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The Best Vests We've Gotten Invested in So Far [Updated]

Ready to lose the sleeves and inject some mountain casual into your everyday garb? Give these a three-quarter zip.

Smartwool Double Propulsion 60 Vest | Smartwool | Amazon

You already know Smartwool makes a damn good pair of merino socks, but their merino hybrid apparel is even more impressive.

The Double 60 is lined with Smartwool’s lightest wool on the inside, granting you all the benefits of merino, covered with nylon for element resistance, and laced with elastane for stretch. It’s definitely the sportiest pick on our list.

I wore the Double 60 for all 25 miles I walked on the CES show floor this year, plus many hours at the poker table and through a little side trip to Death Valley, and never wasn’t comfortable.

Voormi Access NXT Vest | Men | Women

Another leader in the hybrid outdoor garment space, no one does low profile merino like Voormi, and their NXT Vest is one of their best executions.

The NXT’s minimalist form factor makes it a perfect layering piece and easily packable, and it’s even water repellant.


Full disclosure, while we’ve worn Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer Jacket on more than 10 trips, and their Stretchdown extensively, and you voted the former the best puffy jacket, we haven’t worn their vest variation, yet. This is a living document after all, it has to vest over time.


MH’s Ghost Whisperer fabric offers an amazing warmth-to-weight ratio, and is the warmest and most traditional, subtle option on this list.


Amazon | Mountain Hardwear



Howler Brothers’ vests boast casual comfort and style and unmatched use of color, but don’t leave the technicals like water resistance and thermal efficiency on the cutting room floor.

We’ve worn their recently retired Merlin Vest extensively, and their current Crowley and Rounder options are close approximations.

We’re looking forward to testing out a lot more of their clothing in short order.


Photo: DuckWorth

Duckworth was one of my favorite brand discoveries at January’s Outdoor Retailer. Their lofty WoolCloud Vest is cozy and packable and aesthetically... well, our SVP of Biz Dev tried to buy it off my back. The slightly relaxed fit and lower back hem are very flattering.

I’m wearing a polo from Duckworth today that will definitely end up in a relevant roundup soon, and we’re very excited in general to check out more from these guys.

Duckworth is the world’s only source-verified, single-origin, merino wool apparel company. 100% Made-in-USA.


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About the author

Shane Roberts

Editor Emeritus, The Inventory