REI Icon Jacket
Price Paid: $139.83
Bought this jacket while I was visiting family in Alaska. At the time I didn't have a waterproof jacket, and I was counting down the days until heading to Maine to work as a counselor at a summer camp. The vents/reported breathability originally attracted me, and also the hood.
At first the jacket worked OK in wet weather, but when we got downpours, I found some flaws. It always seemed like my shoulders under the jacket would get damp and eventually quite wet and uncomfortable. I don't know why this is. Also, the fabric seemed so thin that I could almost feel the water on my skin, even though it was outside the jacket. This was not only uncomfortable, but provided a chilling effect as well.
The jacket's sizing was also pretty tight, and seemed off from other models that I tried on. The soft fabric at the top of the zipper line is nice, but the zipper was still kind of annoying on my chin.
Another thing that irked me after a while was the lack of "hand-warmer" pockets, the normal ones down at the bottom sides of the jacket. I must've gone to put my hands in a pocket there a thousand times and not found the pocket there.
Fabric: REI Elements
Price Paid: $89.73
This is a great jacket. You are looking at an ultralight jacket here so let me rephrase....this is a great jacket if you are looking for an ultralight jacket. I've had mine for a year now and I am VERY happy with it.
Reviews like the other one here always make me grin; what this consumer wanted was more general use (or multi-purpose) waterproof breathable jacket when weight is not really an issue, but what he bought was an ultralight jacket...a jacket that sacrifices so wonderful features in order to keep weight down and make the article very packable.
If weight and pack size are not more important than the features you loose on an ultralight jacket, then don't buy this or most other UL jackets because if you do you will have complaints like the ones listed here and in other reviews.
The Icon jacket is made of REI's 3 layer elements (a "Gore-tex like" fabric). This is usually considered more desirable than the 2 layer fabrics. Like on many outdoor coats the pockets are raised up to keep bulk away from you hips (for harnesses or waistbelts that may be used). But the pockets are also positioned here to act as part-time pocket, part-time pit-zips. This compromise/dual feature is to cut down on weight and bulk. I have found this to be very nice. If I need the pit zips, I just transfer the contents of my pocket to pack's waistbelt pocket.
The fabric is not as water-resistant an other Gore-tex-like fabrics...even REI's own normal weight 3 layer elements in fact. The fabric is thinner to keep weight and bulk to a minimum...(broken record time).
The REI Icon is a great coat if it is used for what it was intended, a highly packable, light weight water repeller. It's not intended to go with you up Rainier.
Where to Buy
The REI Icon Jacket is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Attached storm hood has hidden volume-adjustment cord at back of head, roll tab to fix it out of the way if not needed, and brushed tricot chin guard. Dual Napoleon pockets have water-resistant zippers and are set so they won't interfere with shoulder, chest or waist pack straps. Lightweight rip-and-stick cuff tabs adjust the fit at wrists. REI Icon is an ultra-lightweight, waterproof, breathable shell made for the ounce-counting minimalist it weighs in at just under 11 ounces. This is the perfect jacket to throw in your pack to use for stormy weather protection over a soft shell jacket. Three-layer REI Elements /ripstop nylon waterproof, breathable laminate shell has sealed seams for complete weather protection. Underarm gussets ensure a comfortable range of motion.