Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie Review
Are you looking for a puffy jacket that can do it all? Are you a fan of merino wool? Wait, how are those related, you ask? Let me tell you about the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie, an ultralight puffy jacket with merino wool as its insulation.
This jacket will keep you warm all four seasons long either at camp or during activity since it’s so breathable. On top of that, it’s wind- and water-resistant for all weather and even *gasp* machine washable! If you’re tired of babying your down jacket, the Wool Aire Hoodie might just be for you.
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie at a Glance
Weight: 9.875 oz (Women’s Medium)
- Shell: 100% Nylon
- Wool Insulation: 80% Merino Wool, 20% Polyester
This jacket is intended as an ultralight insulated puffy jacket for backpacking or any outdoor activity where you need to stay warm and dry. It can be used solely as an insulating layer around camp or worn actively, thanks to its breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities. I found it great for colder-season backpacking and winter activities.
Circumstance of Use
I’ve carried this jacket backpacking in Utah for multiple weeks in March and April with temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It came skiing with me as a mid-layer on a sub-20-degree day. I’ve also used it around town on multiple occasions during Portland’s cold and rainy winter.
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie Features
Merino Wool Fill
The jacket includes 80g of insulating merino wool fill (technically it’s a blend 80 percent merino and 20 percent synthetic). This isn’t your typical down-filled puffy, but merino is just as warm and arguably more versatile. It’s much easier to wash, handles moisture better, and provides antimicrobial properties.
There are two hand pockets and one interior pocket, all of which zip to keep your valuables safe!
Wind and Water Resistant Face Fabric
The outer jacket material provides extra wind protection and keeps you dry as well. I loved this feature when I just needed a quick jacket around town. I noticed the rain beading away, so it is clearly effective!
The Wool air jacket has an athletic fit with cuffed hems and a scuba hood. It’s not too baggy and not too tight, perfect for active wear. The large hood is comfortable and fits over a helmet, but stays up just as well without one too.
Environmentally Conscious and Safe Materials
The jacket uses PFC-free, bluesign-certified materials, Oeko-tex-certified dyes, and renewable raw materials for insulation. These materials are nontoxic and environmentally conscious.
Breathable & Moisture Wicking
Not only can this jacket be your warm, insulating camp mid-layer, but it can also be worn actively and still be breathable and wick your sweat away. This is perfect for winter activities, as you won’t sweat the jacket out.
This jacket definitely packs the heat. I wasn’t sure how the merino insulation would perform, as I’ve never seen anything like it before, but it competes with down in the warmth category. Throwing this on at camp helped warm me up immediately, so much so that I usually didn’t need to wear it for very long, even when it was 20 degrees.
I took it downhill skiing as a mid-layer on a cold and windy day and stayed toasty. However, it was breathable enough to handle my sweat well while being active.
The Wool Aire Hoodie can pack into its interior pocket. Since the merino insulation doesn’t expand like down, it’s smaller than your average puffy. However, it doesn’t compress like down either. It definitely packs down reasonably small for backpacking, but I did find myself wishing it would squish down a little smaller.
READ NEXT –
I received a Women’s XL in this jacket, sizing up for layers. It fit a little more snugly than I was hoping, but I was still easily able to fit a base layer and a fleece underneath. The athletic fit was just right, as was the sleeve length and overall length. The hood was big enough to go over a helmet had no trouble staying up without one too.
I have no fears of ripping or otherwise damaging this jacket. The materials are not flimsy like many of my ultralight pieces. Somehow the weight penalty for this puffy isn’t too steep, either.
I didn’t feel like I had to worry about snagging this on anything, and you definitely don’t have to worry about down feather loss that slowly takes away the warmth factor. This is one of the best things about this jacket.
Merino vs. Down
I’ve already highlighted a handful of the differences between merino and down insulation, but it also deserves its own category as it’s such an important feature of this jacket.
As far as warmth, I felt the merino was just as cozy as down. I’ve had some skimpy, too-light down jackets, whereas this hoodie has just the right amount of insulation.
At less than 10 ounces for a women’s medium, the Wool Aire is about as light as your average down jacket as well.
The only major difference between the two is that down lofts much more than wool does. This makes the merino jacket smaller in general, but it doesn’t pack down quite as small.
However, merino has some advantages over down as well. It performs when wet, is more breathable, and has antimicrobial properties that can inhibit odor. A huge benefit is that you can machine wash it like any other clothing item; just don’t dry it.
READ NEXT – Gear Wars: Merino Wool vs. Synthetic Baselayers
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie Pros
- Lightweight: Coming in under 10 ounces, this jacket is competetive with any functional down puffy in the weight department.
- Warm: The whole point of the jacket is to keep you warm, and it does just that. It kept me plenty warm on the coldest nights.
- Breathable: On top of being warm, the jacket breathes, so you can wear it while being active and not worry about overheating.
- Machine washable: This is a lifesaver and a big improvement over down, which has to be hand washed with special soap.
- Water and wind resistant: Unlike a down jacket, you can wear the Wool Aire even in inclement weather, and it will still keep you warm!
- Durable: You don’t have to baby this jacket. The materials are of good quality and impressively strong for how light they are.
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie Cons
- Packability could be better: While it is still relatively small and packable, it would be nice if it compressed a bit more.
- Size up: I found the jacket to run a little small, so just order a size up, especially if you want room to layer
- Cost: At $285, this jacket is a little pricey, but it’s not outrageous when compared to other puffy jackets on the market.
Overall Value of the Wool Aire Hoodie
I was intrigued by the concept of a merino puffy jacket, and the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie exceeded my expectations. I would recommend this jacket to anyone looking for a lightweight, breathable puffy jacket that’s still really warm.
The jacket is useful through the winter and shoulder seasons, though it becomes a bit too warm for summer use. The convenience factor of merino (and the fact that it can be washed) adds a lot of value too.
The jacket is spendy, like many merino products, but it is worth its cost for a jacket that will perform when you need it to.
Weight: 10.2 oz
Weight: 10.3 oz
Weight: 7.8 oz
The Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie was donated for purpose of review.
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