I think the only time I’ve ever owned a vest in my life was for a costume. And it wasn’t even mine. It was my dad’s and it was big, ugly and frumpy. When Outdoor Research asked me to test out their new Cathode Vest, I said yes! A beautiful, but functional vest of my own? Heck yes.
My name is Paulina and I proudly wear vests. The Cathode Vest made me a vest fan for life. There’s just something so liberating about having no sleeves and constantly having ventilation.
The Outdoor Research Cathode Vest is made of Pertex® Quantum, 100% nylon 22D face fabric with PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation 60g sandwiched in between. To allow for more range of movement and better breathability, the sides are constructed with 100% polyester Schoeller® stretch woven panels.
The Cathode Vest is windproof and water resistant. Two zippered hand pockets and one zippered napoleon pocket are available to store any loose items you might have. At 6.5 oz, this is lightweight enough to toss in the bottom of your pack as a just-in-case item.
The fit on this is very trim. I can fit a long sleeve hoodie or zip up beneath, but not much else. If you like less form-fitting mid layers, I recommend sizing up. It’s very low profile so you can easily layer other items on top of the Cathode Vest without it looking bulky.
It’s not the thickest or the warmest insulation I have, but this is my current go-to midlayer for cool, not cold, days. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to removing layers on the go so having the automatic ventilation helps keep me from sweating up a storm.
For mild Bay Area winters this performs superbly. For anything else, you might find yourself wishing you had something warmer, like I did on Freel Peak.
All in all, the Outdoor Research Cathode Vest is a solid piece if you’re looking at making a foray into vest territory. It’s lightweight, breathable, durable and warm enough.
The Cathode Vest is now discontinued, but Outdoor Research has plenty of other vests available.
This was sent to me for review as a part of Outdoor Research’s #ORInsightLab.
Last updated on December 15, 2017.