OWNER REVIEW -- Moonstone Cirrus Vest
- Hello everyone. I hope you are having a good day. Here is my review
for the vest.
Moonstone Cirrus Vest
Name: Cora Hussey
Weight: 155 lbs (mostly "built" like a man)
Email address: cahhmc@...
City, State, Country: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Date: May, 2003
Backpacking Background: I began backpacking six years ago. I enjoy
weekend and longer trips to the Sierras and the nearby Angeles and San
Bernadino Forests, but I also travel to Washington, Colorado, and
elsewhere. I love backpacking in spring and winter snow more than
anything (especially on skis) but I am also very happy scrambling
off-trail in the Sierras or glacier-hiking in the Cascades. My
enjoyment of backpacking also provides a basis for my additional
pursuits in climbing and mountaineering.
Basic Product Information
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Listed weight: 12 oz (340 gm)
Weight as delivered: 12.1 oz (343 Grams)
Size reviewed: Men's M
The Cirrus vest is lightly insulated with Thermolite (R) and shelled
with teflon-coated ripstop nylon. It has a full front zipper, a
bungee-cord adjustable bottom hem, and one chest pocket that the vest
can stuff into.
The vest is short-cut. It is 25" (63 cm) long in the back with an
additional 3.5" (9 cm) of collar. The front zipper is 26" (66 cm)
long from collar to hem. The one chest pocket is 8" (20.3 cm) long,
and the stuffed size is 8"x5" (20.3 cm x 12.7 cm). The top collar
circumference is 18.5" (47 cm) and the bottom hem circumference is 45"
(114 cm) when stretched out.
All seams are flat, and there are no seams on the shoulders. There is
no windflap over the main zipper, but there is a flap over the stuff
pocket. Both armholes are bound with lycra, and the bottom hem
adjustments can be performed with one hand.
I have worn the Cirrus on a 12-day hike of the Wonderland Trail in
August, on three winter trips with a combined duration of 8 days, and
on 4 other various warm-to-cool weather weekend trips.
The trips saw temperatures from 75'F to 15'F (24'C to -9.5'C), windy
conditions up to 35 mi/hr (56 km/hr), rain, sleet, and snow. Trail
conditions included moving over uneven, rocky terrain, traversing,
skiing, and sliding on snow and ice sections, moving through tightly
packed trees and bushes, and walking extended periods over flat and
Important Usage Points:
Coldest Temperature used alone, while moving, with tee-shirt:
Comments: Performed fine in the cold with no ill-effects to the
fabric. Since it is a very trim vest, it works well as a layering
piece in colder climates. When both cold and wet, (barely above
freezing), the fabric still shed water well.
Windiest situation: 35 mi/hr (56 km/hr)
Comments: The windproof fabric stayed windproof. The arm cuffs did a
good job of keeping the wind out, but the wind would leak through the
front zipper and billow the vest while gusting.
Vest reaction to sweat: Excellent. Obviously, this is an insulated
vest, and the outer fabric is near waterproof. Thus, if I got even a
little too hot, the vest got wet. However, I found that the
insulating properties did not decrease when wet from sweat (or water)
and dried quickly.
Vest reaction to stuffing: Good. I do not store the vest stuffed, but
the insulation has not lost any loft that I can determine from
stuffing it on trips.
Durability of vest: Good. The outer fabric has held up very well.
Most of my winter gear gets thrashed and develops the tell-tale
ripstop "thread run lines" from tree skiing, but the Cirrus has not.
One or two inner lining threads have begun to fray, however. I
believe it is only cosmetic, since nothing seems in any danger of
falling apart. Overall, it seems to be a very well-thought-out and
Comments on Fit: This is the best-fitting vest I have ever worn.
Before purchasing this vest on a whim, I avoided vests because they
billowed out in the middle on me and most did not have tight armhole
designs. This one fits closely and keeps heat in effectively. In
addition, the fabric is relatively quiet, so it feels just like I have
another fleece on, rather than a nylon shell. Finally, the collar
stands up on its own and protects my neck very well when zipped.
Usually, I also have a distaste for collars, but this one has
never grabbed my neck or bunched up when unzipped.
Trips that I will bring this vest on in the future: Every trip that I
would need more than long underwear. I would equate the warmth of
this vest to a 100 weight fleece jacket plus a windproof vest. Thus,
it has become the most versatile piece of clothing I own.
Things that annoyed me: The stuffsack zipper is extremely hard to use
without snagging it on the pocket. Sometimes, I would try to zip it
up to six or seven times to zip it before giving up and simply shoving
it in my pack. Additionally, the insulation began to poke through the
inside seams (understandable and only cosmetic, but still apparent)
after about 10 days of use. Finally, the vest only has the front
chest pocket, and with no long sleeves to pull my hands into instead,
my hands often get cold.
The Cirrus is a small, lightweight, insulated, and windproof vest. It
is very versatile, and always finds its way into my pack, whether as
warm-weather emergency gear, or another warm layer on winter trips.
It works better as a standing-still insulater than an aerobic activity
shell, but can function as either.
My overall rating for this vest: Excellent, due to the fit,
warmth/weight, and versatility. Highly recommended.
Upsides for me:
- Warm and windproof
- Small, stuffable
- Relatively lightweight
- Deals well with aerobic activity
- Extremely versatile
Downsides for me:
- No hand pockets
- Stuff pocket zipper snags