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We each made a vest using the Minima Vest kit from They are the same people that sold us the kit to make our quilt. We have been very impressed by the quality of material and helpfulness of thru-hiker, so check them out if you are thinking about making some of you own gear.

Brian in his homemade Minima vest

The quilt was our first big sewing project and Brian's vest was our second. The kit came with a pattern and all of the material needed to make the vest (and enough extra to allow for a small oops or two). The directions were pretty clear, although we did find ourselves picking up our basic sewing book to brush up on terminology. There was only one part that caused Brian a bit of grief and that was the step where you deal with the zipper. And that part wasn't too hard, it was more a matter of it being somewhat difficult to visualize if you have never sewn on a zipper before. All told, it took the better part of a Sunday to make.

Lis also made a vest for herself, but modified the pattern slightly. The pattern seems to fit men a bit better than women, so Lis needed to cut it a bit smaller in a few places to make it more shaped. We are really pleased with the final results. They are quite warm, particularly given that they each weigh in at just over 4 ounces. They fit snuggly under our windshirts and turn into very nice pillows when not being worn. All in all, a very nice kit.