Being active throughout the cold winter months requires finding just the right outerwear. You want something fashionable that's easy to wear for all of your frigid-weather activities and needs. From brisk walks and runs to the gym to all of your errands and everything in between, having a warm, durable, well-fitting jacket on deck is essential. That's why we jumped at the chance to try several items from Vuori's new active outerwear line.
Choosing garments for a busy on-the-go lifestyle can be challenging. When it comes to jackets, it's important to find one piece that serves a multitude of purposes. It needs to be heavy enough to keep you warm without being too bulky. It should also provide enough coverage in a fitted fashion without being overly constricting. And ideally, it should take you seamlessly from day to night.
Read on to find out how three of Vuori's new winter jackets stacked up in our testing. And for more active shopping inspiration, check out I Tried 4 Pairs of HOKA Sneakers & One Beats the Rest By a Mile.
How we tested Vuori's outerwear collection:
Three editors from Eat This, Not That! each tried a different piece from Vuori's new active outerwear line, provided to us by the brand. Our selections were based on the time of year, where we live (the tri-state area), and available inventory. Testing took place over the course of several weeks. Read on to learn our pros, cons, and overall thoughts on each of the jackets we tested.
Hudson Insulated Jacket
Reviewed by Justine Goodman, Editor in Chief
From a style standpoint, I rate the Hudson a 10/10. This garment has a glossy sheen that makes it look almost leather-like, and it's quite versatile. It complements practically any activity or occasion, from a day hike to a dressier night out, provided the weather isn't too cold. The cropped style hits at just the right spot (hips meet my waist)—not too long, not too short. It's not overly bulky, and it offers plenty of room for layers.
The Hudson is described as medium weight, and I was perfectly warm wearing it in Upstate New York with temps in the low 30s. As a small woman (I'm 5'2"), I often have a hard time finding jackets that fit me properly; I debated whether to go with small or extra-small, but I chose the former and I'm glad I did, because the fit was perfect.
The Hudson uses a synthetic fill (rather than, say, goose or duck), so for extra-cold days I'll be sticking with my go-to goose-filled puff jacket. But it's a great "city jacket," not designed for extreme cold.
I found that the placement of the side pockets was slightly awkward; they're a bit set back, and every time I reached for my phone the opening wasn't quite where I expected it to be. It is also a bit loose around the wrists, which seems like a deliberate sartorial choice, but also allows cold air to seep up through the arms.
If, like me, you can't keep anything clean because you have two dogs who are constantly slobbering and shedding all over the place, the fact that it's machine washable is a real bonus (though I haven't needed to wash it yet, so I can't speak to how well it retains its shape and sheen after washing).
The Hudson also has no hood; this wasn't a problem for me, as I primarily wore it with a hooded fleece underneath, but for those who feel strongly that a hood is essential in a winter jacket, be advised. It is also water-resistant, not waterproof, so it's fine in light flurries or drizzling rain, but I wouldn't recommend it for skiing or braving a real storm.
Overall rating: 8/10.
- Warmer than it looks
- Multiple pockets (two standard, one on the arm, one inside)
- Great for layering
- True to size
- Machine washable
- Relatively affordable
- Loose fit around the wrists allows cold air in
- No hood
- Side pockets are slightly set back in a way that feels awkward
- Water resistant, not waterproof
- Only available in two colors (black and "bluff," which is a light pink)
Hillside Down Jacket
Reviewed by Olivia Tarantino, Managing Editor
For a workout jacket, the Hillside Down Jacket is very stylish. I've worn it to walk to and from the gym as well as casually out around New York City. I'm in love with the rich mahogany color, which comes off as a chocolate brown with purple undertones. The pockets are lined with a jersey-like fabric, which feels super comfy on my hands when I keep them in there to protect them from the cold. It also has an interior pocket that's very wide, which is great if you're stuffing gloves or a hat into it.
Vuori offers this jacket in sizes that range from XXS to XXL. Generally, I alternate between an XS and S depending on the brand (I'm 5'4" with a small build). In this case, I went for an XS because the sleeves looked long, and it was a perfect fit. I can still fit a sweatshirt or thick sweater underneath it without feeling too constricted.
