Gear Review: Icebreaker Stratus Jacket

http://ca.icebreaker.com/en/merinoloft-stratus-long-sleeve-zip-hood/102975.html?dwvar_102975_color=601

From ca.icebreaker.com

The Icebreaker Stratus is a totally unique jacket – one of a kind really! Icebreaker is using sustainably sourced, recycled wool as the insulated fill for this jacket, pairing it with a nylon exterior and merino wool liner making this jacket very unique in the line up of insulated layers. Icebreaker is leading the way here, hands down!

Specs

  • Water resistant exterior Fabric is 100% recycled polyester
  • Insulation is 180gm MerinoLOFT™ in the body, 100gm MerinoLOFT™ in the sleeves, with a 100% Merino wool liner
  • 3 pockets: 2 secure zippered front hand pockets, 1 internal stash pocket with media cord port
  • Shaped and insulated hood
  • Interior cuffs
  • Adjustable drawcord hem
Icebreaker Stratus

Icebreaker Stratus on Day Hike


Performance

I have worn this jacket non-stop for just over a month in the dead of Newfoundland’s notorious winter. I have cross country skied, downhill skied, snowshoed, worn it day-to-day and even braved a couple blizzards (heavy snow and 100km/hr winds)!

After all the testing, I have decided to use this jacket as a warm layer under my hardshell as it doesn’t cut the wind enough and isn’t very water resistant in rain or wet snow.  It’s also not as warm as down, so past -15C, I need to add a fleece sweater underneath as well as the hardshell to be comfortable….this is partly because I am a cold person and have terrible circulation. If it’s not windy and warmer than -15C, then it can be my top layer.

Icebreaker Stratus

Icebreaker Stratus Wind in my Hood!

I am able to pack the jacket inside it’s hood and easily stuff it in my pack. It’s very light and easy to throw on when you stop on the trail to enjoy the view and want to stay warm.

I personally find it very annoying that the hood doesn’t tighten around my face! I live in Newfoundland, where it’s windy all the time, so securing the hood to keep the wind out is a requirement.

Love the wicking liner, inside stash pocket and colour!

  • Pros
    • Machine washable
    • Wool is warm when wet
    • Sustainability sourced materials
    • Lightweight
    • Flattering fit
  • Cons
    • Sleeves are too short
    • Pockets are too low to use with a backpack waist strap
    • Hood is not adjustable at all, cannot tighten to keep out the wind
    • Only warm until -15C then not enough insulation and needs a fleece underneath. Needs a hardshell to cut the wind.

Fit

Icebreaker Stratus

Icebreaker Stratus Flattering Fit

The Stratus fits small so be sure to try it on or consider going up a size for online ordering. I am 5’5″ and 140lbs and got a large when normally I would wear a medium. Even with the large, the sleeves are too short for my liking and it’s still snug across the back and shoulders.

I do like the length of the jacket, how it fits around my hips and the overall body shape of the jacket – very flattering.

Purchase Icebreaker Stratus Jacket

Watch My Review on Get Out There Magainze

I love Icebreakers concept – reusing and recycling materials and with improvements to the hood adjustment and sleeve length, this could easily be my go to jacket for winter adventures.

What are your thoughts on using wool for insulation?

Comment below!

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