Ibex Pingo Jacket : The Perfect Shell for Earth Girls
It’s not often I find a jacket that shields me from the elements, fits snugly, looks good, and gets my eco-conscious stamp of approval. All of these things are equally important to me and the Ibex Pingo jacket does them all.
I tested this jacket during the shoulder season between winter and spring in and around Portland, OR. I wore it cross-country skiing, hiking, and around town (a very damp and chilly town during March and April). This jacket is Ibex’s answer to a surge in the soft-shell jacket market. Extremely water resistant and durable, the jacket is also highly wind-resistant and breathable. How does one jacket do it all?
In my opinion, it’s part magic and part genius. Made of Climawool®, a blend of wool and polyester, the Pingo is not scratchy or uncomfortable like pure wool fabrics. Yet it is still made primarily of a renewable resource, which is one reason why I like it.
It fits snugly enough that, when worn with a t-shirt alone, I stay plenty warm as long as I'm hiking, cross-country skiing or engaging in another aerobic activity. Worn with a second long-sleeved shirt or with a wool sweater or fleece, the jacket still fits well and provides a shield against wind and light rain. As a tall person with long arms, I appreciate the jacket’s long sleeves that taper at the wrist. Along with its elastic cuffs, the sleeves help keep the wind from getting to my core. Two wool-lined pockets held keep my hands warm, and a third pocket keeps keys and other small objects safe.
I would not wear this jacket for running during any season in the Pacific Northwest, where the temperature rarely dips below freezing. But in colder climates, I think it would make a good winter running jacket. It was perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. I would definitely want to layer up if wearing this jacket downhill skiing or snowboarding. Finally, the Pingo jacket is great for wearing around town when I'm not sure what the weather will do.
Available in women's and men's styles (women's jacket comes in black, sand, and larkspur; men's jacket comes in black and stone. Sizes range from S-XL.
Bottom Line: The Ibex Pingo jacket combines function, fashion and environmental stewardship, making it worth every dime. --B.B. (April 06)
Price: $165 (on sale for $123.71 at Backcountry.com, click on logo below)
Manufacturer's Site: www.ibex.com
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