As part of my layering I keep a vest in the truck. Last winter I wore a fleece vest that the lumberyard gave me. This winter I decided to try a Dry on the Fly Reversible Vest from Duluth Trading and got the company to send one for testing.
The vest is available in grey/bright green and brown/orange; the bright side is ripstop nylon and the muted side quick-drying nylon. You can wear it bright-side-out on the jobsite and flip to the muted side after hours, when you don’t need to stand out quite as much. The garment is insulated with 140 gram polyfill—which as insulation goes, is towards the high end in terms of keeping you warm. The fit is snug but not overly tight.
As a framer, I’m very picky about vests because I need to wear tool bags on top of them. It drives me crazy when vests aren’t long enough to stay tucked below the bags. I wish this vest was a little longer; it’s long enough when I put it on but once I am working it tends to ride up over the bags. Also, the arm holes are too small for framing; they need to be a little bit larger. The vest has 5 pockets, 2 lower pockets on the muted side and a chest pocket and 2 lower pockets on the higher visibility side. I like the pockets on the muted side because you can warm your hands by putting them in from the sides. The lower pockets on the high visibility side aren’t that good for warming your hands; they open from the top and are best used for holding “stuff”.
I like this vest, but more for after-hours activities than for work. It’s great to wear around the yard, hiking, or when walking the dog. But for jobsite use, I find the arm holes to be a little too small and the whole thing to be a little too short to wear tool bags on top of it.
Men’s Reversible Dry on the Fly Vest
Sizes (reg only): MED, LRG, XLG
Colors: blue/green; brown/orange
Country of origin: China
List price: $65*
As of January 2015, Duluth is closing these vests out for $32.