Jack Wolfskin JWP Atmos Jacket Review
Jack Wolfskin, a German company working on building inroads to the North American outdoor market, has been putting out some good — and good-looking — stuff in recent years. I’m extremely happy with the company’s lightweight JWP Down Jacket, which kept me warm during my 2021 Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike.
This fall and winter I’ve been trying out the JWP Atmos jacket, a lightweight addition to Jack Wolfskin’s Pack and Go! Collection, which is made up of “technical, functional, minimalist, light, and above all, packable” pieces. Packable, highly breathable, and windproof, the Atmos is designed for chilly, rather than frigid, conditions.
Jack Wolfskin JWP Atmos Jacket At-a-Glance
Weight: 14.4 ounces
Outer fabric: Flex Shield Ecosphere Ripstop —stretchy, wind-resistant, and water repellent softshell fabric made of recycled polyester
Insulation: Microguard Stretch Migration Free Ecosphere —lightweight insulation made of recycled synthetic fibers with stretch properties.
Wind resistant: Yes
Water repellent: Yes
Zip: Center-front with wicking interior storm flap and zipper housing at chin
Pockets: Two zip outer hand pockets
Circumstance of Use
I wore the jacket running in temperatures down to 30 degrees F, including in wind and both heavy and light rain. Comfortable and soft, I’ve also used it extensively as a winter “housecoat.”
Jack Wolfskin Atmos Jacket Features
- Lightweight: 4 ounces (men’s small)
- Pockets: Two zip hand pockets
- Cuffs: Elastic
- Packable: Packs into hand pocket
- Comfort: Soft, flexible, warm material
Jack Wolfskin Atmos Jacket Features
Lightweight: To be honest, I’m not convinced that 14.4 ounces is truly “lightweight,” but that’s Jack Wolfskin’s judgment and it’s what I would call “light enough.” What’s more, it certainly wears lightly and in no way feels bulky or burdensome.
Pockets: Two fairly roomy hand pockets are a plus, as I’m a runner and hiker who likes to have places to stow everything from lip balm to that all-important baggie with TP.
Cuffs: The elastic, non-adjustable cuffs do a fine job of keeping fingers of chill from tickling your wrists and creeping up your arms. Rain and sweat naturally collect at the cuffs, thanks to gravity.
Zipper: I was skeptical of how well the very delicate, lightweight zipper on my Jack Wolfskin puffy would hold up. But after 2,600 miles on the PCT and lots of wear at home, the zip is doing just fine. The Atmos has a similarly streamlined, almost invisible zip. I prefer it to clunkier zips, and now trusting of its future durability, this is a big feature for me.
Fabric: Big plus for the Atmos is its soft, comfy fabric, both inside and out. It’s got a lot of competition, frankly, from my JW puffy, but I have taken to wearing it more and more around the house.
Hood: Nothing special here, though the company indicates that it “stows in collar” — yes, if by stow we mean, “tucked inside.” There’s no separate fold or compartment. The hood is not adjustable. It wears with reasonable comfort, though it hikes up a bit to make me look like I’ve got a Sasquatch skull.
Packability: Every time I start to stuff a new piece, I can’t believe it’s all going to go in. Same with the Atmos but yup, it does pack into one of the hand pockets with relative ease and just a bit of effort to zip it closed. Packed, it’s approximately 9x7x4 inches, a bit bigger than my JW puffy. Not small, exactly, but fairly compact.
Insulation: The synthetic fill is enough to fend off a damp, stiff, 20 mph Atlantic breeze in temps hovering in the low 30s — which is, frankly, a pleasant surprise. As light as it wears, I would have predicted otherwise.
Breathability: I’m of the opinion that there really is no such thing as a “breathable” fabric that will also keep out moisture. Just a matter of physics. But as far as it goes, the Atmos is definitely breathable. Impressive, considering its capacity to deflect wind.
Water Resistance: This is the one area where I feel Jack Wolfskin may be overselling the Atmos. The outer fabric soaked through very quickly, even in a pretty light rain. I agree with the company’s claim that the “synthetic fiber keeps you warm in damp conditions,” but this is not a jacket to count on if you’re expecting anything beyond merely damp.
Sizing: A men’s small fits me as expected. Note: Jack Wolfskin uses European and metric standards of measurement.
Durability: It’s difficult to assess durability after just a couple of months’ wear. However, the fabric feels tough and I agree that it’s “abrasion resistant.”
Colors: Soapbox time again: I hate the silly gendering of outdoor gear, which means men typically are offered only stoic, steely-eyed, I’ll-give-you-a-reason-to-cry, suck-it-up-buttercup colors — black, gray, brown, Navy blue, and, the occasional acceptably “manly” alternate hue, such as forest green or maroon. Women, meanwhile, usually can choose from a rainbow of bright hues, yellow, orange, pink, purple, light blue. Why? I assume the companies’ know what’s likely to sell, but are we men really so insecure that wearing a purple coat raises fears of being seen as insufficiently masculine? To this let me just say, f*** off! Ridiculous. Rant over.
The Atmos four of the usual, drab I’m-a-tough-guy colors — black; gray; and Navy. But I opted for the one “daring” selection, “Lemon Curry,” so I’m grateful for that. Take my “man card” now. Please.
Jack Wolfskin is working hard to be sustainable, using recycled materials and guaranteeing that their process produces/uses no fluorocarbons.
- Warmth: Very good for its weight, but not designed for very cold temperatures
- Comfort: Soft and comfy; hangs lightly
- Pockets: Two nice, roomy zip hand pockets
- Packability: Easy to stuff; reasonably compact
- Hood: Not adjustable; on my (perhaps defective?) head it humps up, making me look like the “abominable snowman” from Tintin in Tibet
- Packing: A bit of effort is required to close the zip
- Not water-repellent: I would not use the Atmos in anything more than damp conditions
I like this jacket, despite my disappointment over water-repellency. Synthetic fill is a safer bet than down in wet conditions, but I wish the outer fabric didn’t soak through so quickly. It’s very comfortable and warm, considering it’s (relatively) light weight. It’s not inexpensive, but also not crazy steep.
In sum, this a great jacket for running and hiking in chilly conditions. But I can’t see it becoming a favorite among thru-hikers because it weighs several ounces more than a puffy.
Weight: 18 ounces
Fill: PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Active
Smartwool Smartloft 120 Jacket
Weight: 12-13 ounces
Fill: 50% recycled wool
Weight: 11.5 ounces
Fill: Coreloft™ synthetic insulation
The Jack Wolfskin JWP Atmos jacket was donated for purpose of review.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.