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Zeal Optics Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Aviators Review

This summer, I was on the hunt for new sunglasses. I have plenty of sunglasses for outdoor activities; everything from cheap and easily breakable to top-tier cycling shades.

But what about something more stylish?

Something that would be more appropriate for a beach wedding and carnival in Costa Rica?

Zeal Optics Easterly Aviators
Zeal Optics Easterly Aviators

Our friends at Zeal Optics in Boulder sent us a pair of their Easterly Aviators to test out just in time for our flight out.

Given the trend of aviator sunglasses after the latest Top Gun movie, I was game.

The style of the Easterly Aviator is a classic throwback to the 1960’s. They are smaller and rounder than your typical aviator shade, but there is a really cool vibe that is channeled when wearing them.

They are built with a hardy, but light stainless steel frame. These aviator sunglasses are so light. I always dislike heavy glasses that leave marks on my nose from the pads, but these sit and rest easily without the excess weight.

The frame is accented with recyclable, eco-friendly Hexetate on the tips.

Zeal Optics Easterly Aviators
Zeal Optics Easterly Aviators

The lenses are also eco-friendly, using plant-based Ellume Polarized lenses.

Lenses made of plants? Who would have thought? Other lenses are made with a petroleum-based polymer. But Zeal Optics’ approach allows for a lens that is better for the environment and is also lighter and more comfortable.

The lenses are also polarized and have a scratch resistant hardcoating.

The Easterly Aviator’s fit is advertised on their as small/medium. Before trying them on, I was a bit worried. My reading glasses are “wide.” Would my head be too big? No. These fit perfectly!

Zeal Optics Easterly Aviators
Zeal Optics Easterly Aviators

Plus, these were perfect for our Costa Rica vacation. They were really stylish for the wedding and carnival-themed afterparty. They were also a great fit for lounging at the pool or relaxing on the beach.

Now, I know we are an outdoor adventure company. I would recommend these for light hikes, but nothing too technical. Likewise these are great for paddleboarding or boating. But I wouldn’t suggest these for trail-running or your weekend cycling tour.

They retail for $199 and can be purchased on their website or at your favorite outdoor retailer.

California Cowboy High Water Shirt Review

If you could have the perfect after-pool or post-beach shirt, what would it look like?

Would it have a sunglass holder?

Would it be lined with the softest towel-like material?

Would it have a dry pocket that you could slide your iPhone in so that you could take it to the pool or beach without worrying about keeping it dry?

Would it have a pocket to stash an extra beer or seltzer?

Would it come with a bottle opener and coozie?

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

But California Cowboy lives on making your beachwear / poolwear dreams a reality.

California Cowboy High Water Shirt
California Cowboy High Water Shirt

This summer they’ve released their High Water Shirt, which is the amalgamation of all these possibilities.

Over the last month I’ve been hanging out in Costa Rica. Pura Vida, all the way.

A lot of time at the beach and pool and this shirt has become a stable in my daily attire.

California Cowboy High Water Shirt
California Cowboy High Water Shirt

It is lined with terry cloth, so I can hop out of the pool, put it on and be dry and comfortable.

I have three kids, so I’m always chasing after them. Sunglasses stashed on the head or easy to lose, so having a sunglass holder built into the shirt is amazing.

California Cowboy High Water Shirt
California Cowboy High Water Shirt

Likewise, being able to carry an extra beverage or two is very important. The High Water Shirt has that covered with their beverage pocket.

California Cowboy High Water Shirt
California Cowboy High Water Shirt

It’s easy to keep a cold one safe while you’re sipping on another one. Or, if you’re chasing after kids, stash your beverage into your pocket for safe keeping.

If you’re at the beach, it’s also a great pocket for stashing seashells.

Finally, there is the dry pocket. It can easily hold a iPhone Pro Max, wallet, and keys.

Needless to say, the product design on this is fantastic.

