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The Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie is a higher-end puffer jacket, just with a bit of a different take. Instead of getting its warmth from down feathers, it utilizes merino wool as a liner to allow for warmth, but in a thinner and lighter package (a men’s large is around 12 ounces).
The exterior of the jacket is both wind and water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry when you get stuck out on rainy nights. You can choose from four different colors (Deep Ocean, Dark Green, Oxy Fire, and Black), and you can get it in sizes ranging from Small to XXL.
Now, do all of these features come together to offer an awesome everyday jacket that is worth its hefty price point? That is what we are going to find out in this article.
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie
I have never been more excited about a jacket. While it may have a higher price point, the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie offers backcountry style warmth and capability with a more urban styling. It makes an all-around perfect three-season jacket for someone as their main coat, or a perfect mid-layer for when it gets really cold out.
5 Things I Like About The Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie
1. It is extremely thin and easy to wear while driving
I mention this feature first, as this is probably the most important feature for me (and maybe you). Every time I shop for a jacket, I always think about if I would be willing to sit in the driver’s seat of my car, and if I would be willing and comfortable to drive while wearing it.
No one wants to have to take the time to take off their jacket before getting in the car (especially if it is cold out), and because of that, I want something thin enough (and warm enough), that I can leave it on while driving.
This coat does that extremely well, and I never have to worry about jumping into the car while wearing it.
2. You can wear this over a t-shirt
While I forgot to mention this in my video review of this jacket (watch it above if you haven’t already), this jacket works extremely well over a t-shirt. Most puffer-style jackets are not overly comfortable over t-shirts, as the plastic feel touches your skin on the arms, and generally makes you feel sweaty (you’re welcome for that picture).
This Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie is very soft on the interior of the jacket, and the arms. This means you can easily wear it over a t-shirt if you are just going outside for a moment. I also found that it still did a great job at keeping you warm, even though you may not have that extra layer underneath.
3. This coat keeps you warm, even when it is extremely cold
I have never been so impressed with a jacket when it comes to warmth. With a jacket that is so incredibly thin, it offers a ton of warmth. I was outside the other day in this jacket (with a quarter zip and t-shirt underneath) during a cold snap (I would say around 22 degrees), and I had no issues at all.
I was the right amount of warmth and was able to go about my day with no problems. Normally, this would require a much thicker coat than this jacket has to achieve the same amount of warmth.
4. It will fit under another coat, and act as a mid-layer
As we discussed above, this jacket has kept me warm in extremely cold circumstances, if you get into even colder periods (sub-zero), you can easily use this as a mid-layer as well. Due to how thin it is, it won’t take up much space underneath another coat, meaning you can have a merino wool mid-layer, wicking away sweat, and keeping you warm.
5. It folds up into its pocket
If you are someone that likes to go backpacking or take your jacket with you on the go, but not wearing it, this jacket could be an awesome option for you. You can stow away the jacket into the chest pocket, making it extremely easy to pack away in your backpack, or even shove it under the seat in your car.
So why do you need to stow it in its pocket? If you have ever shoved your jacket into your backpack, and then you need it quickly, I am sure you have found that you end up pulling everything else out of the pack with it (as it has wrapped itself around everything else in the bag). Keeping it enclosed in its packaging means you are only pulling that one thing out, and don’t have to dig the rest out as well.
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While we typically review men’s gear, we know that this jacket is a great solution for any gender, so our team had a chance to test the women’s Wool-Aire Hoodie as well. Here are our thoughts:
- Lightweight, so it makes a great mid-layer under a heavier coat, or as a light jacket when driving, running errands or spring-time outdoor activities.
- Very thin compared to down puffer jackets. The merino wool insulation is much less bulky.
- Somewhat water-repellant. We wouldn’t recommend wearing this in a downpour, but if it’s slightly drizzling or snowing, the outer fabric wicks off the moisture and it beads up.
- Color selection is non-traditional. If you love funky colors, you just might find your new favorite! But we missed some more traditional colors outside the typical black.
- We tested this jacket in the extreme winters in Idaho and this is not a great winter coat if you’re looking for something to keep you toasty warm.
3 Things I DON’T Like About The Jacket
Even though I like the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie, my job is to let you know about any downsides that I can think of so that you can decide for yourself if it is right for you, so here is what I found!
1. The hood
This is 100% my personal preference, however, I am not a huge fan of the hood. Due to how thin it is, and the elastic band around the hood, there is no way for it to “look good”. It is just a bit awkward and isn’t something you feel great when wearing.
That said, it is highly functional, and does keep you warm! This thinner hood and the elastic band also are great for runners and walking out in the wind, as it is much more aerodynamic than the alternative.
2. Hefty price point
There is no way around it, the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie is competing with other puffer-style jackets (that utilize down feathers) on the market from brands like Columbia, Patagonia, and more. At almost $300, this jacket is on-par, or well above the alternatives from those companies. The other major downside to that is that merino wool is not quite as well known as down feathers, and people just aren’t aware of the benefits quite yet.
That said, the benefits are quite obvious, as it is extremely warm, allows for a thinner jacket with the same warmth, and more. However, it’s hard not to gravitate to a more well-known (and prestigious brand). Although, if you aren’t worried about that, I do think this is a better value than the alternative.
3. It gets dirty quickly
I have found that the Oxy Fire color that I was sent out does tend to show grime a bit more than other coats that I am used to. If you are someone that doesn’t want to wash your coat often, I would recommend getting one of the other, darker colors that they offer. That said, I like the Oxy Fire color, and have no regrets about that.
Merino wool is quickly becoming popular, but it hasn’t moved too heavily yet into the puffer-style jackets that down feathers are currently dominating. That said, there are two alternatives to the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie that I could find. That said, I would still recommend the Ibex over these.
- Icebreaker MerinoLoft Collingwood II Jacket – This merino wool lined jacket looks like a great alternative to the Ibex, however, it does not come with a hood, and it is considerably more expensive. I also prefer the style of the Ibex as well, with the stripe across the top of the jacket.
- Woolly Clothing Men’s NatureDry LOFT Jacket – This puffer-style jacket follows a bit more of a “coat” style design, rather than a jacket. It is still more expensive (even on sale) than the Ibex alternative we talked about in this article. If you are looking for a thinner option, the Ibex is still your best bet.
After wearing the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie for a few weeks now, I have grown to like it. I think it is an excellent choice for those that want a mid-layer for backpacking/hiking in cold weather or even just a casual everyday jacket. The downsides (including price) are relatively minor in my opinion and don’t outweigh the benefits. I would highly recommend this jacket to anyone in the market for a new puffer-style jacket!