Outbound Collective logo

Review: United by Blue Bison Ultralight Jacket

A stylish insulated jacket that is ethically sourced with 100% natural insulation and a 100% recycled ripstop shell.

By: Chris Engelsman + Save to a List

Bison once roamed the Great Plains of North America in the millions. They’re an icon of the West representing a wild and free spirit. By the early 1900s, there were less than 1,000 bison left. Thanks to reintroduction initiatives, there are now more than 500,000 bison. 

Bison are grazers who prefer to eat perennial grasses, and typically, don’t hang out around water and trees. Cattle like to hang around water sources and trees and can have a devastating effect on the biodiversity of these environments. 

Did you know that bison have wool similar to sheep, and cattle do not? With the increase in bison herds, there has been an increase in bison wool. Some brands, like United by Blue, have started to use it in their products. 

Recently, United by Blue introduced The Bison Ultralight jacket, which utilizes a 50/50 blend of bison and traditional wool for the insulation. Since the insulation is wool, it maintains it’s warmth properties when wet. Plus, it’s 100% natural. Who doesn’t like that?  

United by Blue believes that fit, function, and quality go hand-in-hand and that truly great products can be designed to be long-lasting. Also, they feel that the hands who make their products are as important as the ethically sourced and environmentally responsible materials. 

I’ve been wearing The Bison Ultralight jacket for over a month now and can say that it is warm, durable, and has a great fit. The benefits of using bison wool are that the hair is hollow, and provides fantastic warmth, it’s temperature-regulating, hypoallergenic, lightweight, and flexible. The Bison fiber is primarily considered a by-product of the ranching industry. So, by creating BisonShield insulation, United by Blue is helping utilize an underutilized resource. 

The outer material is made from a 100% recycled ripstop shell that utilizes a PFC-free water-resistant coating. The PFC-free coating helps keep you dry without nasty chemicals. 

What I like about this jacket is that it doesn’t look like a traditional lightweight puffy. The body panels have minimal quilting, while the sleeves are smooth. The clean design is nice when walking around town. It looks like a classic design that will be in style for years to come. 

The cut is excellent as well. I have long arms, and the sleeves are great. I like how they used an elastic cuff on the underside of the wrist with an asymmetrical cut on top, this way, the sleeve snugs around my wrist, keeping the cold out while maintaining a clean design line. 

The hood doesn’t have a drawcord but is designed perfectly to keep cold drafts at bay while still allowing for freedom of movement and visibility. 

At the waist hem, United by Blue has incorporated a drawcord to snug if desired. 

Inside the jacket, they designed a large pocket that I like to use for my gloves if it gets warm. But the original design of this pocket is to transform your Ultralight jacket into a pillow - perfect for road trips, planes, or couch surfing! 

Speaking of Ultralight, this jacket is light! I have the XL version, and it only weighs 1.08 lbs. 

If you are in the market for a new insulated jacket, check out The Bison Ultralight. I think you’ll be impressed. Plus, for every product purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from waterways. To date, they’ve removed 3,221,807 pounds of trash!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

Lake Tahoe's trifecta: 3 Days of adventure at Zephyr Cove

Ranz Navarro

Review: Danner Mountain Light boots in Yosemite National Park

Hannah Sibley