California Cowboy High Water Shirt
California Cowboy High Water Shirt

I love this product and it is going with me to the pool and beach every time I go.

You can purchase the High Water Shirt on their website. I am 5’11”, 185 pounds, and wear a size Large.

Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt Review

The Showers Pass Apex Merino Wool Tech is an extremely comfortable performance t-shirt. They sent us one to test and it’s been the perfect companion on many rides and hikes.

Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt
Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt

The Apex Merino Tech is made with 87% Merino Wool and 13% Nylon blend.

Merino Wool is a powerhouse of a fabric. It provides antimicrobial protection from odors and natural breathability. This makes the Apex Merino Tech the perfect shirt for long activities. When testing Merino Wool products, I always like to see how long I can go between washes before the stink sets in. I did a nice sweaty five-mile run, two 15 mile bike rides, and a four hour hike before I felt that I needed to put it in the wash. Given this performance, I am planning to take this on an overnight backpacking trip.

Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt

The Apex Merino Tech is also designed to reduce chafing. The sleeves and side panels have flatlocked stitching to reduce chafing. During testing with backpacks or hydration packs, I found that the shirt moved less than other performance fabrics, reducing the movement that my packs typically did.

I also appreciate that Showers Pass shirts have a longer back to keep the shirt from riding up. This is a great feature while cycling, reducing back exposure as you’re bent over the handlebars.

Unpacking the shipping box, I was immediately impressed by how light and soft this shirt was. You can tell how much thought and care Showers Pass put into this shirt.

Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt
Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt

The fit is on the slimmer side, but is perfect for the types of activities I’ve taken it on.

It was also comfortable when paired with their Cloudburst Jacket.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a performance t-shirt this summer, Merino Wool and this shirt from Shower Pass is a must buy.

I am 5’11” and 185 pounds and wear a size large.

You can purchase the Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt on their website for $75. Well worth it and it will last for several seasons.

This Father’s Day, Protect Your Balls With BN3TH

When it comes to protecting your most sensitive area, having the right underwear is key. If it’s too tight or too loose or not the right fabric, you could be in a world of discomfort. And if there’s an area I don’t want to be uncomfortable, it’s there in my nether region.

For Father’s Day, BN3TH sent me a few pairs to test out.

BN3TH Pro Iconic

The fabric in their Pro Iconic line were made out of 82% Polyester / 7% IONIC+™ Polyester / 11% Spandex. They were super comfy. During heavy workouts or long activities like hikes, I found that they wicked moisture away. Not having swamp butt or a sticky crotch was a great feeling.

These were made for movement!

They fit tight around my thighs, but weren’t uncomfortable. During the hikes I took during testing, I noticed that they didn’t ride up like some other underwear. They stayed in place and didn’t bunch up.

BN3TH Pro Iconic

The fabric also contains anti-odor technology to keep things smelling fresh, making day hikes or camping easy.

Over the last several days, I’ve been in Costa Rica. It’s rainy season, so things are also moist. But the days that I wear BN3TH, things are kept super fresh.

But what truly stands out about BN3TH is their MyPakage Pouch Technology™. It’s a pouch for your man goods. It keeps them separate, which helps eliminate chafing or sticky situations.

BN3TH has a variety of styles to choose from based on your various needs. If you’re assessing your underwear drawer and wondering if you need to make a change, the answer is yes.

Ruffwear Approach™ Dog Backpack Review

When hiking with our dog, Parker, our biggest challenge is carrying all the things.

Our backpack is already full of snacks, sunscreen, a first aid kit, and water for the human kids. Yet, we still have water, water bowl, snacks, and poo bags to pack for our canine kid.

Ruffwear sent us their Approach Backpack to review just in time for school to be out and our summer outdoor adventures to begin.

Ruffwear Approach Backpack
Ruffwear Approach Backpack

The Ruffwear Approach Backpack is a harness for dogs that offer saddlebag storage and all-day comfort for your four-legged family members.

