A Guide’s Review of the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie
The Ibex Wool Aire continues Ibex’ innovative use of Merino wool. A combination of a lightweight shell and blended Merino insulation makes the Wool Aire water resistant, lightweight, warm and packable for year round mountain adventures where you may meet cold and damp conditions.
- Shell: 100% Nylon
- Insulation: 80% Merino Wool, 20% Polyester
- Weight: 330 grams
- Color Tested: Oxy Fire
- Size Tested: XL
- Country of Origin: China
What is the Wool Aire Hoodie?
The Wool Aire Hoodie is Ibex’ take on an insulated mid-layer. Rather than use 100% Polyester based insulation or relying on down, Ibex has stuck with what it knows best, Merino Wool. By combining wool with a lightweight Poly outer Ibex you have the Wool Aire Hoodie.
The shell of the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie is made with a thin, 20 denier nylon face fabric. This is not a heavy duty shell, so don’t go running through the brambles with it or it’ll look like someone sheered your jacket. The advantage here is that 20 denier fabrics are very lightweight.
The shell is wind and water resistant and I can vouch for that having worn the Wool Aire in light rain showers and remained both warm and dry. It has also managed to resist it’s fair share of food stains as well
This is where the magic happens. The Wool Aire is filled with 80 grams of their proprietary 80% Merino and 20% Polyester fill. In hand and on your back, the Wool Aire does not feel heavy. It isn’t, it’s 330 grams for an XL. It does not feel as though it will be very warm but to the contrary, I’ve overheated in this a few more times than I’d care to admit.
How’s it Fit
Ibex says the Wool Aire has an athletic fit but I find it to be a loose fitting jacket. I normally find XL garments in athletic fit a little snug but I found the Wool Aire to be somewhat loose and indeed, I could have sized down for a more European or athletic, slimmer fit. Let’s say it has an athletic shape but for north American sizing.
The cuffs, hem and hood are all elasticized and have held well over the several months I have been wearing this jacket. One caveat is that the liner in the sleeves seems a little too bulky and when quickly putting on the jacket, it pops out past the elastic. Its not a big deal but is slightly annoying.
The hood is a Scuba Hood. It zips up high but can be comfortably tucked under your chin while worn. There are no adjustment shock chords either but its naturally snug shape also doesn’t really need one.
There are also two hand pockets to stow your hands in when they aren’t swinging away. Loose change will also do well here as both pockets are zippered.
The Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie packs down into its own chest pocket into a bundle about the size of a Nalgene. It can be further compressed to become even smaller but won’t remain that way without external pressure.
This is one warm and packable hoody. When I first received the jacket I took it on a five-day one-bag trip to Mexico. I knew the nights would be cold and I’d want something warm, but did not have the ability to pack many layers. The Wool Aire fit the bill. It fit into my bag easily and allowed me to sit rooftop in ten degree weather enjoying stars and margaritas.
Since Ibex Wool Aire’s initial journey to Mexico I’ve used it while ski touring in the Canadian Rockies and am now wearing it in the Swiss Alps. Dark starts were made bearable (If only it could soften the snow) On a rainy 5 degree day I was almost too warm, though I did have a light Merino sun shirt underneath the jacket.
Who is the Ibex Wool Aire for?
The Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie is for outdoors folks who are looking to stay warm with a more traditional and natural insulation that also offers the benefits of a synthetic like wind and water resistance.
If you are interested in picking up an Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie the head on over to Ibex and pick one up.
Black Sheep Adventure sports was provided with a free sample of the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie. This in no way affected our opinion and review.