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Backpacking with a vest as a mid-layer provides freedom of movement in shoulders and arms while eliminating bulk from jacket sleeves. Having no sleeves reduces interference while performing camp skills such as cooking. Also, a vest provides greater wind and moisture resistance than an ultralight fleece vest.

Exterior Fabric / Fill TypeCompressibilityWeather ResistanceInsulation Ability When WetWind Resistance
Fleece / No FillLowLowHighLow
Polyester Ripstop / DownHighMediumLowHigh
Polyester Ripstop / SyntheticMediumHighMediumHigh

* low to high rating assumes all vests are the same temperature rating, the same size with basic DWR treatment on exterior fabric face, and none are a hybrid product.

The¬†Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) Uplink Vest¬†is a performance vest with styling from one of Canada’s premier outdoor gear designers. The mid-layer is available in¬†gender-specific¬†designs and made in a variety of colors and offered at an affordable¬†price (92.40 USD.)

Women's Stock Photo, Emylene VanderVelden MEC Uplink Vest Review
Stock Photo from MEC. Women’s version of MEC Uplink Vest.
Men's Stock Photo, Emylene VanderVelden MEC Uplink Vest Review
Stock Photo from MEC. Men’s version of MEC Uplink Vest.


  • Ripstop polyester shell
  • Treated with DWR
  • Synthetic, water-repellent, packable, soft, lightweight Primaloft Gold Insulation
  • Elastic baffles
  • Fleece lined chin guard and high collar
  • Breathable,¬†durable, elastic Schoeller underarm panels
  • Heat-trapping elasticized hip and arm holes
  • Hand warmer pockets
  • Internal chest pocket/stuff sack


  • Weight: 7.9 oz (224 g)women’s small
  • Type: insulated synthetic mid layer
  • Insulation Technology: PrimaLoft Gold, 60 g/sq. m
  • Shell: quilted¬†polyester, water resistant DWR
  • Lining: ripstop polyester
  • Pockets: 2 handwarmer/1 internal zipper
Unexpected Tumble, Testing Opportunity, Emylene VanderVelden MEC Uplink Vest Review
On a recent January 2016 trek, I took an unexpected tumble in the snow on a frozen but slushy Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada. The water-resistant MEC Uplink Vest remained dry after being brushed off, and the elastic around the armholes kept warmth in and the environment out. Photo by Craig Douglas.


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