The saddlebags contain four total zippered pouches; enough space for water, dog bowls, snacks, food, and those pesky poo bags.

During our testing period, we took Parker on several multi-hour hikes. We were able to store ample supplies, but it is worth noting that Ruffwear suggests that dogs carry no more than 25% of their body weight and to start them out with lighter loads to build up their endurance.

Parker is a big dog and eventually, he’ll be able to carry around 20 pounds. For the testing period, he carried anywhere from 3-7 pounds of supplies. And even with that, there was plenty of room for more light items.

The Ruffwear Approach Backpack is made of a light and durable 150 denier polyester. The saddlebags have a radial cut to provide a comfortable fit and throughout our hikes moved easily with Parker.

Each side has a lower main compartment zipper and an upper side stash zipper. The lower pockets were the perfect size for flat water bottles, food, leashes, and stashing full poo bags. The smaller pockets up top were great for snack bags and his collapsible water bowl.

Ruffwear Approach Backpack
Ruffwear Approach Backpack

On the top of the Approach Backpack, Ruffwear has a padded handle to lift Parker up and over large boulders or sections of trail that were too technical for him. Next to the handle is a metal v-ring for leash attachment.

On the underside of the pack, there is a five point adjustment system. There are three points of adjustment on the chest plate and two additional straps on the underside of the backpack. This allows you to size accordingly to your pup’s size and make sure that the pack is stable, but not too tight; just enough to remove any sway or shifts in the pack.

During each hike, I monitored Parker to make sure the pack was comfortable. Throughout his tail was wagging as he walked down the trail.

After the hike, after I removed the pack, I inspected Parker to make sure there was no rubbing caused by the pack and there wasn’t. He seemed very comfortable throughout.

Conclusion

Overall, I was very impressed with the Ruffwear Approach Backpack. And so way Parker!

It is a very well made, comfortable, and durable piece of hiking equipment.

If you are wanting to hike with your pup and not carry all their crap, this is a great investment. The Ruffwear Approach Backpack is a winning combination. Any time I pull it out, Parker gets excited because he knows a hike is coming!

KÜHL’s AIRSPEED™ Men’s Shirt Review

KÜHL sent our team the AIRSPEED shirt to review and I was immediately impressed.

Pirate Blue
KÜHL’s AIRSPEED™ Men’s Shirt

Colorado summers where I live are warm and dry with temperatures fluctuating from early morning to evening. Higher in the mountains, you get a wider range and lower low points in the morning and evening.

I found this shirt to be the perfect outdoor companion for those types of days.

For our test, I took this on an overnight camping and hiking trip.

The AIRSPEED is a long-sleeve shirt, which provides ample, UPF 30+, coverage. It was warm enough for cool mornings hiking through the woods. As the day heated up, the cuffs roll up easily to attach to a button located mid-bicep.

It is constructed using three different fabric types:

  • Fabric 1: 72% Nylon, 28% Polyester | 88 GSM
  • Fabric 2: 85% Polyester, 15% Cotton | 160 GSM
  • Fabric 3: (Mesh): 85% Polyester, 15% Cotton | 160 GSM

This combination of fabrics makes the AIRSPEED a breathable, high-performance shirt. The knit panels provide ventilation and stretch for easy movement. The sleeves are designed with five panels for freedom of motion; making it easy to set up the tent or cast a fishing line.

Pirate Blue
KÜHL’s AIRSPEED™ Men’s Shirt

Throughout the testing period, I found this shirt to be extremely comfortable. While hiking with a backpack on, my back did get sticky. It’s worth noting that the fabric isn’t “moisture wicking,” but as KÜHL describes it: “moisture managing.”

But after my hike, as I rested at the camp site, the shirt dried out quickly.

