Ventus Active Hoodie
A relatively small company wants you to ditch your old cotton hoodie for something much, much lighter. Meet the Ventus Active Hoodie, an advanced layer that leverages the best technologies from high-end outdoor apparel into a jacket you can wear every day.
The brand Outdoor Vitals has grown up on Kickstarter. With four fully-funded projects so far, the brand focuses on premium ultralight products. It aims for a combination of comfort and versatility. This keeps customers from buying multiple items or replacing gear too often. At least that’s the brand’s claim.
And so far, that recipe has worked pretty well. It’s latest offering, the Ventus Active Hoodie, has already raised more than $280,000 with nearly a month remaining in its Kickstarter campaign. And while a smart marketing message is undoubtedly part of the success here, the product does look promising. Here’s what we know.
Ventus Active Hoodie Launch
To be clear, I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to apparel. Over 10 years of outdoors journalism, I’ve seen hundreds of claims about new products that improve your comfort outdoors. So when I read this pitch, I fired back some hard questions. My goal was to suss out what is really unique and different about this hoodie, which carries a very similar name to the lauded Ventrix Hoodie from The North Face.
According to Outdoor Vitals spokesperson Derek Rasmussen, the first big component is insulation. The brand uses a polyester fill it calls 3DeFX insulation.
“It isn’t just a typical polyester insulation,” he said. “It consists of 4 different types of fibers coiled much like springs and intertwined, giving more loft and more stretch than other similar insulations. As these coils are stretched tight, more air/heat is allowed to pass through, making the insulation more breathable. Combined with the 2 way stretch ripstop nylon interior and exterior, this hoodie is built to move with you and breathe more as the insulation and fabrics are stretched with your motion. Then when you aren’t in motion, the insulation coils will contract or “spring back” and create more loft and warmth.”
This, too, reminds me of The North Face’s Ventrix Hoodie line, which expanded slits in the back to help venting during exercise. However, the Outdoor Vitals product sounds somewhat unique, particularly the use of coiled fibers to increase loft.
Rassmussen added that the jacket is as warm as its heavier LoftTek Jacket, which was launched 3 years ago while weighing several ounces less.
Warm, Lightweight Hoodie
“It’s warmer than a base layer but not intended to replace your ultralight down jacket. Any space where you would be comfortable wearing a traditional cotton or fleece mid-layer or hoodie, the Ventus will excel while only weighing half of what those alternatives weigh, and pack down the size of a softball,” Rassmussen said.
Finally, the Ventus has an acrylic DWR coating. The brand claims it won’t wear away with washing or use and gives the wearer substantial protection from the wind.
We haven’t tested the Ventus yet, but it’s an interesting piece from a small brand. For those looking for a light mid-layer that would work as a hoodie, pick one up on Kickstarter for $144.