REI Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie Review

REI Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie

The REI Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie is a synthetic insulated hooded jacket that packs down small but provides an impressive amount of warmth in cool weather. It’s loaded with storage and performance features including five pockets including a stuffable chest pocket, an adjustable hood, elastic hem adjustment, and elastic wrist cuffs with thumb holes.  Lycra stretch panels along the torso and down the arms make it suitable for more active use and help vent perspiration. While it boasts many technical features good for cool-weather hiking, the Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie also makes a great all-around synthetic jacket for everyday use.

Specs at a Glance

  • Gender Men’s (Women’s model available)
  • Insulation: PrimaLoft Silver Eco synthetic insulation
  • Temperature range: approximately 20-60
  • Pockets: 5
  • Weight: Men’s Large – 13.8 oz / 392g
  • Stuffable Chest Pocket: Yes
  • Adjustable Hood: Yes
  • Helmet-Compatible Hood: Yes
  • Thumb-Loops: Yes
  • Hem Adjustment; Yes
  • Back Length: Hip (28.75″)

The REI Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie is a synthetic insulated jacket, good for cool spring or autumn weather, that has a few performance features added so that you could use it in a more active capacity, like hiking or belaying. It is a warm jacket, so it’s not something you’d wear for a strenuous uphill hike while wearing a backpack because you’d perspire too much, but it’s a good layer to throw on during rest breaks when you want to stay warm or on windy summits when you need extra insulation and wind protection to ward off the chill.

The hood is helmet-compatible but has a rear volume adjustment.

The jacket has a helmet-compatible hood with an elastic cord in the back than can be used to adjust the volume to human dimensions. The face opening is elasticated but not adjustable, and while it does provide some warmth, I like to wear a fleece hat inside to compensate for any wind that gets inside.

The torso and arms have a stretchy Lycra fabric that runs up the jacket’s sides and down the underside of the arms that that positioned where pit-zips would be if this were a rain jacket. These are designed to vent perspiration and make the jacket a little bit more dynamic, especially for activities that require more arm movement, like belaying or trekking poles use when hiking. The Lyrca runs all the way down to the wrist cuffs and where there are thumbholes in the fabric, making the sleeves easier to pull through a hard shell.

The one place where this jacket really shines are the pockets. There are two internal drop pockets that are good for storing gloves or a hat, two zippered external handwarmer pockets, and a large zippered check pocket so you have plenty of space to securely stash essentials. The jacket also stuffs into the left handwarmer pocket when not in use.

The Lycra torso panels terminate at the wrist with thumb-loops
The Lycra torso panels terminate at the wrist with thumb-loops.

Now, REI claims that the handwarmer pockets on this Hybrid Hoodie are hipbelt compatible, but that will depend on where you wear your hipbelt. If you wear your pack hipbelt low, you can probably squeeze your hands into the top of the pockets, but if you wear it higher up, they’ll be covered. They’re certainly covered when I wear a padded hipbelt. Your mileage may vary.

Comparison Table  – Synthetic Insulated Jackets

Make / ModelInsulationWeightGender
Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated HoodiePrimaloft Gold Insulation Eco12.8 ozM | F
Arc'teryx Atom LT Insulated HoodieCoreloft Compact13.2 ozM | F
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated HoodyPrimaLoft Silver Hi-Loft Ultra11.7 ozM | F
Enlightened Equipment Torrid JacketClimashield Apex8.4 ozM | F
KUIU Kenai Hooded Jacket3DeFX+15.5 ozM | F
Outdoor Research Superstrand LT Insulated HoodieVerticalX Superstrand10.9 ozM | F
The North Face Thermoball ECO HoodieThermoball ECO15.9 ozM | F
Montbell UL Thermawrap ParkaStretch Excelloft9.3 ozM | F
Rab Xenair Alpine Light Insulated JacketPrimaloft Gold Active+10.3 ozM | F
Cotopaxi Teca Calido Hooded JacketRecycled Polyester11.4 ozM | F

Recommendation

The REI Flash Insulated Hybrid Hoodie is a warm synthetic insulated jacket with a competitive set of features that make it useful for multiple sports like hiking and climbing. The most unique thing about this jacket are the Lycra side panels and thumb-loops in the wrists that lend themselves to more dynamic arm movements and help perspiration, without chilling you. But the thing that really distinguishes the Hybrid Hoodie from other comparable synthetic insulated jackets is the price, which runs about 25-33% less than the competition. If price is a factor, you’ll find that the Hybrid Hoodie is an excellent value for the money and an even better one if you can score it during an REI member sale.

Disclosure: REI donated a jacket for this review.

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2 comments

  1. how’s the fit on it? I know some REI stuff is snug while other items are huge.

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