Additional features on this shirt include:

  • Zipper security pocket where I was easily able to stash my driver’s license and credit card
  • Hidden, button-down collar
  • Two button-down chest pockets for additional storage
  • Sunglass cleaner inside bottom left placket
Pirate Blue
KÜHL’s AIRSPEED™ Men’s Shirt

This is an extremely functional and durable shirt. Perfect companion for the outdoors. And it pairs really well with our recently reviewed KÜHL RENEGADE pant.

I am 5’11” and 185 pounds and wear a size large. Found that it fit true to size.

You can purchase this on their website or at your favorite outdoor store.

KÜHL’s RENEGADE Men’s Pant Review

KÜHL’s PR team sent me a pair of their RENEGADE Men’s Pant to test out. The KÜHL’s RENEGADE Men’s Pant delivered just in time for a trip I made down to San Antonio.

Koal
KÜHL’s RENEGADE Men’s Pant

While it is a great pair of pants for hiking and camping, it also became my favorite pants for travel.

It’s exclusive DURALUX fabric is a blend of 95% Nylon and 5% Spandex. It makes for a light, breathable pant. But these pants are tough! On a hike I lost my footing and slid on my butt over some loose gravel. “Oh no!” I thought, turning around to see if there was a hole or tear on my backside, but there wasn’t. Not even a slight abrasion! I could point to several other brands’ pants in my closet that have abrasions or tears from similar falls.

Movement is great in these, as well. KÜHL’s RENEGADE were designed with articulated knees and a gusseted crotch. Climbing and scrambling over rocks was easy in these. I didn’t feel that there was a time where the fabric was too tight in these over-articulated movements.

Koal
KÜHL’s RENEGADE Men’s Pant

What made these great for traveling was all the pockets; eight in total! There’s a side pocket that is big enough for a cell phone to slip in. There are two zippered pockets on the sides that were great to hold my wallet and AirPod headphones.

It’s also worth noting that these pants offer sun protection (UPF 50+) which is perfect for longer days out in nature.

I’m also a big fan of the style of these pants. They are comfortable, but they look good. When I met other team members in San Antonio they commented that I look like someone from Colorado, so mission accomplished!

These pants are available in a handful of different earth tones.

I’m 5’11” and wear a 34×32 and found them true to size.

They are available for purchase on their website, but can also be found in your favorite outdoor retailer.

COROS VERTIX 2 – Full Review

When COROS debuted several years ago, it was a disrupter in the field of GPS watch categories. It’s impressive out-of-the-box features and battery life threatened to push Garmin and Suunto off their pedestals.

Three years ago, when I was researching the best GPS running watch I stumbled upon COROS on Instagram and decided to purchase their Apex watch.

This was after using the Apple Watch for a majority of my training. My biggest frustration with the Apple Watch was that I would have to charge it every night and for longer GPS excursions, it would die halfway through.

What made COROS stand out more than anything else was their battery life. And the Apex delivered. Even on heavy training weeks for ultramarathons, I could still go 15 days before I needed to recharge it.

And while it lacked some features that I missed with the Apple Watch (like being able to track non-GPS workouts), COROS’ team of developers started to deliver on those features with firmware updates.

COROS VERTIX 2
COROS VERTIX 2

The new VERTIX 2 landed last summer with a ton of new features, including music playback, dual GNSS functionality, full-color topographic mapping, ECG functionality, WIFI connectivity for updates, amazing battery life, and Insta360action cam controls. Externally it boasts a larger screen and titanium alloy bezels and case to survive any adventure.

I’ve been using the watch all day, every day for the past three months. It has been with me on trail runs, bike rides, ice climbs, gym rock climbing, road runs, backcountry skiing, indoor cardio workouts and indoor bike rides.

So, let’s dive in on why this watch is the best gps watch on the market.

VERTIX 2 Overview

The VERTIX 2 is a massive watch. I have skinny wrists and was a bit uncertain wearing this monstrosity 24/7 over the course of our testing period. And it did take some getting used to: both size and weight. But after the first week, it was as comfortable as the APEX.

