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Icebreaker MerinoLOFT Stratus Long Sleeve Zip Hood

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Icebreaker MerinoLOFT Stratus Long Sleeve Zip Hood synthetic insulated jacket

It's a technical hoodie. It's a wool jacket. It's a blend of both. Warm and comfy...but with a poorly designed hood.


  • Wool insulation keeps you warm when wet
  • Comfortable
  • Attractive look


  • Zipper is "backwards"
  • Hood has no adjustment

We never plan to get wet. But it happens. 

In certain conditions getting wet can be deadly. A 34-degree cold winter rain has a way of chilling you to the bone. If we are counting on an insulating layer to keep us warm then it needs to work.  Even when things go wrong. And the king of warm-when-wet is WOOL.

When I received the email from Icebreaker announcing a 50% off sale I couldn't resist this jacket, normally listing for $300 and on sale for $150. Icebreaker's email marketing strategy hooked me again.

The slick polyester shell rides smoothly as a mid-layer. As an outer garment it beads light rain and sheds it off effortlessly. I was out in light rain and sleet just today with no ill effect. An adjustable drawcord hem at the bottom keeps the wind out.

The insulating layer is 180gm MerinoLOFT  which provides ample warmth even if you do manage to get wet.


I have two complaints with the jacket:

  1. The hood has no drawstring or adjustment whatsoever. It works OK with a ball cap. But when not wearing a hat (or with just a beanie) the hood is too big. It comes down too far over the face and blocks too much peripheral vision. This is not too big of a problem for me as I'm usually wearing a hat or ball cap.  If I had it to do over I would order the jacket without the hood.  That would also save a few ounces of weight and I could still rely on the hood of my outer garment.
  2. My other complaint is a minor one. The main center zipper is "backwards." I don't know how else to describe it. The slider is on the left side. I think maybe women's garments work this way, same as they have the buttons on the wrong side. It's not a big deal, but a little awkward at first when you've been used to zipping with the right hand all your life.

The bottom line is, it's a great looking jacket. It packs some respectable warmth in a lightweight garment. It does not compress nearly as well as a down jacket. That can be a factor when backpacking. I'd say it packs comparable to fleece.

The jacket features two zippered handwarmer pockets, positioned just where I like them.


Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150 half price sale

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