which makes undoing the side pockets a lot easier. The invisible zippers slide up and down smoothly without catching the fabric. The zipper opening is about 12cm long, which doesn't feel particularly wide until you dive your hands inside the supper roomy deep pockets (measure 22cm deep and 30cm high). 
The side pocket fabric liner has been sewn to the jacket; hence you cannot pull out the pocket liner, which is nice as this makes the side pockets less fiddly when grabbing gear. The AirLoft Vest oversize side pockets are big enough for hands, as well as bulky items such as a small tripod and 500ml water bottle. This makes the AirLoft Vest very convenient when carrying everyday carry (EDC) gear such as house keys, phone, pocket knife, etc.
The AirLoft Vest main zipper has a standard visible zipper design with large plastic square teeth and a single metal slider, which glides smoothly along the zipper. The main zipper uses a YKK slider and a fabric fly on the underside to prevent the zipper from catching onto the midlayer. The fly runs all the way up to the top where it ends into a neat overlap that prevents the zipper from catching your chin. The neck collar of the AirLoft Vest is about 8cm high. 
As well as two side pockets, the AirLoft Vest has a rear facing zippered pocket, which is also super roomy and deep, spanning almost half the size of the back panel. The dimensions of the rear pocket are 34cm tall, 39cm deep and 18m long (zipper opening). 

The rear facing zipper is not invisible like the side pocket zippers. Instead, it uses a small double-sided zipper (2 way zipper), which makes the rear pocket much easier to zip and unzip without having to take off the vest. The rear facing pocket is non-waterproof but it is protected by a fly cover. 

Inside the AirLoft Vest, there is an internal zippered pocket (18cm long), which measures 20cm tall and 20cm deep. The internal pocket isn't as big as the external pockets but it is still very sizeable and way roomier than most vest's inner pockets. The AirLoft Vest sleeve edges have been neatly finished with a thin strip of flat folded fabric reinforcement sewn with neat stitching. The sleeve edges are non-piped fabric, meaning there is no piping cord reinforcement inside the folded fabric. 

As far as dimensions, the AirLoft Vest medium size measures 66cm tall (from neck collar to bottom hem), 55cm wide (from armpit to armpit) and 45cm - from shoulder to shoulder. The bottom of the vest measures 55cm wide (side to side) and has a drawstring hem, which allows you to cinch the bottom up to make the AirLoft Vest shorter. The drawstring hem consists of an elastic bungee cord running around the bottom of the vest, which is attached to a spring loaded single barrel cordlock (one on each side). 

The medium size AirLoft Vest jacket weighs 337 grams and has a simple construction, which is well made with attention to detail and quality tailoring. The pocket liners have been sewn to the vest so, you won't accidentally pull out the liner when grabbing your stuff. The AirLoft Vest filling is also made with quality insulation material used by the likes of Patagonia. 
The exciting feature about Toray insulation fill is that it performs similar to wool and it is pound-for-pound warmer than regular synthetic insulation of the same weight (40gsm). Toray' s insulation fill allows the AirLoft Vest to be breathable, stretchy, lightweight, self regulating and odor wicking; hence you don't have to wash it as often. The AirLoft Vest has been designed to be comfortable to wear in cold temperatures (25F/ -4C) and warm temperatures up to 75F/ 24C. The AirLoft Vest pairs nicely with the Session Sun Hoodie long sleeve t-shirt. 

Compared to a regular down vest, the AirLoft Vest main selling point is that it is a non-quilted insulated vest, meaning the insulation fill has not been stitched, unlike a quilted insulated vest which requires stitching to prevent shifting. The advantage of Toray' s insulation fill is that it dries quickly and will not shift over time like quilted insulation which has a tendency to shift. The AirLoft Vest also performs well when it comes with resistance to tearing, thanks to the 4-way stretch of the fabric. You can buy the AirLoft Vest from Western Rise and get 25% off (sitewide) using code SUMMER. Check out the review of the At Slim Pant and X Cotton Everyday Tee and Limitless Shirt - StrongCore Tee and Versa Hat.

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