On the right side of the watch (if you’re wearing it on your left wrist) there are two buttons and a separate digital crown (which rotates and can be pressed in).

The top button is used to turn the backlight on or off.

The bottom button has a number of functionalities. On the main screen, outside of a tracked activity, it can be tapped to cycle through metrics on the home screen or held to jump to the settings folder.

COROS VERTIX 2
COROS VERTIX 2

With the digital crown, if you press and hold, it will unlock the screen. This is much better than the unlocking function on the APEX. With the APEX, I had to turn the dial to unlock which was especially frustrating when in the middle of an activity, especially in the wintertime when I was wearing gloves.

With the VERTIX 2, I found the crown easy to use, even when wearing gloves. When I was skiing in the backcountry, it was easy to shift between uphill and downhill tracking, as well as pausing for a snack break.

While in the middle of an activity, the digital crown can be used to cycle through your activity metrics. This is great for some activities (like indoor cycling or GPS cardio) when I am focused on duration and heart rate (trying to keep it in the fat burning zone).

While the touchscreen isn’t a new feature for COROS or GPS watches in general, it is still worth highlighting. It is primarily used outside of workout mode. You can click into widgets to slide through your metrics. Or pull up a map and move around easily.

I haven’t found myself using the touchscreen too much outside of the widgets. It is a much easier tool that the dial to cycle through and look at a particular time frame of data.

The watch bands connect using a quick release system. Again, this is a step up from the APEX. The tabs to pull and release are much easier to use, allowing you to swap out bands or remove them all together to connect to the COROS Carabiner so you can climb without the watch attached to your wrist.

On the back of the watch is the charging port and optical heart rate sensor. The heart rate sensor is the set of LED’s and optical sensors (bright and vibrant red and green lights) that measure your heart rate, but also blood oxygen levels and ECG data.

ECG / HRV Feature

To access the ECG feature, navigate to the settings menu and click HRV test. It’ll ask you to place your hand on the bezel.

And it’ll start the ECG, lasting for 60 seconds. Throughout you’ll feel a vibration, similar to a heartbeat. At the end you’re given a HRV value, not an ECG value. Which is confusing.

I’m unsure if this is a feature that will continue being developed.

The HRV value does show up in the app and you can watch the trend over time. The value is scaled from 0-100.

  • 81-100: Superior, relaxed

  • 51-80: High, under minor physical or mental pressure

  • 21-50: Medium, under medium physical or mental pressure

  • 1-20: Low, under significant physical or mental pressure

Widgets for Days

When you’re on the home screen, you can move into the widget menu by unlocking the screen and moving the dial.

Widgets include everything from steps, KCAL burned, workout duration, recovery data, to sleep.

With each widget, you can click into with the dial and scroll through the data with the dial or your finger on the screen.

I have found that most of these widgets are pretty accurate. With the exception of sleep. I think it’s because of the size of the watch, but I have found that if the watch isn’t centered on my wrist that I will miss out on sleep data; viewable as large gaps of “awake” time during the night. Additionally, if I get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break or to help an awake child, it will register that as the moment I awoke—not counting when I went back to sleep a few minutes later.

I slept like a rock, but COROS is registering a lot of awake time. More than likely because of the way the watch was positioned.

Notifications and Settings

One of the reasons I hated using the Apple Watch as a primary fitness watch was all the notifications I would get. Anything my iPhone received, so did my watch. Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping.

With Coros, I have the ability to be in the same predicament. But I am very conscious about the impact all those notifications have on my mental health, so I have a majority turned off. Right now, phone calls is the only notification I receive. Anything else can wait till I’m at my phone.

But it is fully customizable when you first setup the watch on the COROS app.

If you hold the bottom button, you can also access the settings menu. Here you can access the above mentioned ECG function. But you’re also able to connect to Bluetooth devices, WIFI, Insta360 action cam control, alarms, the compass, and music.

