Review: L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket

May 15, 2015  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   8 Comments

Breathable Insulated Jacket
L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket
$159, 13 oz. (men’s medium regular)
Sizes: men’s regular S-XXL, men’s tall M-XXl, women’s misses XXS-XL, petite XS-XL

Someday, outdoor enthusiasts of a certain age may reflect back on the dark ages of the early 21st century by saying, “Remember when an insulated jacket was something you only wore when you weren’t moving?” Well, given the growing profusion of jackets with breathable insulation, those “ancient” shells that are essentially half a sleeping bag with sleeves are already obsolete. I wore the most affordable piece of active insulation I’ve yet seen, Bean’s PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket, at times on wet, chilly, windy days trekking the Dusky Track and Kepler Track in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in early March, and in camp on cool evenings and mornings (days were quite warm) on a five-day, family-backpacking trip down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border in late March.

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8 Responses to Review: L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Fuse Jacket

  1. Mike   |  October 25, 2015 at 9:26 am

    How do you like the Fuse jacket compared to Polartetc Alpha garments you’ve used?

    • michaellanza   |  October 26, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Interesting question, and a tough call. Both the PrimaLoft Silver insulation (used in this Bean jacket) and the Polartec Alpha used in other jackets I’ve reviewed in this blog, including the Outdoor Research Deviator Hoody and Marmot’s Alpha Pro Jacket and Isotherm Jacket, have good breathability. They differ more in the temp ranges in which they’re comfortable (which varies between individuals, of course), and their features. I’d say that of the four jackets identified here, the Deviator is the lightest and intended for the mildest temp range of them all, and the Alpha Pro Jacket is the warmest (the arm fabric is breathable like a heavyweight base layer, but the insulated core of the jacket is super warm), and the Bean Fuse and Marmot Isotherm fall in between. The choice comes down to how easily you get cold and what activities and temps you intend to use the jacket for.

  2. Christine   |  July 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I am so darn new to all of this and everything is so darn confusing … mostly because I have zero relation so I have no way to gauged. I looked at the LL Bean site and it mentioned if you like a looser fit, then go up one size. Well, I like a looser fit in my day-t-day but is that advantageous in backpacking? NO clue? May be completely unfair to ask you ‘your thoughts and suggestions’ ?

    • MichaelALanza   |  July 22, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Hi Christine, take a look at the photos above, they’ll give you a sense of the fit. The guy wearing the jacket is stocky but not big. I would suggest buying the size you normally wear in a jacket.

  3. rfd515   |  May 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I have a nano-puff that I got as a gift and the fit was just always a bit big, but I still loved it. I later bought an LL Bean primaloft packaway jacket. The nano-puff is great but the Bean jacket is better (and way cheaper).

    • MichaelALanza   |  May 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Good comparison, thanks.

  4. Joshua   |  May 15, 2015 at 6:57 am

    I don’t know if L.L.Bean is the first to use Primaloft Silver, but Cabela’s has two jackets on the market, and has for at least a year now, that use Primaloft Silver: the Silver Rezolution and the Outkross Hybrid. The latter is also $30 cheaper than what is listed here for the L.L.Bean jacket. Both also have hoods. And the latter is an additional $40 for off-season pricing, so it’s $70 cheaper than the L.L.Bean.

    • MichaelALanza   |  May 20, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Thanks for sharing that, Joshua. I’m not familiar with the Cabela’s jackets you mention, so I can’t comment on their performance.

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Grand Canyon Hiker