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In our opinion, the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Northern Lite Pullover and Vest are the best values in lightweight synthetic insulating garments. They retail for nearly half the price of similar garments but have first-class performance. Both are simply designed, well constructed, and use premium PrimaLoft PL1 insulation. PL1 insulation has better performance when wet than many of the non-premium insulations used in some lightweight garments. In addition the microfiber shell fabric of these garments is water resistant by the nature of its tight weave which increases the wet weather performance. This wet weather performance is not surprising since MEC is located in the cool and wet Northwest. At 12.1 ounces (343 grams) for the pullover and 8.5 ounces (241 grams) for the vest, they are slightly heavier than some high-end garments with similar loft. The MEC Northern Lite Pullover and Vest Review addresses detailed specifications, warmth, storm resistance, usability, fit, value, and recommendations for improvement.
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