Music and Insta360 Cam Controls

The VERTIX 2 is COROS’s first watch to feature music. Bluetooth headphones are paired through the headphones menu in Settings. You can pair multiple Bluetooth headphones, which is a great feature for ultramarathons when you might burn through a pair or two.

Pairing is easy and once setup, they are easily accessible. When powered on, the watch will connect to them. When tested, it would take over the connection from my iPhone easily.

For music, the VERTIX 2 supports loading MP3 files to the device using a USB cable from your computer. Drag and drop the files you want to the “music folder” and you’re ready to start jamming by selecting the music menu from the settings menu.

You can use the touchscreen to play, pause, skip tracks, etc.

It should be noted though that you can only load MP3 tracks. Services like Spotify or Apple Music isn’t compatible and probably won’t ever be.

Now, at the time of testing, we couldn’t test the Insta360 controls. But to give an overview, if you have the Insta360 Go 2, One X2 and One R), you can control the camera with the VERTIX 2.

Using the dial, you can alternate between photo and video mode, then press the dial to take a photo or start recording a video.

Battery Life

COROS VERTIX 2
COROS VERTIX 2

The VERTIX 2 lasts up to 140 hours of standard full GPS tracking and 60 days of normal use. With light GPS usage, daily workouts tracked, and with wearing the watch 24/7, I have gone 35-40 days between charges. During heavy usage periods, using GPS daily, I have gone 25 days between charges.

COROS VERTIX 2
COROS VERTIX 2

Some features, like the ECG/HRV test, music, and Insta360 camera control will drain your battery faster.

It should be noted that the VERTIX 2 uses a proprietary charger, so don’t lose it!

GPS Activity Tracking and Maps

During our testing period we took the VERTIX 2 everywhere: hiking, trail running, road running, road biking, trail biking, back country skiing, ice climbing, and most recently, paddle boarding (yay! spring has sprung!).

GPS accuracy can make or break a watch.

One of the biggest challenges I had with the APEX was that when I was doing trail races with a lot of vertical gains, the watch would think that I wasn’t moving and stop tracking.

COROS VERTIX 2
COROS VERTIX 2

The VERTIX 2 has improved on this by offering Dual Frequency GNSS. This allows the watch to locate the best GPS frequency available from all five of the major satellite systems at the same time.

Additionally, navigation features include topographic, landscape, and hybrid global mapping. You can load a route by transferring it to the COROS app and loading it directly to the watch from the app. I used this feature in the backcountry and part of the challenge is that on the map there aren’t any labels or turn-by-turn directions. So it was challenging navigating back when I got off course and lost the trail.

COROS VERTIX 2
COROS VERTIX 2

When I looked at the routes tracked, I did find the VERTIX 2 to be pretty darn accurate, including in heavily wooded areas or terrain that had more vertical climbs.

I highlighted a few examples to showcase the accuracy of the GPS data.

In the middle image, this was a point on my run where I transitioned from trail to sidewalk. While it didn’t show me directly on the trail, throughout it caught every little turn and pivot I made, including where I ventured off the paved trail onto a single track.

For the Ski Touring tracking, when I zoom in, you can see all the switch backs I went up.

What I am most impressed by is the fact that the watch is more accurately picking up trail runs on steep inclines. No longer is the watch auto-pausing because it can’t register movement. And that in itself is a huge winner for me as I continue training for ultras this Summer.

Conclusion

Throughout the testing period of the VERTIX 2, I continue to be impressed by the leap forward COROS has taken with this watch.

There are a ton of really awesome features with the music and Insta360 features.

But more than anything, the feature that is worth shouting about is battery life. There isn’t another watch on the market that can match COROS on what they were able to accomplish with the VERTIX 2.

