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By Diane Spicer
Welcome to this REI Hybrid Hoodie review!
First let's see why Hiking For Her outdoor gear reviews are trustworthy.
And worthy of your time.
Be sure to ask a few questions whenever you read a hiking gear review.
I'll get you started.
Hiking For Her does free reviews after receiving the item from the company or purchasing it.
There is no obligation to say flattering things.
Always expect HFH reviews to stick to the facts: fair as well as accurate.
I'm sure you've seen "reviews" written with minimal time and effort.
What you read on this website is the opposite: thorough, detailed and "hiker first" gear reviews.
In this case, yes, and you should be told that upfront.
Hiking For Her has been a member of REI Co-op for many decades.
That's why you see REI products on this website.
In my long trail experience, they work, they're fairly priced, and customer service is top notch.
Hiking For Her receives a small percentage of your purchase price if you purchase through this page.
You pay not one penny extra.
Now on to the details of this hiking jacket.
This review features the REI Co-op women's Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie.
The Hybrid Hoodie is available in women's sizes XS - 3X.
Beyond classic black, you have these color choices:
See them here.
Fabric should get top billing in a hiking jacket review, so let's start there.
The REI Flash Hybrid Hoodie nylon shell and lining fabric has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish.
PrimaLoft® Silver Eco synthetic insulation makes this jacket warm even when wet.
This lightweight insulation is breathable and compresses into a small footprint.
This Hybrid Hoodie jacket features REI's ShadowBaffle construction. This stitching technique has been lab-measured for its heat retention.
Not sure what baffles mean to you as a hiker?
The jacket retains your heat rather than letting it leak to your surroundings through gaps in seams.
It's a great design feature!
See the quick-dry LYCRA spandex stretchy panels on the sides?
These provide both ventilation and ease of movement.
The jacket is hip length, sitting just below where your backpack hip belt hits.
This full coverage jacket weighs around 12.7 ounces.
So it won't make much of a dent in your overall pack weight, while providing you with good coverage.
Now you know how the jacket is put together.
And why it will protect you during a cold, wet hike.
But what makes you feel comfortable in it?
And there's more:
One more thing: It's a hoodie fit, not a puffy jacket, so it's streamlined and snug.
Now let's take a look at its trail performance.
Remember, these are my subjective comments. They are based on the terrain, temperature, wind speed and mileage this jacket experienced on my back, and in my pack.
Your results may vary ;)
This jacket has a lot going for it due to its design.
The quick-dry stretch side panels run from just behind the side pockets up through the armpit area and into the arms.
That was important during my 9 mile hike with 1900 feet elevation gain in a brisk breeze.
The panels provided freedom of movement when I needed to scramble over downed trees and boulders during the off trail portion of the hike.
The panels also allowed my torso to dry out a bit at rest breaks.
I was able to keep my focus on the tricky trail navigation in a relentless cold breeze, thanks to the lightweight efficient insulation.
A note on the fit: The collar wasn't too high or tight when the jacket was zipped up to the top. I'd say the jacket fits true to size.
Hiking For Her considers hoods on hiking jackets really important!
On a lightweight jacket like this, a hood that frames the face but leaves plenty of room for a hat with a brim is critical.
You want full movement of your neck, and room for a neck scarf, too.
You want soft fabric against your skin.
You also want to be able to see and hear while you shade your eyes.
Always look for versatility in a jacket hood.
In this case, we have a hood adjustment toggle:
This is an important point of adjustment on this jacket, so use it freely.
You don't want the wind getting at your ears and neck on a cold day.
Jackets need to pull their weight in your backpack throughout the seasons. Without adding weight, of course.
So stash this lightweight one in your pack for spring through fall day hikes.
Use it as a middle layer for backpacking underneath a rain shell on a cold rainy day.
Wear it while working your way through moist brush or overgrown trails, knowing it will perform even when wet.
Use it inside your sleeping bag if you are a cold sleeper, as it traps heat from your torso and head.
For winter hiking and snowshoeing, this hoodie style jacket can stand alone over a base layer.
I am delighted by the tiny footprint and lightness of this jacket.
It packs into the left hand pocket with very little effort. That's thanks to its highly compressible materials.
No bulk, but plenty of warmth and freedom of movement once it's zipped up.
This REI Flash Hybrid Hoodie has earned a worthy place in my Ten Essentials (extra clothing).
And now you know why!
Our planet is finite.
What we buy matters to its future.
REI Co-op recognizes the need to pay attention to these facts.
I like that it uses recycled materials.
I like that this jacket was made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory.
If you're a beginner hiker, it's important to start your hiking clothing list with a great jacket.
Been on the trail awhile? You already know the importance of finding a versatile hiking jacket.
The Flash Hybrid Hoodie works for either type of hiker.
Caveat: It's not what I consider an entry level piece of clothing because of its advanced features.
Which brings up the topic of price.
That brings you to a fork in the trail called "gear acquisition".
If you're in this hiking thing for the long haul (bad backpacking pun, not sorry), you must choose one of these trails:
The choice is yours.
But remember that sometimes cheap becomes expensive when you need a margin of safety on a hike.
A jacket is one thing I never skimp on when building out my gear list.
REI Co-op members receive an estimated $17.90 back when this jacket is purchased.
So if you're not a member, now is the time.
You pay a one time low fee, and reap the benefits as you build your outdoor gear and clothing list year after year.
Hiking For Her reviews only the outdoor gear and clothing you need for safety and comfort, simple as that.
And that's why this jacket caught my eye.
If you're looking for an outer layer for dry-ish but cold conditions, or a midlayer for wet, chilly conditions, you've found it.
Thanks for reading this REI Hybrid Hoodie review!