Icebreaker GT260 Rapid Zip Thru Jacket : Always In Season
When everyone else was complaining about the cold, rainy weather this spring, I was happy because I got to wear my all-time favorite jacket, Icebreaker's GT260 Rapid Zip Thru.
Made out of New Zealand merino wool (98% merino wool, 2% Lycra), this mid-weight jacket won me over with its designed-for-action fit and its overall style the minute I tried it on at Icebreaker's Touch Lab store in Portland. It's a sleek, form-fitting jacket that gives me freedom of movement and looks very sharp. (Click on an image for full-size photo, located on our partner site, www.fancy-green.com)
Icebreaker did an incredible job creating this jacket. The raglan style sleeves are essential, in my opinion, because they give a custom fit through the shoulders, allow a range of movement, and make layering or carrying a pack more comfortable because there aren't seams along the top of or around the shoulder. I also really appreciate the articulated sleeves. I've worn the jacket as an outer layer and as a mid layer under a rain shell, and the overall sleeve design is so comfortable because there's no binding at my joints. Yes!!
The GT260 Rapid Zip Thru jacket is available in men's and women's styles, which are almost identical in appearance except that the men's jacket has a zippered chest pocket. Since I'm almost six feet tall, the most important fit areas for me are the sleeves and the torso length. I tested a women's jacket, and was thrilled with the fit. I've never found an active wear jacket that fit so well. It's such a relief to find a jacket with sleeves that are long enough to keep my wrists covered even when I reach, in a cut that also fully covers my stomach. Between the form-fitting style and length (the jacket's longer in the back than in the front), I stay warm because the bottom of the jacket hugs my hips. Love that. No garment irritates me more than a jacket that let's cold air blast my stomach.
I love the wide, stand-up collar; it hugs my neck for protection and warmth when the jacket's fully zipped. The GT260 Rapid Zip Thru has a dual zipper, so I can unzip from the top or bottom of the jacket to regulate my temperature. The thumb loops have been incredibly handy because it's chilly enough during the shoulder seasons here for me to want something on my hands but not quite cold enough for me to wear gloves. I also like that the jacket has a stretchy, mesh panel under each armpit that does an excellent job of wicking away sweat and breathing.
This jacket is really ideal for a variety of conditions and temperatures because it helps regulate temperature, breathing to cool me down when it's merely chilly, insulating to keep me warm when it's cold. I've worn it for power walks, hikes, and lately, as a cover up when this summer's early hot days turn into cool nights.
In case this is the first merino wool review you've read on our site, I'll add here that merino wool is a stellar material for athletic or outdoor activities because in addition to it's breathability, it keeps me warm even when wet, it dries quickly so I don't get chilled when I've been pushing it and get to my cool down time, and it's naturally odor-resistant. I don't remember the last time I washed mine (fewer washings mean my jacket will last longer and save energy).
Finally, I love that the GT260 Rapid Zip Thru jacket is black. It doesn't show wear or sweat stains, and it makes me look slim and stealthy. That's important to me whether I'm on the trail or in my natural habitat, the city.
This jacket fit true to size although the next size up fit, too. My boyfriend bought the same jacket in men's and went up a size. The GT260 Rapid Zip Thru is designed to conform to your body, but if you want a loose fit go up a size. Icebreaker makes several other tops, pants, and jackets, including a hooded jacket, out of the same GT260 mid weight material.
Bottom Line: This is the best jacket I've ever worn. I've always been a fan of merino wool's high performance features, but with the GT260 Rapid Zip Thru I've finally found a perfect fit and a super stylish jacket.--E.D. (June '10)
BUY ONLINE : $169.99, shop for men's & women's jackets, click to shop for women's jacket (some discontinued colors on sale) , click for Moosejaw sale on Icebreaker gear , click for Moosejaw sale on Icebreaker gear , click to shop at Altrec
Manufacturer's Site: www.icebreaker.com