Sure there are some improvements I’d love to see (especially with maps), but if there’s a company I trust to get it done, it’s COROS. Their developer team is amazing and based on what they have done in the last few years, I’m fairly certain they will keep the VERTIX 2 ahead of the competition

If you’re an endurance athlete or avid explorer, I have no doubt that this is the watch for you.

The COROS VERTIX 2 is available online and at several different retailers. It retails for $699.

Voited Pet Blanket Review

Our furry gear tester, Parker, was immediately in love with Voited’s Premium Recycled Pet Blanket that they sent us to review.

VOITED QUILTED PREMIUM RECYCLED PET BLANKET
VOITED QUILTED PREMIUM RECYCLED PET BLANKET

We’ve been working on “place” with Parker and it became an instant new favorite place with it’s soft micro-fleece.

Full length, it is 54×37 inches. In our house, we keep it folded in half, which is the perfect size for Parker.

The Premium Recycled Pet Blanket is made from high-quality, recycled Ripstop with an antibacterial and antistatic treatment. Given that it’s the height of shed season, it repels fur well with a good shake.

It can be used a variety of ways. From protecting furniture to functioning as a bed in your car or tent. It’s perfectly cozy to take anywhere to snuggle with your pup.

I am looking forward to the warmer months to use while camping. Given how Parker has claimed it, it’ll also be perfect for car rides as a consistent and familiar bed.

VOITED QUILTED PREMIUM RECYCLED PET BLANKET
VOITED QUILTED PREMIUM RECYCLED PET BLANKET

Voited’s Premium Recycled Pet Blanket can be purchased on their website and retails for $90.

Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie Review

We’ve covered Ibex in the past, including why Merino Wool rocks when it comes to outdoor adventuring.

Ibex recently sent us their Wool Aire Hoodie to review. And it came at the perfect time, just as a cold snap was descending on the Front Range.

Men's Wool Aire Hoodie
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie

I was surprised opening the package. I knew they were sending me a jacket, but what was this mysterious package and why was it so light? Certainly this wasn’t the jacket! But it was.

The Wool Aire Hoodie is surprisingly light. A women’s medium is only 10 ounces. Mine, a men’s large, weighed in at 12.7 ounces. When wearing it, it is so lightweight that I often forget that I’m wearing a jacket. If feels similar to a windbreaker, but offers a lot more protection from the cold.

Men's Wool Aire Hoodie
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie

For testing, I wore it for cold morning walks with the dog and on a few hikes. Even on brutally windy red flag days, the Wool Aire Hoodie helped keep my body temperature just right (part of the magic of Merino Wool) and was breathable and moisture-wicking.

During a long hike, I especially appreciated the temperature control of Merino Wool. I was comfortable throughout without experience any sweaty discomfort or chilliness. When it got too warm for the jacket, it was also compact enough to tuck into my pack without taking up much space.

It also fits well. I’m 5’11” and 180 pounds. A large fit true to size and the athletic fit was perfect for my lean and somewhat muscular frame. While it offers great insulation, the jacket doesn’t look like a puffy jacket. It looks really good and sharp!

Men's Wool Aire Hoodie
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie

It features two hand pockets and a stash pocket on the left breast.

The scuba style hood was great, as well. Not a ton of excess fabric, but it moved well with my head as I leaned from side to side or bent down.

Since we’re publishing this close to Earth Day, it’s worth noting that the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie is sustainable, as well.

The Wool Aire Hoodie is made from polyester, Merino Wool, and virgin nylon. All Ibex Merino Wool is sustainably sourced and the virgin nylon is made with Bluesign certified nylon, meaning that it using as few chemical inputs as possible. And with it’s wind- and water-resistance, it was made free of poly- and perfluorinated chemicals.

Men's Wool Aire Hoodie
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie

If you’re in the market for a new jacket, I highly recommend the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie. It’s the perfect lightweight performance jacket for the backcountry, but stylish enough for listening to live music at the beer garden. It looks great and performs well. It’s overall quality is insanely good and I can imagine it lasting for years.