New Gear Review: REI Fleet Jacket

The third new thing I got is the REI Fleet Jacket.

REI fleet jacket

My husband actually pointed this out to me because I’ve been wanting a super lightweight, breathable jacket for cool weather running. I had been holding off because they were always so expensive for something so light. I wasn’t totally in love with how the jacket looks on me, but the quality and price were good enough. Plus since it’s REI, I can always bring it back. I had a $20 off coupon which made it $35 – totally reasonable compared to how much running jackets cost. I think this item is brand new for Spring 2013. Since I’m a clearance shopper, I’m not used to getting something hot off the rack. This jacket is light as air and is supposed to protect against wind. I like the high collar because my neck does get cold.

REI fleet jacket

The pockets might be an issue. Instead of regular slash pockets, there is a big interior back pocket – imagine the back pockets on a bike jersey, but on the inside. Their idea is that you put your phone/iPod in there and route the headphone cord up your back and out through a hole in the collar. I guess that’s nice for keeping the cord totally out of your way, but annoying if you ever need to change the song or volume. The other pocket is one small zip pocket on the outer back, which you can also use to stow the jacket. It’s not exactly accessible when you are moving. We’ll see if this pocket situation annoys me.


I wore this out on a run when it was 35 degrees out with a very cold wind chill. This thing really did block out the wind and kept my neck warm too. The back pocket wasn’t too bad. I wore my Spibelt to hold my phone, so I didn’t exactly use the pockets as intended. However when I got hot, I was easily able to take off my gloves and shove them in the back pocket. The looser cut, which I wasn’t a fan of in the beginning, serves its purpose. I didn’t feel constricted or tight at all. I usually find jackets to be snug in the shoulders but this was cut generously. I don’t know how the jacket will hold up in a mist or light rain, but so far I am really happy with it.


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