The Vuori Hillside Down Jacket is described as a "Women's Heavyweight Down Jacket", and I think it lives up to that claim. It's filled with 650 grams of Responsibly Sourced Down, which makes the jacket warm and toasty. I've worn it out in mid-50-degree weather with a light long-sleeve shirt underneath and was sweating by the time I got to the gym.
One of the features is a "water-repellent coating for extra protection from the elements", but when I got caught in a drizzle one day, the fabric seemed to soak in the rain pretty quickly rather than bead off, so I would recommend grabbing an umbrella if you want to wear this jacket to walk in the rain.
Rather than having ribbed cuffs, the sleeves have a zipper that allows them to open wider. I didn't find this very useful, but at the same time, it didn't bother me that it was there. There's also no hem drawstring on the bottom of the jacket, which is a minor problem living in New York City since we frequently get winds that can reach 30mph. Without the drawstring, that wind can go right up the bottom of the jacket, which is already fairly wide. Wearing a thicker layer under the jacket did help prevent this from being too much of an issue for me. Vuori is based in Encinitas, California, so I can understand how these wind-proofing features may not be as necessary in a more temperate climate without the type of harsh weather conditions we have on the East Coast.
While almost every other puffer jacket on the market has a hood that's either packable or removable, the Hillside does not. This didn't bother me much because it makes the collar look more streamlined and fashionable, and as a smaller woman, I don't want to look like I'm drowning in a thick collar. The only times I'm looking for a hood would be if it starts to rain when I'm already out and don't have an umbrella or if the wind picks up and I want my head to be protected. I have a longer, waterproof jacket from Aritzia (The Super Puff₂O™ Mid) that I wear when it's really cold out, and I would choose that style over the Vuori one in sub-freezing conditions.
Overall Rating: 8/10
- Beautiful color
- The collar is protective without being too bulky
- Fitted, while still roomy enough for layering
- Can be dressed up or down
- No hem drawstring or hood for extra coverage and warmth
- Sleeves are long, lack ribbed cuffs, and have an unnecessary zipper that expands the opening
Mammoth Down Parka
Reviewed by Alexa (Mellardo) Tapia, Deputy Editor of Mind+Body and Weight Loss
In my opinion, Vuori's Mammoth Down Parka is the ideal jacket to brave chilly winter temps in the northeast. It took me from my winter walks and hikes right to the ski slopes of the Berkshires and beyond. The matte black polyester/polyamide fabric looks sleek and coordinates well with every color beanie and scarf I have in my wardrobe. The length offers the perfect amount of cold weather coverage, falling just above the knee. In addition, this jacket does not look overwhelming in size or too bulky for my 5'4", XS frame.
The hood is functional and provides warmth and protection from the elements. However, from a style standpoint, I prefer when a hood has a faux fur trim so it can be styled up for nights out on the town. Additionally, the Mammoth Down Parka is only available in black; I would love to also see it in the rich mahogany color that the Hillside style comes in.
Warmth is key for outdoor winter sports and activities in the northeast. The 650 duck down makes the Mammoth Parka an excellent purchase and trumps all of the other winter jackets I've purchased in the past. The high neckline, ribbed sleeves, and the length of the jacket keep my body protected and well-insulated, ensuring cold air doesn't sneak through. Although it's a great fit, this jacket allows for layering underneath without feeling too tight.
In addition, I look for generous pockets in my outerwear. The Mammoth Down Parka external pockets are perfect for stashing my bulky mittens and cell phone. (The pockets have zippers to ensure all of my items stay secure.) There's also a large inside pocket, which is convenient for my keys or wallet so I don't need to bring a small purse or fanny pack when I'm out running errands or heading to and from a workout class.
The Mammoth Down Parka has been my go-to daily jacket this winter. I've worn it for all day-to-day activities and on a recent outdoor adventure/ski trip to the Berkshires where the temps were in the 20s and 30s. Suffice it to say, this parka really holds up. The only con that sticks to me is that, although I love the sleekness of the matte black fabric, it gets dirty easily. Luckily, this jacket is machine washable and simple to spot-clean.
Overall Rating: 10/10.
- Warm (650 fill duck down)
- Full head-to-knee coverage
- Fits true to size
- Allows for layering
- Interior drawcord
- Pockets (two external with zippers, one internal)
- Matte fabric dirties easily
- Only available in one color